Surround Sound ... Easiest Cheapest Way

Discussion in 'Xbox Forums' started by lovelldr, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. lovelldr

    lovelldr
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    Hi guys.

    Was wondering what is the easiest, cheapest way to get surround sound onto my xbox 360.

    Been playing lots of cod4 recently, and decided it'd be really nice to be able to hear where the gun shots are coming from (especially for hardcore matches), and hear better when people are sneaking up on you.

    But I have very little cash available, so wondered how I could do this the cheapest? Was thinking the cheapest way would be to use some PC Speakers, as these can be brought cheaply, but noticed that most of these use analog (from what I've read) cables to connect. So is there some sort of converter to convert the optical to the pc speaker connections? Also, on my pc, it has an optical spdif connection, but I guess this is an output, rather than allowing an input. As I was thinking that I could possibly connect the 360 to the pc, and then output from the pc.

    My setup is in a smallish room, with the xbox connected via vga to a pc monitor.

    So hopefully people will be able to give me some pointers on how to get this done the cheapest?

    Many thanks :)

    David
     
  2. trapdoor berk

    trapdoor berk
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    I have the logitech X-540 which are compatible with the 360 and for around £50 (have a search on the net) they are great. The sound out of them is very good and for 50quid you can't grumble.

    Overall I was very surprised how good it is. The only down side is that the rear speaker wire isn't that long, but I just bought some phono extender leads for a couple of quid.

    Watching moives on the 360 now is also a bouns :)

    Total recommend it

    http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/speakers_audio/home_pc_speakers/devices/234&cl=gb,en
     
  3. daymouse

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    Its also very helpful to knowing where people are for example i was running heard someone behind me and thought why havent they shot me so thought right there trying to sneek up and knife me, i legged it round a corner and waited as soon as the guy poped his head round i knifed him! :thumbsup:

    Anyway as for your question i would go for a stang alone dvd player with satellite speakers to save room.

    I would go for somthing like this

    http://www.pixmania.co.uk/uk/uk/638597/art/samsung/ht-x30-dvd-divx-hdmi-usb.html

    Oh whats your budget?
     
  4. lovelldr

    lovelldr
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    My budget is as cheap as possible! lol. But would only really be able to afford around the £50 that the poster above mentioned... Just looking into them speakers now. But if you can post any good info.

    Regarding the knifing, that's one of the reasons I wanna do it :) hehe...
     
  5. daymouse

    daymouse
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    No probs mate, you just need to make sure its got optical in on the back of the sub if you going just for the speakers. :)
     
  6. kav

    kav
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    Thanks for raising this topic, I've been interested in that myself for a while! £50 sounds like a great deal - wonder what they sound like for playing films?

    Also, seeing as you're into COD4, check my sig - you can have access to a ready supply of players if you join the AV Forums COD 4 friends list. :smashin:
     
  7. lovelldr

    lovelldr
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    @kavanf1
    Cheers, will have a look at that when I get back from work then ... get some good people to kill ... hopefully not too good though, as I'm not brill :p

    @trapdoor berk
    Just wondering if you could tell me how this actually connects to the xbox 360? Does it accept the optical out from (e.g) the vga cable? Or does it just accept the l/r from the cable, and then use the "matrix" mode to create the 5.1 effect?

    Just wondering, as if it's not a true 5.1, then it won't work properly with cod4 for what I'm trying to acheive?!

    Cheers again :)
     
  8. trapdoor berk

    trapdoor berk
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    @trapdoor berk
    Just wondering if you could tell me how this actually connects to the xbox 360? Does it accept the optical out from (e.g) the vga cable? Or does it just accept the l/r from the cable, and then use the "matrix" mode to create the 5.1 effect?

    Just wondering, as if it's not a true 5.1, then it won't work properly with cod4 for what I'm trying to acheive?!

    Cheers again :)[/QUOTE]

    It just connects to the left and right audio leads from my VGA cable. Its not true 5.1 but I don't really care as it sounds good to me. I still get the sound of the rear speakers if something is going on behind me, very good for GOW and COD4.

    as you say the "matrix" mode create's the 5.1 effect
     
  9. daymouse

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  10. NickMon

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    Surround sound is not soundthing to be taken lightly

    :)

    Once you start there is no turning back...

    Im on my 4th Amp in 15 years, and the amount money spend getting higher and higher - but i dont regreat it for one instant.

    Best way IMHO is to buy separates that you can then start to swap out as time and more money allows.

    You really cant do what you want to for £50 for new stuff and I think £50 for second hand will be pushing it..

    So consider about £300 minumum and save up for it - it will be worth it.

    Look at ebay
    Look at http://www.richersounds.co.uk/

    You need an amp with optical in
    You need 5 speakers

    Could be added later:
    A Sub (really needed for that big explosion sound)
    (use Xbox as DVD player)

    You could buy an amp & 2 speakers first, then when money allows add a center and surrounds. This is a good starting point,

    Consider:

    http://www.richersounds.co.uk/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=PION-DCS370

    or

    http://www.richersounds.co.uk/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=SONY-STRDE400
    and
    http://www.richersounds.co.uk/showproduct.php?cda=showproduct&pid=YAMA-NSP110

    These two should give you an excellent sound. But its more than £50 !

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. NickMon

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    This looks good too !
     
  12. NickMon

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    The base of the offical MS VGA has a optical output socket that supplies the 5.1 sound to the amp. Simply plug into suitable amp and you are off.

    Dont look at this as a "getting a sound system for COD" look at this as I need a surround sound capability. If you have a TV in room with sound feeds out this can be plugged in, if you have an ipod - this can be plugged in etc etc
     
  13. lovelldr

    lovelldr
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    The trouble is, I don't have anything else in the room which will really warrant the surround sound.

    The xbox is currently in a "study" (use the word lightly, as there's no studying going on in there, it's more like a play room, but houses the computer ;)). The room is a little box room ... hence the want to do it as cheaply as possible! And if I buy the seperates, then it's a waste of money for this room. And I wouldn't be allowed it in the living room, as the whole point of setting it up in this room is that I am actually allowed to just play in here, and the one who has to be obeyed can watch tv or do whatever in the living room...

    Cheers for input.

    @ Daymouse.
    Had seen that already, and considered it, but was hoping there was a cheaper alternative?!
     
  14. Jay on F1

    Jay on F1
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    If I were you I'd check ebay for a second hand 5.1 system. You can pick up a Creative or Logitech one for under £100. These systems are 'computer speakers', but do a fantastic job for the money.

    Only last month I sold my old Cambridge soundworks 5.1 system for £89. This included sub, 5 speakers and the amp/control center. (yes it had optical).

    The point of my post is to keep looking, you'll find something within your budget that fits your needs.

    before posting found this....

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Creative-Labs...oryZ3702QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  15. Batch

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    DS534 £100 from Argos, sound greta in a amall room!
     
  16. NickMon

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    lol

    Sounds like you need a new Mrs first !!

    :rotfl:
     
  17. Jamie Bug

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    I was in a similar position a couple of months ago: I'd just shelled out £400 on an HDTV and wanted a 5.1. system to compliment it, but simply didn't have the cash to start buying the AV receiver, speakers and sub. After a couple of opinions from here and elsewhere, I picked up an Acoustic Solutions DS533 package from ebay for £60ish. A fair few people bought them from Argos when they were first available for about £90 and said they matched their needs perfectly, though the model's been discontinued now in place of more recent (and expensive) ones, like those linked above.

    Anyway, the DS533 is a great starter 5.1 set if you're on a tight budget. You get the five speakers (though I use my floor standers for the fronts) and a sub that also serves as the amp/receiver. Obviously, for under £100 the system's quite limited so you only have connections for one phono input, coaxial and (most importantly) an optical in. That said, it's bassy, clear and perfect for a bedroom where I can't really play it that loud anyway since I do most of my gaming after nine when the family and neighbours are winding down ;).

    There's none on ebay at the moment, but you could probably find that the next model up is more widely available used and about the same price as what I paid for my system eight months or so ago.

    Hope this helps :smashin:.
     
  18. torr1x

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    Have you thought about headphones ? The tritton / sharkoon 5.1s are about £80, okay not the best sounding but ok for games (with xbox mics too), or pick up a dolby headphone decoder (i believe JVC do one for about £80) and plug in some stereo headphones and get virtual surround, some pc sound cards do DH does yours ?

    As you dont have anything else which warrants surround sound you can just put the headphones away when your not about and the missus is then happy (trust me have the same dilemna !!)
     
  19. lovelldr

    lovelldr
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    Well, I'm looking on ebay at the mo, and there's some good ones which might be ok ... just waiting and seeing whether they go up too much in the next few days though ... that's the thing I hate about ebay!!!

    Will see how things go :D
     
  20. webslinger2k

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    Anyone know what connection the sound output for the new 360 HDMI versions are? i.e. is it optical or phono etc? How would one go about connecting one of the HDMI models to an external sound source if they used a Monitor for gaming?

    thx
     
  21. daymouse

    daymouse
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    Yeah i hate waiting for stuff on ebay!!! Never win so i just do buy it now if its available!
     
  22. Jamie Bug

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    Elites comes with a small sound output 'box' that goes into where the component/VGA cable would go (beneath the HDMI input). It's got one optical and a pair of phono outputs on it. You'll have to check but I'm pretty sure you have to buy these separately if you just get the HDMI 'Pros' instead of an Elite.

    EDIT:
    Yep, MS call them 'Optical Audio Adapters' or some such thing, see this thread for more info :).
     
  23. slot racer

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    If your budget is £50 or less I would try a cheap 5.1 system from a computer supplier.
    I bought one of my lads a w/s 19 inch monitor and a 5.1 system - the 5.1 was from Eclipse computers in coventry and cost me about £20 - includes the speakers - gives a pretty good sound experience for the money.
    Just bought my 2 eldest lads 32 lcd tv's so moved the monitor & 5.1's into my youngest's bedroom for use with his 360.
    I am not an audiophile so wouldn't spend too much on expensive sound set ups.
     
  24. lovelldr

    lovelldr
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    but do the speakers from eclipse have the optical in, to be able to listen to the true 5.1?

    If so, then I'd be interested to know which model :)

    Cheers
     
  25. lovelldr

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    Hi guys again...

    Just wondering, if I brought a DVD player, which has a home cinema system included with it, and an optical input, then would this work for my needs? How does it work? What would I need to do to get it to work? I assume that I would just need to switch it on, and possible say "use optical input", rather than "use internal dvd player"?!

    Cheers again for advice :)
     
  26. cas398

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  27. mumbo

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    i am also interested in 5.1 surround system for my xbox360. it has component cable on which is optical in.. so does logitech x-540 has optical out?? which connections does it have?

    because i thnik x-540 does not have optical which other speakers have it? :) for not too much money. :cool:
     
  28. amalarul

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    Here's the thing guys digital amplification is gonna cost you more than 50 quid meaning any speaker with optical input is relativley expensive.

    To answer lovelldr's question, yes the dvd player with the included home cinema system will help if it has an optical input but then again it is gonna cost you more than 50 bucks. Another thing with setting up a 5.1 system is if the walls in your room are all bare and there is not a lot of furniture the sound is gonna echo like hell. You can check this by whistling loudly in the room and if the whistle echoes well there you go.
     
  29. Scapegoat

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    I am also looking for a 5.1 system as a present for a family member.

    Budget is a little higher that OP - looking at £150-£170 delivered and preferably via eBay (as I have a £25 off voucher code via paypal) but not definitely.

    Initially wanted the Logitech 5400 from eBuyer @ £150 but now out of stock everywhere.

    A few Logitech 5500s on eBay but if in price range then they are either US imports with converters OR didgey looking sellers OR second hand (not ideal as a present).

    Am watching a 5400 at moment but is there anything else?

    Seems a fair few systems for £30-50 for PC stuff and then a big jump to the logitechs without much inbetween.

    Recommendations wanted - also how these things compare to 'AV style' setups.

    Needs a few connections - 2 optical (Sky and 360) and DVD connection minimim, and preferably abilty to connect Wii as well
     

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