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Crappy computer speakers that translate reasonably well
Old 17th October 2013
  #1
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meriter's Avatar
 

Crappy computer speakers that translate reasonably well

Maybe you guys could help me out with this, I'm looking for a pair of external speakers I can just plug into the 1/8 inch jack (or usb) on my laptop for monitoring purposes. Real monitors aren't happening right now and Im not a fan of wearing headphones 100% of the time. Just need something that'll be 'okay', hoping to spend less than $100. Any thoughts appreciated
Old 17th October 2013
  #2
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The crappy computer/ multi media speakers that are sub 100 bucks are the
ones you're translating to. Not from.

You're just not gonna be able to do any actual mixing through that crap.
Old 17th October 2013
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Starting out I used a sub $100 pair of Yamaha computer speakers (I forget the model, it's been a minute). The previous poster is mostly correct; however in my experience if you take the time to learn your speakers, you can make some intelligent mix decisions (especially getting the lead vocal sitting correct - midrange frequencies are usually quite prominent in computer speakers). A combo of a quality set of HP's and some decent computer speakers you know well can get you pretty far...not all the way, maybe 60-70% (?) or so. Good luck!
Old 17th October 2013
  #4
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jnorman's Avatar
roland ma-12c
Old 17th October 2013
  #5
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Samson MediaOne 3A
(reviews on Amazon)
Old 17th October 2013
  #6
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If I were you, I'd use any pair of computer speakers that sound good on the music you listen to, for level adjustments and checking stereo. Then use a good pair of headphones for EQing, compression, etc. It won't be the same as a good pair of real monitors with a well treated room, but it'll be a second check on your headphones which is never bad.
Old 17th October 2013
  #7
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If you can find them....
Crappy computer speakers that translate reasonably wellHarman Kardon HK695 Computer Speakers | eBay
Old 17th October 2013
  #8
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An eye opener to me was realizing (I know kinda a duh moment) that you use each kind of speakers for different things. One high end mixer says he uses an old sony boombox over in the corner for something crazy like 80% of his mixing and setup...but he also has 50,000$ speakers he can bounce back and forth too and that makes a world of difference
But I think the important thing to remmeber here is what your going to be using you PC speakers for (ie "grot box") these sort of speakers excell at balancing your levels...listening at low volume and making sure nothing sticks out sort of stuff.
The are bandwidth limited which helps your ear focus on the midrange...the most important thing.

So, I wouldn't be making a ton of eq changes on pc/boombox/crappysmall speakers, use your headphones for those; but volume rides and balance you might find they work great

Anyway its stuff I've read and tried and worked for me, I definitly didn't invent this stuff.

Also why spend 100$ on crappy speakers? Get some small ones and your thriftstore.
Sent from my LG-VS700
Old 17th October 2013
  #9
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I'm using Alesis Active MII as my mains. Getting some Casio speakers. My Tascam board manual says the headphone out can drive small speakers @ 1.5w/channel and the Casio's are 1.8w/channel.

Gonna try them as cheap reference speakers.

Old 17th October 2013
  #10
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I really like the Logitech Z 10, they aren't offered anymore, but maybe you can find them used or reduced in price. They were rather expensive compared to most other 2.0 Computer speakers. I still have them at my work and still like them. At home I use Adam Artist 3 as desktop speakers.
The Logitech are angled toward the listener, have small reflex ports on the back and an inbuild converter, which means you connect them via usb. They have a headphone output and a rca input for ipods etc. They run on both mac and windows systems.



Dirk
Old 17th October 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meriter View Post
hoping to spend less than $100. Any thoughts appreciated
when you are under $100 (even under $200) in many cases the companies will change components at will when ever something cheaper or easier to assemble comes along. For that reason it is tough to suggest something that will work, because your Fancy 215XD's might have dramatically different components than my Fancy 215XD built just 3 months later.

Understanding that variance you could still trip across something that would work for you but you are going to have to try them out. I used old stereo shelf speakers and my old amp for mixing for a while.

I have the JBL Creature set up on my non music computer and I think it was $99. I love the sound. It is kind of exaggerated and fun to listen to.
Old 25th October 2013
  #12
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thanks guys some kickass suggestions here

those roland/edirol/cakewalk MA-7A micromonitors seem ideal but I'd probably have to hunt for them on ebay

the intention of this thread was to find a monitoring solution for small apartment complex life but I may be moving to a place soon where sound isn't issue, if that's the case I'll probably buy back the hs80ms
Old 16th January 2014
  #13
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ended up getting the Alesis Elevate 3 monitors for $70, quite happy with them. Tried out the Samson MediaOne but the bluetooth didn't work for **** so I took them back
Old 16th January 2014
  #14
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Interesting. I got the Alesis M1 Active 320s for $90 (some places have them for $80) and they are better than the Gigaware computer speakers I had before that.
Old 18th January 2014
  #15
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Klipsch Promedia 2.1! It's got the sub, mann!

my go-to cheap computer speakers. Cool sound. Surprisingly decent.
Old 18th January 2014
  #16
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czoli's Avatar
 

Do the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 have decent mids as well? Not just a sis-boom type of thing?
Old 18th January 2014
  #17
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I actually think of them as a mid-rangey type speaker, yes. They are not sizzle and boom, at all. Which is probably why I like them!
Old 18th January 2014
  #18
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DBmixman's Avatar
 

These have proven surprisingly accurate for mixing at home or on the road. Amazon.com: Logitech Z313 Speaker System: Electronics

Old 18th January 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Klipsch Promedia 2.1! It's got the sub, mann!

my go-to cheap computer speakers. Cool sound. Surprisingly decent.
Yep, my go to here in my couch potato chair on the daily rig. These can be a useful reference once you get to know them. I mean, I can't hear different flavors of dither on them, but they do work for translating the amount of bass in my mix to the outside world.
Old 18th January 2014
  #20
Gear Head
 

The Promedia 2.1 are fantastic speakers, but I'm really not sure how "accurate" they are.
They do actually produce a decent stereo field unlike most computer speakers though, so that's definitely a plus.
And the bass is much tighter than all the other computer speakers I've ever heard as well.

My recommendation though would to keep an eye on craigslist, and buy a used pair of near fields (any decent brand will be better than all the suggestions above).
Or just do almost all your mixing through headphones, which is probably the best option to begin with (did that for many years before finally getting a decent set of speakers).
Old 18th January 2014
  #21
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I like to use JBL On Stage XT in this role. Those damn UFO sound marvellous for it's size. And i like it's stereo width (or stereo narrowness?).
At least i learned it's sound, so i can make transferable pre-mix on it.
Old 18th January 2014
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoprionv View Post
My recommendation though would to keep an eye on craigslist, and buy a used pair of near fields (any decent brand will be better than all the suggestions above).
Or just do almost all your mixing through headphones, which is probably the best option to begin with (did that for many years before finally getting a decent set of speakers).
Of those two I'd opt for the used nearfields. With headphones you'll end up with a completely different mix, IMO.
Old 18th January 2014
  #23
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cjogo's Avatar
Early Apple desktops ~!
Old 20th January 2014
  #24
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I have a pair of Altec Lansing ADA995 THX 5.1 speakers that aren't too bad for mixing in 2.1. Otherwise I do use headphones, DT770's. I would like pair of powered Monitors though.
Old 20th January 2014
  #25
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoprionv View Post
The Promedia 2.1 are fantastic speakers, but I'm really not sure how "accurate" they are.
They do actually produce a decent stereo field unlike most computer speakers though, so that's definitely a plus.
And the bass is much tighter than all the other computer speakers I've ever heard as well.
You are right, that's the cool thing about them, they have an actual stereo field, and depth. Yeah, the bass isn't bloated. The high end is not terribly transparent, though.

Mixing headphones I might recommend AKG K702. Basically be sure to buy in the $300 range an up for mixing headphones... cheaper used, of course.
Old 20th January 2014
  #26
Gear Nut
 

I got these to be used as a piano practice speaker and a real-world reference: Harman Kardon - SOUNDSTICKS3AM - harman kardon SoundSticks III Speaker System

The description, packaging and cosmetics are great. Sound, not so much. Cloudy in the mids and at the top. The .1 crosses high so if it's not right down the middle, the bass comes from one side. Pretty crappy, but most of the real world is crappy too :D

But then I got them for $100 new, so it was a good deal.
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