What should I be looking at for speakers?

B

BoredBiker

Audiophyte
I'm pretty new to this stuff, have never owned a true surround sound system. Currently I have a Pioneer VSX532 Surround Sound A/v Receiver, but I am only using the standard speakers from my very old stereo, so it's time to upgrade. What should I be looking for in regards to speakers? Any recommendations around $300 or less? Obviously I don't want to purchase something that sounds like poop.

I have attached a photo of the back of my stereo, and also a layout of my living room if that helps.
 

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MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Full Audioholic
Hi,

Take a look at:




Very best,
 
B

BoredBiker

Audiophyte
Hi,

Take a look at:




Very best,
Only two speakers? Shouldn't I be looking to utilize the 5.1 channels with 2 front, 2 surround, 1 sound bar, and 1 subwoofer?

What are the current speakers?
Philips 3-way Bass Flex Speaker System. Just speakers from a $120 CD stereo I had back in the early 2000's.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Only two speakers? Shouldn't I be looking to utilize the 5.1 channels with 2 front, 2 surround, 1 sound bar, and 1 subwoofer?



Philips 3-way Bass Flex Speaker System. Just speakers from a $120 CD stereo I had back in the early 2000's.
Your old speakers may do well as surrounds. You need a center channel speaker, a sound bar will not likely function the same. Still, even $300 for the three main speakers and a sub is very thin for a budget. I'd probably look for used speakers/subs to save money.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Only two speakers? Shouldn't I be looking to utilize the 5.1 channels with 2 front, 2 surround, 1 sound bar, and 1 subwoofer?
If you want all that you're going to need a lot more than $300...
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Full Audioholic
Only two speakers? Shouldn't I be looking to utilize the 5.1 channels with 2 front, 2 surround, 1 sound bar, and 1 subwoofer?

Philips 3-way Bass Flex Speaker System. Just speakers from a $120 CD stereo I had back in the early 2000's.
If you want good sound, it comes from good speakers and good room acoustics/treatment (assumption that your media is of good quality recording). Your budget isn't enough for a good set of 5.1 speakers with a competent sub. So I would suggest getting the best 2 channel setup you can afford and then as funds are saved, add channels and add a good sub.

Very best,
 
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Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
Bear in mind you are asking a bunch of hi-fi addicts with relatively good gear. $300 is a small budget for a complete 5.1 system and at that price point you would be relegated to 4 small satellites, a centre, and maybe a subwoofer, but the subwoofer would be lackluster as anything half-way decent in a sub starts at around $250 for the sub alone and for hi-fi you're looking at $600 and up for a good sub (like an SVS SB 1000 Pro). You have a few options:
  • As lovinthehd suggested, use the old speakers for surrounds to get even better front speakers, or forego the centre as MalveauX suggested and start with two good mains, like the ones he listed. Buying 3 of the same can be less expensive than 2 mains and a dedicated centre speaker (but some are only sold in pairs, so pay attention to that when ordering).
  • Go for a complete 5.1 package from a big box store. At least you should be able to hear them first and decide if they're good enough. At that price point, with small satellites the sub-woofer is not so much for low frequency effects but fills in for most of the bass as the satellites don't go very low. Subs at that price point will not go deep enough to reproduce all movie sound effects but should at least match your old 3-way.
  • Go for a better grade 5.0 setup and save up for a sub-woofer to add later. Something like these Fluance Elite Compact speakers for $320 sound ok to start. The speakers are all timber matched and adding a sub will improve both music and movie sound effects. A small speaker from a reputable company can outperform your 3-way as bass output from compact speakers has really improved over the years. The Fluance are only rated down to 80Hz, though, so you really need to add a sub.
Sub-woofers from Klipsch and Polk can be found starting at $200-$300. Members here do not consider that hi-fi, but I get the impression that that is not your goal. Cheaper subs will get close to 30Hz. A hi-fi sub like the SVS will go down to 20Hz and allow your system to cover the entire hearing spectrum.
 
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CajunLB

CajunLB

Full Audioholic
With a tight bud I’ve seen the $ 120 Dayton sub 1200 recommended often.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
With a tight bud I’ve seen the $ 120 Dayton sub 1200 recommended often.
It's a lot more than that in my area. Where can you find one for $120? One problem in the under $300 range is that the amplifiers are typically 120W or less. Not really enough power to pressurize your typical living space.
 
CajunLB

CajunLB

Full Audioholic
It's a lot more than that in my area. Where can you find one for $120? One problem in the under $300 range is that the amplifiers are typically 120W or less. Not really enough power to pressurize your typical living space.
The price has gone up a iittle. 157@ parts express.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Senior Audioholic
I talked a friend into one of these and was pretty pleasantly surprised by its performance for $100 sub.

It's rated down to 50Hz, the Dayton down to 40Hz and the Klipsch down to 30Hz. Basically the more you spend the deeper you can go. ;)
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
It's rated down to 50Hz, the Dayton down to 40Hz and the Klipsch down to 30Hz. Basically the more you spend the deeper you can go. ;)
50 hz is actually pretty crappy for a subooofer, lol. I can say based on personal listening experience that it's capable of playing audibly deeper than 50 hz, tho its not gonna get you anything very solid below 30. You pretty much nailed it tho, you get what you pay for.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
Tight budget for sure, nothing used up for sale locally?
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Full Audioholic
Heya,

If you want great sound for life, or at least 20 years or so, then start with two great 2 channels speakers. Then add a sub (if you are into movies); a good sub. Then as you expand, add a center. The center should be significant if you're into theater, it's where most of the info will come from, so it needs to be great (and that means likely big too). Lastly, add two surrounds. They're the least useful and least meaningful in the 5 channels. You could slowly build a really great system to round out a few decades and have great quality.

If that's not an option and you just want decent budget speakers for as cheap as possible, then look to the Dayton B652 Air. You can get them in pairs. Get three sets and use one for the center channel even and the last one, since they're so cheap, can be "for parts" in case something goes wrong. They're big 6.5" woofers with pretty good tweeters for their cost. They can dig pretty deep too for what they are. And add a 10 to 12 inch sub to compliment by handling 80hz down to 30hz basically (the budget options above by Monoprice are about all that will fit this bill for cost or Dayton DIY kits).


(and I will argue, do not bother with the horizontal center version in this Dayton AIR range, they're small drivers, not worth it, I've used them and measured the horizontal center and its not as good as just using another standard horizontal bookshelf version with the bigger driver)

Very best,
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
It's a lot more than that in my area. Where can you find one for $120? One problem in the under $300 range is that the amplifiers are typically 120W or less. Not really enough power to pressurize your typical living space.
It's gone up a bit but $160 delivered ain't bad https://www.parts-express.com/Dayton-Audio-SUB-1200-12-120-Watt-Powered-Subwoofer-300-629

Can't tell much about capability based on only the wattage rating of the amp, just pretty much a useless parameter for sub shopping without more information. If its a sensitive driver then it could be much better than a less sensitive driver with a more powerful amp....
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Kingnoob

Kingnoob

Audioholic Field Marshall
It's gone up a bit but $160 delivered ain't bad https://www.parts-express.com/Dayton-Audio-SUB-1200-12-120-Watt-Powered-Subwoofer-300-629

Can't tell much about capability based on only the wattage rating of the amp, just pretty much a useless parameter for sub shopping without more information. If its a sensitive driver then it could be much better than a less sensitive driver with a more powerful amp....
Everything rising price on that site and sub drivers, box sets rose a ton also .
$300 isn’t even enough for two front speakers, unless you wait for jbl sale .
 

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