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Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
12/16/20 11:38 a.m.

So I've got limited space on my desk. And my current speakers take up too much room and tend to fall behind the desk due to the gap on the desk to wall (must be there).

I would love a sound bar with decent sound, but most importantly, can you get a speaker setup that doesn't need to be turned on/off? I want something that's seamless. All audio controls are in pc. That possible?

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe PowerDork
12/16/20 12:13 p.m.

Depends on how much you want to spend and how big your desk is. I use a DAC/Amp combo on headphones and they blow everything else away I tried. They are 80% as good as my old Martin Logan Prodigies at 5% the total cost. 

 

Headphones are like shiny happy people though, everybody has an opinion on them and none of them are the same. 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/16/20 12:22 p.m.

I have an old Cambridge Soundworks setup I bought on Facebook Marketplace for $20. It's a little clunky, but the two satellites don't take up much space, and with the sub, it punches way above it's weight.  It looks like it's the Microworks model: https://tmraudio.com/old-products/cambridge-soundworks-microworks-micro-satellite-speakers-subwoofer/

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/16/20 12:37 p.m.

I don't know what mine are, I've had them forever. The speakers are flat with a small footprint but a decent size so they sound good. But the key is a separate sub that sits under the desk. Just leave it on all the time (or put it on the same powerbar as the computer), plug it into the headphone jack on the computer and adjust volume through the computer.

Alternate option: mount speakers to the wall behind the desk. There are lots of thin/flat units designed for use with home theater.

If you want the sub, lots of subs on CL. I bought a full surround set of Paradigm speakers with sub along with a decent amp for what I was willing to pay for a replacement speaker. Again, just run a patch cord from the PC headphone out into an aux in on the amp. Or, what I've done in one room, hook up a Pi as an Airplay target and put the amp in a closet. But that's getting a little high effort.

 

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
12/16/20 1:31 p.m.

Yeah. No room for a sub. I've thought about the shelving behind the desk. That would work, but I would still have the issue of needing to get up to turn on the speakers and adjust volume everytime. Really annoying as it sits right, can't imagine having to stand up and be a human for a mere second of the day!

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
12/16/20 1:37 p.m.

Why not just control the volume from the PC?

 

I was going to recommend my old Logitech 5.1 set because it as cheap and awesome, but doesn't sound like you have the room.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
12/16/20 1:51 p.m.

PC speakers?  That sounds rather limiting.

I have a small amp driving my homemade DML flat panels hanging on the wall that I use most of the time.  If I want bass, I plug in a 1990's vintage Sony rack system with some thumpy 36" x 12" floor speakers. 

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
12/16/20 2:00 p.m.
RevRico said:

Why not just control the volume from the PC?

 

I was going to recommend my old Logitech 5.1 set because it as cheap and awesome, but doesn't sound like you have the room.

Yes, but I still have to adjust the volume level of the speakers every time I turn it on. The speaker volume control is also the on off. I have Logitech speakers as well. They're very good speakers for what they are, they're just so bulky and my desk is so small.

 

Edit: I just thought about this, what about a smart power strip?

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
12/16/20 2:03 p.m.

In reply to Vajingo :

I just leave my speakers on, on the volume level I prefer, and adjust through the PC as necessary. At least when I still had powered PC speakers that weren't my TV soundbar. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/16/20 2:06 p.m.

I'm with 1988RedT2  - get a small amp to drive the speakers, mount speakers on wall. Just set and forget the amp. Adjust volume by adjusting the volume output of the PC.

Example: this thing could be mounted on the bottom surface of the desk or attached to the side of the PC or whatever. Run a patch cord from the PC to the amp, then two wall mounted or bookshelf speakers. Done.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/16/20 4:46 p.m.

I know you said no room for a sub, but CL and FBM often have old Bose Acoustimass 2-channel systems for cheap.  Not many people want a 2.1 system in a 7.1 world.

travellering
travellering HalfDork
12/16/20 8:21 p.m.

Klipsch?

I haven't heard these in person, but from reading the thread they have no on/off switch, and the volume controls can be removed from the one speaker and placed more conveniently elsewhere on your desk.

 

noodle
noodle GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/16/20 8:52 p.m.

I have basically the set up that Mr. Tanner suggested...Cheap little Amazon amp wired to two Polk Mini Monitors.  Rock On!

 

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
12/16/20 9:01 p.m.

I like my Logitech setup, $25.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/16/20 9:09 p.m.

I'm still rocking these from ~1998.  They came with a Pentium 3 800mhz computer my family got when I was in high school.  They sound great, but I have had to repair the connection into the back of the sub a couple of times.

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 UberDork
12/16/20 9:38 p.m.

I've been really impressed with this little Chinesium 2.1 amp from Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T7MF7FW

I've got that amp with a pair of Philips bookshelf speakers I found in my attic and the cheapest 8" sub and sealed truck box from Amazon.  It's a lot of sound for a 2 car garage.

Before I got that amp, I was using the Boston Acoustics BA265 speakers that came with my, circa 2000, Pentium III, Gateway, desktop, I got freshman year of college.  They're a surprisingly good pair of powered speakers.

I'll second dj06482's recommendation of Cambridge Soundworks, I'm pretty sure I had this 4.1 set in college, it was pretty darn impressive paired with a Sound Blaster Audigy card.  Remember when sound cards were a must have?

 

 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/17/20 9:27 a.m.
bigdaddylee82 said:

.  Remember when sound cards were a must have?

I used to have a Dell tower in the late 90s and I had a driver issue with the sound card.  I had to uninstall and reinstall it every time or the sound would come ouf the piezo beeper near the power button.  I would start up a game and the music was just a monotone beep from the tower.

Klipsch has a couple offerings for computer speakers.  I don't think any of them offer anything useful under 200hz, but if you are just looking for a small footprint, they'll work ok for a maximum investment.

If you're looking for bang-for-buck, check out Dayton Audio.  They have a set of powered 4" bookshelf speakers that can be had on parts express for under $100.  They make great computer speakers. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/17/20 9:32 a.m.
bigdaddylee82 said:

Remember when sound cards were a must have?

Sort of, that was a short period of time in the early 90s before they just became integrated into every mobo by default.

My first sound card was a Sound Blaster 16 that was integrated into the same board as the 4x CD-Rom we got to replace the floppy drive on our computer (1992 Compaq Presario with a 486-SX 33).  Its actually the only discrete sound card I've ever had.  Everything after that was mobo integrated.

slefain
slefain PowerDork
12/17/20 10:45 a.m.

I offloaded PC sound to an old home stereo receiver that I just leave on. Receiver volume is set to 75% with me controlling the overall volume on the computer. 1/8" audio to RCA cable carries the signal to the "record player" input on the receiver. Speakers are mounted WAY up on the wall behind me. Speakers are two gigantic KLH floor speakers sitting on reinforced shelves. Playing Borderlands 2 is a riot.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
12/17/20 12:08 p.m.

I've never experienced speakers that performed better than even the cheapest over the ear headphones.

 

Throwing that option out there.

JamesMcD
JamesMcD SuperDork
12/17/20 12:19 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

I'm still rocking these from ~1998.  They came with a Pentium 3 800mhz computer my family got when I was in high school.  They sound great, but I have had to repair the connection into the back of the sub a couple of times.

I'm still using these, from 1997 or so - Altec Lansing ACS490. They really sound surprisingly great. Not a recommendation for the OP, but I think it's kinda funny:

 

WonkoTheSane (FS)
WonkoTheSane (FS) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/17/20 12:34 p.m.

That's awesome to see all the love for the turn of the century pc stuff.  I'm still rocking the Creative 5.1 setup from 2000(?).  I'm driving it through my Surface that doesn't have 5.1 output, so I use a $30 usb 7.1 sound card

The cool thing is that this card can fill audio, so all of my Amazon music and Pandora that I listen to all day is in (simulated) 5.1 surround.

DrBoost
DrBoost MegaDork
12/17/20 12:35 p.m.

How about a really simple project? It'll blow away any "PC speakers" you'll find.
Parts Express

 

preach
preach GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/17/20 6:02 p.m.


 

I, too, rock 20th century speakers on my desktop. I know not what you need just feeding the cheap berkeley part of this thread...

preach
preach GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/17/20 6:04 p.m.

Oh, and I adjust volume on the pc.

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