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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am looking out for some Good Quality External speakers to connect to my Laptop. And I am confused between buying a 2.1 or a 5.1 Speaker system. My objective is, when I am listening to Music or watching Movies on my Laptop I should get a out of the world sound experience. I am also more in to listening Club Music so for me the speakers that I go for should have good Bass, When I mean Bass it should just not sound as if someone is Hitting hard on some Drum, it should be a good clear, stereo, Bass but a balanced sound. So I am in two minds on should I go for a 2.1 or a 5.1 Sound system. My requirement again is Club, Disco Like Sound Effect for enjoying Fast Paced Music (Trance, Club Music) with some more emphasis on Bass ( not entirely but quite a bit). And also good Stereo Cinema surround Theatre like sound for watching Movies on DVD, I have shortlisted 2 speakers Altec Lansing FX-5051


http://alteclansing.com/index.php?file=north_product_detail&iproduct_id=fx5051


and JBL's Encounter


http://www.jbl.com/home/products/product_detail.aspx?prod=ENCOUNTER/230&CheckProduct=Y


Can anyone please advice appropriately...


Thanks
 

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Welcome to the forum :wave: :wave: :wave:

When watching movies you'll get a better experience with a 5.1 :yes: instead of 2.1 ...

Specifications are similar (around 12-13 wpc) except JBL sub has more output but frequency response is better on the Lansing (30Hz) :yes:

I said go ahead and get the Lansing ... but that's my opinion :bigsmile:

(I own JBL speakers, but they're for HT use - Stadium and Voice)
 

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Just to be clear, you want to watch movies on your laptop and/or listen to music on the laptop?

Assuming I have the Q correct, I'd choose the altec lansing between the two based purely on the pictures. The JBL's seem "gimmicky" for some reason -- built more for aethestics.

That being said, I'd PROBABLY invest in a good pair of headphones instead based on the statements you're making. For less than a $100 you can get a pretty good pair of headphones that can isolate you from the outside work and will be much more detailed/accurate.

As an aside, it's pretty hard to get good bass from a small sub. For the most part they're just noise makers. They can be effective (I use a 2.1 set up with a pretty decent laptec setup), but I wouldn't expect the precision you seem to be looking for.

Also, I think it might be difficult to get a good 5.1 setup for a laptop set up. I'd probably be inclined to stick with a 2.1 setup if I were going to buy some external speakers.

All my $0.02.

JCD
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hey salvasol and JCD,

Thanks for your advice guys. salvasol I am also of somewhat an opinion that maybe If I also want to watch movies a 5.1 Speaker System will give a better experience. But you know thats What I am confused about, one of the showrooms that I visited the guy told me look..You have to decide between what would you like to give more emphasis Movies or Listening Music. because a 2.1 system will give you good sound output in terms of only music wheras 5.1 will give you a better output in movies...you cannot have both in one system...is that the case guys ?? can I not have a system which has a balance of both the things like when I am watching Movie it gives me a good surround sound experience and when I am only listening to music it gives me a good music output with proper BASS and all that. Can a 5.1 system cannot do the job to the best when comes to only listening to music. Hey 'JCD' dont go by the looks of the JBL speakers that I am talking about, 'The Encounter', Trust me I have listened to it the music output is Fantastic this one is for people who just want extra BASS. Listening to it actually feels that you are in a Disco. Sound is Great and the Punch is just there. But salvasol what does having good frequency mean on a speaker system as you have mentioned frequency response is better on the Lansing (30Hz). what does frequency have to do in a speaker system. So after going through the specs you are saying Altec-Lansing looks better is it ? the JBL Speakers that you have salvasol you are saying they are more for HT use - Stadium and Voice, meaning ? salvasol can you pls explain that...

I am confused man I dont know what one to go for...I may hardly view around 2-3 movies a week and I am also looking out for a speaker system which will give me a good BASS, experience while listening to music (You know like a club or a Disco) what do you suggest a 5.1 or a 2.1. someone just told me if the price difference between the two is not huge go for a 5.1, would you also agree with it or what ? Apart from the Altec-Lansing Model that I have mentioned below can you think of any speaker system which will give me a good surround experience and also make me feel in a club when I am just listening to music. Please help...

Cheers !!
 

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Here is the difference. 5.1 will give you spearkers placed to the side or in back of you. You can hear the helicopters flying behind you or gunshots coming from the side.That is the #1 difference. Yes you also have a center speaker for dialog but a 2.1 system can "simulate" that quite well.

So why not just get 5.1? Well since I assume you have a fixed budget a 5.1 syatem that costs $500 has speakers that cost about $100 each a $500 2.1 system will have 2 speakers worth $250 each.Its a simplistic example but you get the point. If you spend the same $ on a 2.1 system you should be able to get a system that plays louder, clearer and important to you goes LOWER than buying an equivilant priced 5.1 system.

You mention several times wanting to feel like you are in a disco. Well when you go to a disco what kind of speakers do they have? BIG ONES! They can move a lot of air and play down to lower frequency (below 100hz) that is why you feel that punch in your gut in the club from the bass.

The decsion criteria is very clear to me.
1. If you MUST have surround sound effects coming from all around you. You need 5.1
2. If you MUST feel the bass like a club you need the biggest speakers and the ability to play as low as you can get (from your budget) as you can get which means a 2.1 system.

You have to decide what the priority is. You can get surround sound and good bass if you pay enough from 5.1 No matter how much you pay from 2.1 you can't get surround sound.

What is your $ budget.
 

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Here is the difference. 5.1 will give you spearkers placed to the side or in back of you. You can hear the helicopters flying behind you or gunshots coming from the side.That is the #1 difference. Yes you also have a center speaker for dialog but a 2.1 system can "simulate" that quite well.

So why not just get 5.1? Well since I assume you have a fixed budget a 5.1 syatem that costs $500 has speakers that cost about $100 each a $500 2.1 system will have 2 speakers worth $250 each.Its a simplistic example but you get the point. If you spend the same $ on a 2.1 system you should be able to get a system that plays louder, clearer and important to you goes LOWER than buying an equivilant priced 5.1 system.

You mention several times wanting to feel like you are in a disco. Well when you go to a disco what kind of speakers do they have? BIG ONES! They can move a lot of air and play down to lower frequency (below 100hz) that is why you feel that punch in your gut in the club from the bass.

The decsion criteria is very clear to me.
1. If you MUST have surround sound effects coming from all around you. You need 5.1
2. If you MUST feel the bass like a club you need the biggest speakers and the ability to play as low as you can get (from your budget) as you can get which means a 2.1 system.

You have to decide what the priority is. You can get surround sound and good bass if you pay enough from 5.1 No matter how much you pay from 2.1 you can't get surround sound.

What is your $ budget.
Good advice ... but don't forget that he is looking for a 5.1 for his laptop not exactly for HT :yes: (at least that's what I think) :bigsmile:
 

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Help me clarify: What are you plans for the system you're buying??? ... I understand you want to watch movies and listen music, but Where do you plan to use it??? ... your room, living room, etc. ... How do you plan to connect the system ??? ... USB or 3.5mm from laptop I assume. Do you have a receiver, DVD player, etc. or everything will be connected directly to laptop??? ... Im assuming the last (laptop will be used for everything) :yes:

... But you know thats What I am confused about, one of the showrooms that I visited the guy told me look..You have to decide between what would you like to give more emphasis Movies or Listening Music. because a 2.1 system will give you good sound output in terms of only music wheras 5.1 will give you a better output in movies...you cannot have both in one system...
Most of us take the advise from salesman with a grain of salt ... is very rare to find somebody who really knows what he is talking about (at least I do) ... is not that I'm an expert, but I learned I lot here from experienced people :yes:

You can use a 5.1 as a 2.1 system :yes: ... in your case, your laptop will have the option in your speaker set up to choose the speaker setting either as a 5.1, 2.1, etc. ... now the question is: How are you going to hook up the system to your laptop??? ... I just read the manual instructions and it tells you how to use the system as 2.1 http://alteclansing.com/images/user/FX5051_MAN.pdf

... But salvasol what does having good frequency mean on a speaker system as you have mentioned frequency response is better on the Lansing (30Hz). what does frequency have to do in a speaker system. So after going through the specs you are saying Altec-Lansing looks better is it ?
Well, if a speaker has a good frequency response let's say 30Hz vs 35Hz ... the speaker with 35Hz response wont play the 30Hz sound as good as the other, it will paly it but at a lower volume (this isn't to important because most of the time any frequency below 80Hz is played by the subwoofer (that's in a HT set up, but in your case you'll be using a laptop and I'm not sure if you can set up the system to send any audio below 80Hz to your sub ... you'll speaker will have to play every sound from movie or music :yes:)

...the JBL Speakers that you have salvasol you are saying they are more for HT use - Stadium and Voice, meaning ? salvasol can you pls explain that...
The Stadium are big speakers (40"H x 9"Wx14"D) ... you need a receiver to connect them, they can't be used directly with computer. Here is a picture of them (second picture is my current set up, a crazy idea using two pair of Stadiums on each side)



... I am also looking out for a speaker system which will give me a good BASS, experience while listening to music (You know like a club or a Disco) ...
To get a real BASS feeling and good experience when watching movies or listening to music you need better speakers, a good subwoofer and a receiver, DVD/CD player if you want, but you can use you laptop to play them too ... I don't think you'll be able to accomplish this with just the laptop and a 5.1 :yes:

Sometimes I use my laptop with an external sound card for music and get a really good sound ... but what I do is, I use my DJ amp, speakers, EQ. mixer, etc. that I have at home as a hobby :bigsmile:
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes Salvasol and Toolatecrew,

Help me clarify: What are you plans for the system you're buying??? ... I understand you want to watch movies and listen music, but Where do you plan to use it??? ... your room, living room, etc. ... How do you plan to connect the system ??? ... USB or 3.5mm from laptop I assume. Do you have a receiver, DVD player, etc. or everything will be connected directly to laptop??? ... Im assuming the last (laptop will be used for everything)

Yes Salvasol I will use it in my room and I intend to use my Laptop only to connect to everything. But I am still trying to figure out if my Laptop will be able to give me a 5.1 surround sound experience. There are some external sound cards that are available to which I can connect a 5.1 speaker system I wonder if that will help me.

So in all probablities what you guys are saying is I can opt for 5.1 system and use it as 2.1 whenever required right Salvasaol and Toolatecrew...so but then my speakers should be really good to do the dual job !! I want BASS guys real good BASS if you guys can suggest me a speaker which will do this dual job perfectly well pls be my guest help me further... Can you guys think of any system which has good BASS and feels great when using it as 5.1. I believe if a 5.1 is THX certified nothing like it right ? There are these days some xternal sound cards available especially for Laptops to enhance the sound quality and to use it for a 5.1 system. My budget roughly is around $200 for a good...good speaker system.

You mention several times wanting to feel like you are in a disco. Well when you go to a disco what kind of speakers do they have? BIG ONES! They can move a lot of air and play down to lower frequency (below 100hz) that is why you feel that punch in your gut in the club from the bass.

Yes Toolatecrew I am more into club music. So I want that from the speaker system that I opt for. The JBL, 'Encounter' series that I mentioned earlier delivers that, and comes very close for that matter to that. But it is a 2.1 system so that is what is stopping me from going for it otherwise it is a gem of a speaker Trust me !!

As usual Many Thanks in advance...Cheers !
 

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... I will use it in my room and I intend to use my Laptop only to connect to everything. But I am still trying to figure out if my Laptop will be able to give me a 5.1 surround sound experience. There are some external sound cards that are available to which I can connect a 5.1 speaker system I wonder if that will help me...
I'm sure it will help ... but the Lansing you're looking at can be connected to computer via USB or 3.5mm and can be used as 5.1 or 2.1 ... so no need to spend another $50.00 for an external sound card.

... I want BASS guys real good BASS if you guys can suggest me a speaker which will do this dual job perfectly well pls be my guest help me further..... The JBL, 'Encounter' series that I mentioned earlier delivers that, and comes very close for that matter to that. But it is a 2.1 system so that is what is stopping me from going for it otherwise it is a gem of a speaker Trust me !!
I asume your room is about 13' x 13' ... you already heard the JBL; if you can I suggest you to get the Lansing and try it "in your room", forget about the store ... you need to hear them at your place, if you don't like them just exchange them or return them to the store.

Is hard to tell if they will perform the way you want ... every room is different.

If you're not happy with either Lansing or JBL ... your next option will be to get a HTIB (Home theater in a box); but it will cost you more than $200 ... Do you have a TV??? ... there's some HTIB that comes with a DVD player, receiver, speakers and a sub :yes:

Here is some ... http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage...p=+currentprice+skuid&sc=audioSP&id=pcat17080 and http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Home..._cat/GOOGLE/link/ref/rpem/ccd/categorylist.do
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Hey Salvasol,

Can you please tell me a good site which will probable have a unbiased review on the Altec Lansing-FX-5051, you know without being very favourable to the company and just give a true review on the way the product is. Secondly Any speaker that comes to your mind which is THX certified has good BASS and could be better than the one I have selected (Altec Lansing FX-5051) should be around $200. Good Surround Sound and Terrific BASS if anything that you would like to suggest...

Cheers !
 

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Hey Salvasol,

Can you please tell me a good site which will probable have a unbiased review on the Altec Lansing-FX-5051, you know without being very favourable to the company and just give a true review on the way the product is. Secondly Any speaker that comes to your mind which is THX certified has good BASS and could be better than the one I have selected (Altec Lansing FX-5051) should be around $200. Good Surround Sound and Terrific BASS if anything that you would like to suggest...

Cheers !
THX Certification in a $200 set of speakers is irellevant. There may be MANY speakers that pass those certifications but the company simply chose not to spend the $5 or whatever it costs to pay THX for the stickers and certifications. Simply means it passes certain standards. NOT having THX could mean it doean't pass, it does pass or it exceeds standards. Pay it no attantion.

Why not check out getting a Home Theatre in a box like Samsung HT x70 http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater-systems/samsung-ht-x70/4505-6740_7-32472461.html?tag=txt you can hook your PC up to it or use it on its own. Its around $200

You can find a review of Altc Lansing here http://www.everythingusb.com/altec_lansing_fx5051.html
 

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THX Certification in a $200 set of speakers is irellevant. There may be MANY speakers that pass those certifications but the company simply chose not to spend the $5 or whatever it costs to pay THX for the stickers and certifications... [/url]
I completely agree with this statement ... there's a lot of products that don't have the THX sticker because they don't want to spend wherever money that need to get the certification; but, that doesn't mean that don't have or exceed wherever requirement is need it to get the THX certification :yes:

Like I said before, the best way is to get a system (Lansing, Samsung, Sony, Onkyo, etc.) and try it at home ... if it doesn't work, just return it to the store for a refund or exchange :yes:
 

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I completely agree with this statement ... there's a lot of products that don't have the THX sticker because they don't want to spend wherever money that need to get the certification; but, that doesn't mean that don't have or exceed wherever requirement is need it to get the THX certification :yes:
This hurts my feelings:crying:

Just kidding. THX is good for a number of things but you are right that you do not have to have THX to get great performance.

Can you guys think of any system which has good BASS and feels great when using it as 5.1. I believe if a 5.1 is THX certified nothing like it right ?
augustya - I have always been very impressed with the Klipsch THX multimedia systems. They seem to have good bass but even better the main speakers are very clear and can play quite loud.

Are you on a budget? What is your idea of serious bass? There's always DIY!
 

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The Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 or 5.1 would be the systems I was thinking of. It looks like the 2.1 can be had for around $100 and the 5.1 as low as $250. If you can stretch your budget at all I think you would be very happy with the 5.1 system.
 

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Hey salvasol and JCD,

....because a 2.1 system will give you good sound output in terms of only music wheras 5.1 will give you a better output in movies...you cannot have both in one system...is that the case guys ?? can I not have a system which has a balance of both the things like when I am watching Movie it gives me a good surround sound experience and when I am only listening to music it gives me a good music output with proper BASS and all that. Can a 5.1 system cannot do the job to the best when comes to only listening to music.
For $200 its going to be tough to get a speaker system for a laptop that will sound great in either 2.1 or 5.1 compared to a good set of $200 headphones.
There was a day that a surround system simply did not do 2 channel music well, this is not the case anymore. Receivers now have direct modes that can be turned on that makes it as good as if it were a separate 2 ch system.
Dont get me wrong PC speaker system have come a long way in the last 5 years but they simply dont have the size to really impact the sound the way a true receiver and speakers can do. A so called sub that comes with the PC system are really just low frequency boxes as they have to handle frequency ranges far higher than a real sub and do not go low enough with enough air movement to really give you that chest rattling thump that you get with a larger dedicated sub.
PC sattalite speakers rarely go below 600hz and the so called sub has to deliver the stuff from 600Hz and below this rarely happens so there is a large hole of frequencies missing down to about 400Hz and then the sub usually cant deliver anything loud enough below 40Hz to make an impact. The Bose cube system that some people get sucked into buying is a great example of this.
 

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The Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 or 5.1 would be the systems I was thinking of. It looks like the 2.1 can be had for around $100 and the 5.1 as low as $250. If you can stretch your budget at all I think you would be very happy with the 5.1 system.
X2 I have a Klipsch 2.1 setup connected to my TV upstairs (It was quite expensive when I bought it 5 years ago around $300 CAN)The wife wanted small speakers so rather than a cheap HTIB I went with these. It plays surprisinly loud in the living room. Its stilla sat sub setup with a small sub so it doesn't go that low but its not terrible.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey thxgoon,

God Just got very kind on me and gave me some good sense that he made me see a Demo of the Klipsch Promdeia GMX 2.1 speakers. Goodness Gracious Me...I just cant imagine what I was missing so far...IT IS OUTSTANDINGLY FANTASTIC !! WOW !! what a stuff. Mindblowing. Mindboggling that a speaker can be so splendidly well. It has changed the way I think about speakers. I have not been able to check out their 5.1 stuff I was wonndering which Klipsch 5.1 model should I looke out for which can give me equally good expreience as the 2.1 did. Any model that you can think of in the promdeia 5.1 also there are 2 variants available so...

Thanks to you aswell for bringing this enlightenment in my life...:bigsmile:
 
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