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[ rant ] where did all the good speakers go?

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codezer0 1 month ago

I remember way back when i had bought some 5.1 speakers for my pc, being disappointed that i couldn't afford a 7.1 set at the time. Granted, they were reduced in price to $50 but still... At the time i had every reason to think that by the time i needed to build another tower, i might have found some 7.1 speakers for the same or similar price i paid for these 5.1 sets. That sentiment was over a decade ago. And supporting EAX for the majority of pc games was still a legitimate thing.

Nowadays it just seems like good surround speakers for pc have all but disappeared, and I'm quite upset about that. And with RE2make supporting Dolby Atmos, the only things i can find in any big box stores that claim to support it require spending as much as a 2080ti goes for, on just the speakers. That's just nuts to me. It's also disheartening.

I don't particularly like headsets either, because thr size of my head makes almost anything going over the head uncomfortable for any extended sessions. That and, to account for those older games i do play that expect EAX i do use a Creative sound card to get support with ALchemy on Windows 10. Those headsets that claim to have 5(7).1 support almost always use a usb dac, which disregards all of that effort. And while the present speakers still sound good, not having a viable option in the event of a sudden failure is concerning. Call it mental insurance, if you will.

Comments Sorted by:

pcbldragain 3 points 1 month ago

I agree, either its a tiny junky BT speaker or they don't make much else. Last system I gamed on long ago I had some 4.1 speakers, I used a splitter on the fronts and ran HK PC speakers also and it was fairly good for games. I was hoping to get a logitec z506 but don't expect them to be awesome. I have an old 5.1 amp but its pretty big to have around the PC lol. I've tried a few soundbars and subs lately and most of them are not impressive, even $300 ones. I have ancient big cheap klh stereo speakers that are far better, and they were bargain speakers back in the day. Even just 12' subs are another animal tech can't catch up to I guess.

Crazycatman 4 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Yeah, my dad has some of those KLH speakers. Along with some Bose.

darkshadoku 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

You can find some pretty good Dolby Atmos home theater systems for around 550-800 but don't know if that in your price range or not. I purchased an Onkyo HTS7700 Dolby Atmos system (receiver + speakers) for 699 at frys about 3-4 years ago and it is still running strong today. I had thought about buying a bose system for 999+ but after i heard this one in person at the theater room it was no contest, this one sounded way better for a LOT less.

I have tried the atmos function i believe on FF15 via hdmi from GPU to receiver to my 4k HDR Tv as i don't have a 4k Monitor and it sounded great.

codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

Ouch... Yeah, that would still, be too rich for me. Too rich for an impulse buy, certainly.

Considering that if i were able to replace my old 1080p tv, one of the few tv's i would consider replacing it with with low input lag happens to be an LG at under $300 as i type this on Amazon; but that wouldn't count for all the converters needed to get my old consoles and the like to work with it.

At least my capturing pc wouldn't have a problem, as it has a 1060 in it. But the added cost for said converters and adapters (and upgraded capture card[s]) quickly pushes it towards $1000+ just for the display.

AceBalthazar 4 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

where did all the good speakers go?

there is a very simple answer to this question.

they didn't go anywhere. they still exist, but the price range for quality speakers is well above what most people can afford.

Those headsets that claim to have 5(7).1 support almost always use a usb dac,

virtual surround sound in headphones is a gimmick companies use to sell cheap **** to people that don't understand how surround sound actually works. you cannot get 7.1 surround out of two drivesr.

codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

And yet I have knuckleheads elsewhere trying to tell me that they can totally get Atmos over headphones just because they're $500 as opposed to $50.

AceBalthazar 4 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

i have 500 dollar headphones, sound quality is stellar but i would never be fool enough to try and convince anyone they support dolby atmos or surround sound

codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

at this point, I wish I knew if there was a way to mod my Turtle Beach X41's so that the head piece can get power off of a USB cable perhaps as opposed to depending on AAA batteries for power. For the surround effect, they are convincing enough I was able to actually complete Alien Isolation on Xbox 360. but their battery life is tragic.

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codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

This is the first I've heard of it.

At one end, i didn't even think Atmos for pc's was a thing, until i found it as an audio option in RE2make demo.

As stated before, i typically don't care for headphones because of the issues wirh getting them on my head to begin with, which also doesn't help durability. It hasn't mattered what brand I've had, every set of headphones or headsets would be rendered broken or useless over time. So I'm not particularly willing to spend a bunch of money on something i expect to break. Per my own research, most all headsets only want to use USB if they have any surround support. But simply put, the software to have correct audio for my older games that expect EAX basically need a Creative chip along the line. My main pc for instance uses an Audigy Rx. And most USB headsets use realtek or something else entirely. The only workaround i could find for this, was to find a headset that has the multiple analog audio connectors, like the Roccat 5.1 analog, or the Razer Tiamat 7.1. Or an optical feed, like the Turtle Beach x41 set i presently have connected to my living room tv.

From what i could find, atmos capable speakers need some kind of receiver... Which also likely means no optical input or analog inputs from my sound card as a fallback. So I'm even less enthused there... But as it is, i don't even know what those options you mentioned cost... I just know the electronics stores around here want a minimum four digits for ANYTHING with Atmos support, which is an immediate turn off.

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codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Scenario 1 - when streaming gaming from just my main pc, if I have the mic on, it picks up feedback from surround sound speakers, unless I turn the volume down so low that then I can't hear what's going on in game. This makes playing anything that depends on audio cues unfairly difficult. And stereo just never does positional audio correctly.

To that end, surround sound headphones. Would prefer if the band went behind the head, but I know well enough to know that nobody makes that anymore, despite how much more accessible that design style was.

At the moment, most that I could personally find that claim to support any kind of surround setup, all use a USB DAC that basically breaks the patched support for older games that I still care about playing, or do let's plays on.

I mentioned earlier, that all I could find for new headphones that do this, are either the Roccat Analog or the Razer Tiamat 7.1, and that's it.

Another possible solution, would be to find a way to mod my existing set of Turtle Beach X41 surround sound headset I use on my TV, to have the headset say, receive power from a usb cord as opposed to two AAA batteries. I've been satisfied with the surround capability of them already; my issue is that their battery life his horrendously bad, and will get snap-crackle-pop when the battery is low enough for it to complain.

Scenario 2 - Half expected there to be a 7.1 PC speaker set by now for cheap... from looking around now, it's as if surround PC speakers have effectively disappeared, leading me to feel as if PC gaming has regressed in the audio department. Then comes along RE2make, which supports Dolby Atmos.

All I can find at the moment says I basically have to use an HDMI out from my GPU to funnel Atmos data in a supported environment. In practicality though, if I did have to buy a new 5.1 or more set of speakers for that, I also want it to support either the analog outs from my existing sound card, or the optical digital out so as to keep legacy software support covered in addition to expanding supported sound stage(s).

This is where I'm admittedly in the dark. And going to electronics stores like Best Buy or Fry's electronics in person isn't helping my outlook on the matter, either. And in practice, "simulated" surround in any aspect tends to sound hollow and trashy, like every realtek audio chip ever. If the whole setup is approaching (or exceeding) a grand, my expectations for it will be higher than my existing expectations for a Half Life 3 release.

codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Upon using google for those model numbers, every single item you've listed individually is $500+. I don't even have that to spare.

I'm still coasting along on a set of logitech z506 speakers because they were $55 at the time, more than ten years ago.

As it is, i find the $160 asking price for the Tiamat 7.1 v2's to be too much, except there's enough going on with them and i don't have to sacrifice anything major to have them usable on my main pc. Though paying that much for something inherently fragile I'm expected to wear is cause for pause and concern.

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codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 1 month ago


If We are talking about a headset, it either has to support the analog outs from my existing sound card or have an optical/digital. At least then, if it is using my sound card for the processing, i won't have any issues in handling old or current games.

To that end, i realize how close i would be to simply using my existing Turtle beach x41 headset this way. The reason I don't, is because their battery life makes them ill fitting for a marathon session, let alone for all day usage. A shame, because they are super light even with batteries and very comfortable when console gaming. Maybe if there was a way to say, have a pseudo battery plug-in and then power the headset with USB, that would solve that dilemma, proably cheaper than anything i could get similarly new.

If we're talking speakers, seems Hollywood has more or less forced for Atmos to only work via HDMI. Even with that, i would hope there is a way to pipe analog or optical audio to them, so that i can then use them with the (majority) of games that don't need the Atmos protocol.

Radox-0 5 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

If we're talking speakers, seems Hollywood has more or less forced for Atmos to only work via HDMI. Even with that, i would hope there is a way to pipe analog or optical audio to them, so that i can then use them with the (majority) of games that don't need the Atmos protocol.

Why would using HDMI be a issue however? It is not. I do not use ATMOS and have 0 issues using Audio specifically being carried over HDMI to a receiver. Have absolutely no issues playing games which do not support Atmos perfect. Can set it up as 5.1 or 2.0, or any other combination really. Works fine.

codezer0 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Any monitor worth its salt is going to use DisplayPort, not HDMI for its preferred connection.

As is now, my 4K monitor can only support that resolution on a dp connector; it would need both HDMI connectors in tandem for that alternative. I'm not about to dump a monitor that still works for that.

It also basically blocks me from using my sound card to cover present and legacy games i still care about playing.