Before You Buy Those Cheap Computer Speakers....

I have invested some decent (but not stupid) money on my home stereo, but I have realized I listen to my crappy computer speakers about 3 times more.

So here is the first step in my upgrade, a pair of powered studio monitor speakers.  At under $200 a pair, they are not that much more expensive than higher-end computer speakers.   These are built for near-field listening and sound much better than most computer speakers.  The one I chose are a tad large, but I have loved them so far, even without a subwoofer.  These particular units are cheaper at Amazon by $10 but Sweetwater has better selection and help choosing studio monitors.  Just make sure you have the cable situation sorted out -- most studio monitors take a special 3-prong balanced XLR input common in high end and pro audio but not in most consumer audio.  But you can easily find a number of converter cables.

If I keep listening at my computer, the next improvement step is an inexpensive DAC (which can correct a lot of mess in computer digital audio).

  • morganovich

    if you are listening to your computer for things like rhapsody, spotifiy, and pandora, i'd recommend getting a sonos for your main system.

    it gives you all those things and will access any music you have on networked drives as well.

    it has a great interface and setup is very, very easy.

    it can output optical or digital PCM, so you can use any dac you like. (i'm using a theta and love it)

    i actually tossed my 16 zone home system and replaced it with sonos. this is expenssive, but if you are doing one zone, it's $399 for a ZP90.

    you can use any PC, an ipad, itouch, iphone, or android phone as a remote.

  • Sol

    I've been meaning to buy a couple of inexpensive monitor speakers for several years now, I'll definitely keep these in mind!

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Musician's Friend is running a sale on studio monitors right now.

    Big fan of Mackie stuff, Alesis is decent.

    These speakers are pretty good, too (pricey):

    http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/iPod_and_Computer_Speakers/iPod_and_Computer_Speakers/MM-1/Overview.html

  • frankania

    I just run a cord from the "headphones" jack on my compu to my regular home stereo which has speakers in other rooms as well. Sounds great. You don't even have to buy a special cord. Just take an old headphone set and cut the cable off and install rca input plugs on the other end..