How to choose a great speaker [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-25-2011, 10:54 PM
I want to change my old speaker,it is not a great sound,when i want to choose a new ,how can i look for? I can not afford a expensive price,the acceptable is about u.s.dollar 100-150.

Raj J
07-25-2011, 11:41 PM
good day mate,

see you have a VERY tight budget. cannot help much here with a budget like that. I can only recommend second hand, or some good used speakers on e-bay, which I would personally trust to begin with, never know what you'll end up with.

I would recommend something from a dealer who may have a good pair of speakers for trade-ins or on specials.

There isn't anything such as a "good speaker" - it all depends on YOUR ears. there are speakers that cost $15 grand and some cost $50 grand; sometimes the $15grand systems beat the hell out of the more expensive ones, but how does it beat it is the question:
1. you have to judge speakers based on your musical tastes, listening tastes and type of music you like.
2. whether you want a lot of bass, mids, or highs; whether it is a soundstage you are after or whether you want a well balanced system that is capable of delivering all frequencies smoothly across the frequency spectrum
3. you must also decide what ampplification you're using or going to use? is it a good amp, can it drive the load? can it handle peaks because remember any speaker is only as good as the amo driving it.

you may have the best speakers in the world, but if you have a crappy amp - then it would not sound it's best would it?

based on the above 3 points - this is what makes a good speaker. therefore to answer your question, what is a good speaker to buy for $100 to $150 there really is no answer! you will have to do some searching and shop around for a good bargain.

I can think of a few that may be within that price range:
JBL mini monitors
Paradigm monitors
Jamo monitors
Wharfadale speakers
Boston Acoustics
Tannnoy monitors
Kef moniters

All of the above have good sized monitor speakers that are capable of delivering good results, BUT remember you must have a decent amplifier to drive them. don't use some cheapo receiver or integrated that runs out of steam or just dumps distortion vs real watts/rms into 8 ohms is the key here.

Once your ready to upgrade to something better, I would also save about $100 to annother $150 on cables and interconnects, and your main source components - that way you will get an all-rounded system that can deliver what you are looking for within the room they are placed in.

There is simply no point in having the top of the line massive high-end audio system in a room the size of a toilet! Infact I have come across a person whom I knew very well you had a mega buck system in such a small room that the drivers were in your face literally! the room was way too small, in fact my garage was twice bigger!

Having said the above, similarly there is no point in having a nice little mini-monitor system in a large room. would be like trying to sing the national anthem in a large stadium during a football game, you'll never be heard across the other side too well.

At the end of the day, what you want is something that will work fine with your amplifier, and something that has good control over the frequency spectrum, easy to drive and easy to maintain/position. you don't want to get a speaker that is hard to drive, then you will have to upgrade your amplification, plus wires, plus cables, plus source, and the list goes on & on... to the point where you will be spending way more than just couple hundred bucks....

Use the audio magazines only as guides, as they are very hard to go by because they use various room characteristics to achieve that sound they are talking about. if you want to go high-end in the future, this is a whole different league mate, something worth doing if you have the bucks!

Better to start off small and aim high later, and remember to save as much as you can because you never know when you would need to upgrade...
cheers & happy searching,

Raj J
07-25-2011, 11:44 PM
sorry about the mis-spelling ,what I meant about e-bay is "personally I would NOT trust e-bay" you need to listen to the speakers and be able to look at them and hear how they have been set up - only then should you buy. same goes with all electronics, unless it was a CD or record or something that you know by the name of the artist that you have ordered on-line.

07-26-2011, 05:13 AM
Well,he came and went before we knew it.

Great amswers though, Raj.

07-26-2011, 07:32 AM
No doubt, great contribution Raj. Thank you...

Raj J
07-26-2011, 05:23 PM
Yes, Thanks guys.

I was wondering what happened to this fella! He seemed to have a very tight budget, tighter than a nun's nasty!

With that kind of budget you are definetly going for used items and this is a very hard to please ball game when you're only on a hundred dollar spend! I remember when I was a student at uni, $100 dollars got me some cheap old pioneer setup used from some guy that liked to rap! The system had great punch 100 watter, but also great distortion...

I then told myself enough of this, worked three extra jobs during the summer breaks and saved enought to purchase a nice little integrated from Onkyo with a pair of wonderful mini-monitors from JBL and using a Sony single CD player, with Monster interconnects and audio quest speaker cable - that system was just over $500, closer to $750 if I can remember.

Then I worked even harder the next summer break & winter break and purchased my first true high-end system in 1995 - Krell integrated, Martin Logan SL3, used the same sony cd player and same cables & interconnects. Absolutely loved it! had this system up until 1998 of May and that's when the ball really started rolling after I landed a full time job.

Therefore, I understand when someone is on a "very tight budget" but for $100 dollars what the hec?
might as well save as much as possible and for around closer to a grand at least you will have something more decent that will last a good couple years...

Cheers, and enjoy your music!

08-01-2011, 06:36 AM
guys what do you think about these? Im also on a budget, but not of 100, and i just got as a gift a stanton t.92 direct drive turntable and my actual set of speakers is crap... i want to buy something that i can use for a couple of years, until i have enough money to buy a nice set... i found these 3... i dont know if its best to buy it already built or to buy the receiver separately and then wait ītil i can buy the speakers.. the thing is, i dont know when will that be!! so, whatīs your opinion on these 3??

Denon DHT-391XP 5.1 Channel Home Theater System with HDMI 1.4a connectivity and 650-Watt Total System Power
for $400

Onkyo HT-S3400 5.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package
for $300

Onkyo HT-S5400 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver/Speaker Package for $400

08-02-2011, 03:01 PM
i would recommend checking if there are any big audio/dj stores near you that have many of the speakers out for testing. Even when buying budget speakers I think you should listen and compare before you make a decision because while you can look up specs, lower end speakers do have features that make them sound a little better than they are, and these features vary.