5.1 speaker recommendations

Associate
Joined
17 Apr 2010
Posts
461
Hi all,

Looking for some advice! I was fortunate enough to bag myself a Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD for £60, at this price I simply couldn't refuse.

I now find myself stuck between a rock and hard place however; it was always my intention to run a 5.1 system and was going to spend circa £60-£100 on this however the sound card I have bought does not support 5.1 via analogue, only optical.

I am therefore looking to purchase a 5.1 setup which has an optical input, but for my budget that clearly is not going to happen.

For a workaround, I believe the Logitech Z506 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers would work, as I am lead to believe they "emulate" surround sound even from a stereo analogue source.

The other option is to increase my budget, which is difficult but if it needs to happen it will.

Given the features and RRP of the sound card I am leaning towards spending more money but any advice is appreciated as to the best solution / compromise.

Chris.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2009
Posts
11,174
The problem with using SPDIF (digital), is that it makes a £140 card no better than one that cost £60. I appreciate that you got it for a real bargain, but you are going to have to spend probably considerably more than you'd want to, to get a 5.1 speaker system with digital input.

Buying 5.1 speakers with analogue connection, then using just stereo from the sound card, and relying on some pseudo stereo upmix, is not ideal. You'd be far better off buying some good stereo or 2.1 speakers, than using a stereo upmix to 5.1.

If you want 5.1 speakers, but can't afford any with a digital input, then you'd be better off selling the Titanium HD, and getting back more than you paid for it. Buy a Xonar DX or X-Fi Titanium, and buy some 5.1 analogue speakers.

Unless you have some really nice headphones you are using with the Titanium HD as well, then it's just overkill.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
17 Apr 2010
Posts
461
Thanks Marsman, selling the card is something I am considering.
I should be able to get in the region of £100 for it (brand new), which will comfortably allow me to get a different card & 5.1 setup.

I do have some relatively decent headphones (creative aurvana live), but not enough to make the most of this sound card.

Thanks for your input :)
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2009
Posts
11,174
CAL!'s are very good headphones, but you're probably not getting the full use of the Titanium HD with them.

If you were to keep it, then you'd be looking at something like those all in one 5.1 home theatre systems, but they usually come with a DVD player attached, and you'd still be looking at £140 minimum for one with a digital input. They are not really that good though.

Separates would be the way to go really, for a system with digital connections. Obviously that isn't a consideration, unless you are willing to spend £300 or so. Spending £150, maybe more on a DVD all in one 5.1 speaker system, would be a waste of money, IMO.

Another option, might be a used set of Logitech Z5500's. I'm not sure how much a used set goes for (£140?), and how often they come up on various auction sites.
 
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