Computer Speakers With No Receiver (Bypassing the Home Theater Receiver)

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GraysonPeddie's picture
Joined: 10/29/2006
Posts: 570

Hi, everyone. I want to have my speakers turned on at all times since I have a softphone in my computer and I want to be notified of other sounds and hear some soft music. But that means I have to leave my receiver turned on at all times, which generates heat even if there's no sound. It's like my receiver acts as its own heater to heat up my bedroom. I can go with a 5.1 computer speaker system but I already have my own subwoofer (12" Velodyne), so having a computer subwoofer just makes it redundant and I don't think I'll have use for it.

Since I have a PS2, I do have my HDTV with component and HDMI inputs, so since I have a PS2, I could just pass that audio from the PS2 to the TV and to my computer sound card's line input and get sound from there. This is good for me, so that I can still be able to use my sound card when there is notification coming in without having additional speakers. That is, if I can forget about getting surround sound from XBox 360 or PS3. But I like having surround sound when it comes to passing either 5.1 or 7.1 channels of audio.

Besides, I could sacrifice 700 watts of power that my home theater receiver can output and just downgrade to 120 or maybe 105 watts (probably about 24 watts per channel for 5 speakers or maybe 15 watts per channel for 7). I live in an apartment complex so I'll probably not have all the speakers loud, but that does not mean that I have to downgrade my subwoofer. Besides, I'd like to have that great bass down to 30 Hz while keeping the sound output reasonable.

With that in mind, I might be thinking about getting an M-AUDIO Studiophile AV-20 20 Watts 2.0 Portable Desktop Speaker System for $100 a pair, but then it'll be up to $300 for 3 pair of speakers, but wouldn't it be better if a pair of speakers can have its own amp? Like I said, I'm looking to cut down on heat generated from my receiver. Maybe I could sacrifice in wattage, but isn't how loud the sound is depends on sound pressure level (SPL)? I don't want my bedroom to be loud, as I want to be considerate with other neighbors. The reason for getting those speakers is that it has speaker terminals. I can go to RadioShack, buy a longer, thicker wire, and then hook them up to the speakers. I can make do with wires when it gets messy, but that's okay and the cables will be near the base of the wall around my room. Plus, I can handle a pair of speakers that take up to 3 wall outlets.

Or is there a better way? I mean, aren't there any amps that can provide 20 to 30 watts of power per channel? It will need to be flexible, but while my home theater receiver is flexible with a bunch of inputs, I kind of want to have a slimmed down version of my Sony STR-DE898. I don't need an FM tuner, as it's rarely used.

When I think about this, I've been thinking that I want my computer to be the hub of the home theater entertainment since I got Blu-Ray, I can watch TV in Linux (my subwoofer includes a low-pass filter that filters out high frequencies, meaning it's got a crossover knob), play emulated games, and do so much more with it that it makes my home theater receiver redundant except just to have cable from the sound card connect to my receiver with 7.1 multi-channel cable (analog).

Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want to have both 5.1 computer speaker system and my home theater receiver with 5 speakers connected to it (plus a subwoofer). Even if I get a pair of computer speakers for my computer, I'd like to eliminate redundancy if I can.


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