As the title suggests, I've been frustrated with my experiences so far with 5.1 systems. I've used a few here and there, but the only 5.1s I've actually owned are the Logitech Z506. You may have heard that this set was rubbish, and it kind of is. The sound is great but my first set's subwoofer went out 2-3 months in. Logitech replaced the entire thing promptly and their customer service was amazing, but, again, 8 months later the replacement Z506's subwoofer is all but dead now. Besides that, I've never been able to get this system to actually play 5.1. With all 3 cords, the rear speakers don't even play. With just 1, they all play but the rear ones sound really sketchy and the surround sound part of, well, surround sound doesn't happen. I've searched this extensively and 5.1 systems seem to be a problem for a lot of people, not just 506 owners.
My question for you guys is that, is there a good, affordable 5.1 out there? I pretty much have to replace my 506 at this point. I've found some 5.1s for $150-$200 that I can't even consider because, while they have great reviews and seem to pack the punch I'm looking for, these didn't even have input cables. Just bluetooth. My computer has full analog out (green/black/orange) and optical out. I don't need special features of any kind. I just need 5 speakers and a subwoofer that won't die in a year that can work with analog or optical input. Or should I just buy a good, standalone subwoofer and plub my 5 speakers from my 506 into it (assuming the sub works with analog and VGA[for right front, volume control speaker])?
when it comes to surround sound, the all in one packages are usually the worst way to go. A good surround sound system is not cheap either. If you want a halfway decent surround sounds system you will easily break the $1k mark.
There are absolutely decent speakers. I always find good PC speakers a challenge. might be a bit expensive but to get what you might be looking for you might have to venture into home cinema set-ups, with an amp that accepts a 5-7.1 analogue input, feed the amp with 5-7.1 LPCM over HDMI( which is my preferred method) or optical.
My speakers are a good 7-8 years Tannoy SFX 5.1 package that set me back £140 but are still going strong, My Denon AVR1910 was £150 which I brought later to get HDMI audio support.
What do you think the best solution would be for me? Like I said, I have two sets of five speakers from my two Z506 systems and the dead subwoofer and the almost dead sub. Is trying to find a good subwoofer and using one of my sets of five practical? Or should I just try to find another, much better all in one? The problem I have is that I don't have a crazy amount to spend on this right now, especially with other problems that have arose.
I concur with the general statement that PC speakers are usually pretty bad, but they are cheap.
On the other hand however, HT ain't cheap. A basic standalone 5.1 receiver will cost ~$200 at a minimum for example.
The third option would be something like a home theater in a box (HTIAB). These are nice because it's an all-in-one package so you'd all five speakers, a sub, and receiver. Unfortunately these aren't all that cheap either because they tend to start at around the $400 range.
Thanks for the replies, everyone. The last year has taught me a lot of dos and don'ts in terms of hardware. I'll work the problems from here, but while we are on the topic of sound... Google Chrome is not playing sound, again. I had this problem the last time I had to reinstall my OS, but I can't remember what I did to fix it. If anybody knows a thread here that covers something not obvious in the hundreds of other threads online, or if you want to ask about it here, that'd be great.
Disregard my last post. I stumbled upon something that fixed so many problems I've had with my 5.1 system. I still fear for the longevity of this system and am glad I have some advise from here to go on for a future purchase, but for the time being it will hold.