Audio Reciever/amp for computer...

mkopec

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#1
So I have been out of touch with the audio receivers in the past 20 yrs. Just been using my computer and some klipsch powered speakers. But I want more. I still want to use my computer for the playback since all of our tunes are on there WMP and google music, plus playlists and shit we listen to every weekend, but I want a receiver/amp to power some standalone speakers, probably thinking 2.1, L&R speakers plus a powered sub no need for 5.1 or 7.1. Not sure how all this shit works these days, whether you can even plug in your computer to a receiver? Network? Can someone explain this to me? Last time I had a receiver was like 1989 or some shit. I have been looking at some of the new receivers and they all have Bluetooth for phones connectivity, but no mention of computer/laptop.
 
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Brahma

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Your budget? Lets say under 1K?

I would personally go M-Audio speakers. You can get em maybe a little cheaper elsewhere. They are still considered the best bang for the buck monitors. I owned these before I went strictly headphones. They will last forever, and sound awesome. Will absolutely blow the Klipsch out the water.

https://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-M3-8-Active-Monitor-Speaker/dp/B01KPYBDZQ?th=1

Subs, I have an old BS Yamaha...forget model. It's like 10 years old, so forget that. But I do always recommend Yamaha for subs. BUT nowadays everyone freaks out over the Rokit. I have heard it...It's better than my old Yamaha, slightly. Not too expensive.

https://www.amazon.com/KRK-K10S-Powered-Subwoofer-Watts/dp/B001FRKK2U

You will lastly need an amp (to tie it all together)and a DAC. Why not both! Since the sub and speakers I listed are powered this is perfect. It also has a nice little DAC which saves you on another piece of equipment.

https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-Q5-Pro-...017W13BP0/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Clips and speaker wire.

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Pl...rd_wg=uJ92H&psc=1&refRID=SRKRMHFMR5HAMFRXQK14

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics...rd_wg=uJ92H&psc=1&refRID=SRKRMHFMR5HAMFRXQK14


So your coming USB or optical out of your PC to the SMSL AMP/DAC. Plug your M-Audio's and your Rokit sub into the SMSL AMP/DAC. Done. Clean, compact and most of all fantastic sound.
 

Funkor

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Brahma

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Some subreddits that make for interesting reading about audiophile stuff:

Budget Audiophile: Finding the best home audio for your budget • r/BudgetAudiophile
Audio and Video Hardware Recomendations and Advice. • r/Zeos

I haven't made the jump yet away from garbage Best Buy speakers to a powered or unpowered set so I can't give any advice from personal use.
Now that I'm into my sound in general...

Soundcards are a thing of the past for gaming. You don't need them any longer. They are convenient though. From the amp to the software.

DAC's are pretty much a scam past a certain price point. I've done a 75 dollar DAC to a 1300 DAC. You do not need to spend past 200 bucks TOPS.

Amps and receivers matter. Speakers and Headphones matter more.

You really do want to match a headphone amp to pair of headphones until you find the sound you like, and to give them the right amount of juice so you get the best sound out of the headphones. OR you can just fuck with an EQ. But you always want to power your headphones well.

There is a ton of crap out there. You have to do your research. You have to pick a site, and certain people who you can trust or just get basic info and answers. Try and find people that own or owned when they tell you what sounded better. The links you gave are fantastic for info.

Don't buy cheap IMO. If you buy cheap, STAY cheap. Once you hear good sound in anything from music to games, you will start wasting money to upgrade. If you think you are that sort of person. Pick your highest budget. Buy the best components in that budget and be done with it. I was one of those guys. I'm done with sound for the foreseeable future. To get where I am with my setup I have wasted thousands.

90% of people will be content with a 500 dollar headphone setup. Or a sub 1K speaker setup.
 

mkopec

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Your budget? Lets say under 1K?

I would personally go M-Audio speakers. You can get em maybe a little cheaper elsewhere. They are still considered the best bang for the buck monitors. I owned these before I went strictly headphones. They will last forever, and sound awesome. Will absolutely blow the Klipsch out the water.

https://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-M3-8-Active-Monitor-Speaker/dp/B01KPYBDZQ?th=1

Subs, I have an old BS Yamaha...forget model. It's like 10 years old, so forget that. But I do always recommend Yamaha for subs. BUT nowadays everyone freaks out over the Rokit. I have heard it...It's better than my old Yamaha, slightly. Not too expensive.

https://www.amazon.com/KRK-K10S-Powered-Subwoofer-Watts/dp/B001FRKK2U

You will lastly need an amp (to tie it all together)and a DAC. Why not both! Since the sub and speakers I listed are powered this is perfect. It also has a nice little DAC which saves you on another piece of equipment.

https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-Q5-Pro-...017W13BP0/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Clips and speaker wire.

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Pl...rd_wg=uJ92H&psc=1&refRID=SRKRMHFMR5HAMFRXQK14

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics...rd_wg=uJ92H&psc=1&refRID=SRKRMHFMR5HAMFRXQK14


So your coming USB or optical out of your PC to the SMSL AMP/DAC. Plug your M-Audio's and your Rokit sub into the SMSL AMP/DAC. Done. Clean, compact and most of all fantastic sound.

Interesting, so youre using a headphone amp jut to amplify the signal going to powered speakers? Never thought of that. Why do you even need a amp in that case if both sub and speakers are powered?
 

Brahma

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#6
Your right. You don't want the amplification. You just want something with the inputs and outputs you need.

The speakers I linked...You couldn't (shouldn't) use those. I apologize. You want some passives like these:

Reference Premiere Bookshelf Speakers | Klipsch

My bad Mkopec for recommending those. I had used them is all.
 

mkopec

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#7
I think I might just get the powered bookshelf and the powered sub. Thanks for replys Brahma.
 

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I guess I can ask this question here for our local audiophile person Brahma. What's a good pair of headsets for around $300-500 for gaming? Not for my PC but my PS4 using an amplifier. I know you get what you pay for but I can't see myself spending an obscene amount of money right now and not being able to tell the difference when gaming. I was looking at the Steelseries Siberia 800 to start off with.
 

Brahma

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I guess I can ask this question here for our local audiophile person Brahma. What's a good pair of headsets for around $300-500 for gaming? Not for my PC but my PS4 using an amplifier. I know you get what you pay for but I can't see myself spending an obscene amount of money right now and not being able to tell the difference when gaming. I was looking at the Steelseries Siberia 800 to start off with.
https://www.amazon.com/ASTRO-Gaming...79&sr=8-3&keywords=astro+amp+and+headset&th=1

I have a couple amps lying around...You can have one if you snag some headphones....
 

Zindan

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So I am looking for .. something... maybe a reciever or preamplifier, not sure. My setup in the game room is computer, ps4 and xbox. My TV/Monitor only has 2 HDMI inputs, so I have to switch cables for whichever console I want to use, while the computer is always connected. For sound, I just connect my Klipsch 2.1's to my TV via its audio out, and my computer is using a usb Fiio dac to use with my headphones. When I want to use headphones for console, I have to connect an optical cable to my reciever. Kinda of a hassle, really. The PS4 makes is a bit more annoying, since for some reason it continues to send audio out via HDMI even if I tell it not too.

Ideally what I would want is a device that I can connect my computer, xbox and ps4 to via HDMI which would then send via HDMI to my TV/Monitor. If possible, the device would also have at least 2 optical inputs, and an audio output. I believe this would allow me to handle the sound easily enough; plug in headphones to the device if I want to use them for consoles, or just have sound sent out to the Klipsch 2.1's; and for computer I would just switch inside Windows to DAC (for headpones) or HDMI for Klipsch. Sound possible?

Any suggestions on such a device? Price range is up to $300.
 

Funkor

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#11
So I am looking for .. something... maybe a reciever or preamplifier, not sure. My setup in the game room is computer, ps4 and xbox. My TV/Monitor only has 2 HDMI inputs, so I have to switch cables for whichever console I want to use, while the computer is always connected. For sound, I just connect my Klipsch 2.1's to my TV via its audio out, and my computer is using a usb Fiio dac to use with my headphones. When I want to use headphones for console, I have to connect an optical cable to my reciever. Kinda of a hassle, really. The PS4 makes is a bit more annoying, since for some reason it continues to send audio out via HDMI even if I tell it not too.

Ideally what I would want is a device that I can connect my computer, xbox and ps4 to via HDMI which would then send via HDMI to my TV/Monitor. If possible, the device would also have at least 2 optical inputs, and an audio output. I believe this would allow me to handle the sound easily enough; plug in headphones to the device if I want to use them for consoles, or just have sound sent out to the Klipsch 2.1's; and for computer I would just switch inside Windows to DAC (for headpones) or HDMI for Klipsch. Sound possible?

Any suggestions on such a device? Price range is up to $300.
A stereo receiver to be the central controller of all your stuff is probably what you need. I don't have any specific brand or unit recommendations however because I don't have a complicated media center setup like you have going on here though, but could offer some ideas.

Do you have enough space to put a full on receiver, such as on a shelf in an entertainment center maybe, or do you only have space on a table or desk? Bigger receivers are going to have the amount of inputs/outputs that you want which is part of what you should use to guide your purchase. Parsing through your description it sounds like you need 3x HDMI inputs, 2x optical inputs, 1x audio? output (not sure what you mean here), 2x HDMI output, 1x headphone connection. Use that as a minimum starting point and if you think you might expand out to include more devices (DVD/Blu-ray player, streaming think like a Roku, etc...) shop for a few extra inputs/outputs just in case.
 

Zindan

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#12
The speakers I am using here are some Klipsch Pro-Media 2.1 (sound great, but the preamp on one of the satellites is funky), which is connected via its 3.5mm plug to the Audio Out on my TV. I have yet to find a reciever that has such an output connector, I've seen plenty of recievers with everything else I want. The main "output" I've seen is for a subwoofer, which isn't needed here. I don't even need an amp really (aside from a preamplifier that would have a headphone amp built in). I would also just need 1 HDMI out, and the ability to switch between the three connected HDMI.

One of the reasons, aside from having to switch cables, that I want to get this setup is my PS4 is stupid. When I tell it not to use HDMI for audio, it will still send the audio signal out through the HDMI and so I have unplug the 2.1's from my TV. The Xbox setting that shuts off audio out through HDMI works perfectly, and I can just switch outputs for my computer in Windows. Stupid PS4.
 

Funkor

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#13
Bear with me here since I suck at big entertainment setups like this but I'm curious how to solve this.

Are these your speakers? http://images.klipsch.com/ProMedia21OwnersManualRev2012_635042122162050000.pdf
If so, the manual indicates that 'Since the ProMedia 2.1 has its own internal amplifier, it was designed to use the “line out” connector of the computer. Connection to the speaker level output jack might result in poor sound quality.' So your speakers are just a set of powered dudes with their own amp. All you need to track down then is a receiver (or other device) that can give you a line out connection that is unamped/unpowered or whatever.

Finding a receiver that has a Zone 2 on it that is line out might be the ticket:
Zone 2: What Does It Mean In Home Theater?

The idea behind this option being available is that you could connect your unpowered speaker setup to Zone 1 and get the full power of the receiver, and be able to feed a signal to Zone 2 where you have powered speakers that don't need an amp. Probably way overkill since you wouldn't even be using Zone 1 at all haha. Receivers are the best device I can think of to collect all the various inputs/outputs that you want though as I have never heard of something like this designed to be put together without the need for amping. These ProMedia speakers were really just designed to plug in direct to a computer and be used.
 

mkopec

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#14
Here is a cheap and simple solution, with upgradability for future. There are many others liek this in a wide range of prices, But this on has 4 hdmi in and 1 hdmi out, 4k compatible, and you can simply use the headphone jack for your powered 2.1 speakers. Or keep them plugged to the TV like you have right now. But I would recommend some proper speakers and a nice better powered sub in the future. Best of all getting soemthing like this you can use your current stuff, and upgrade later when you feel like it.

Sony STR-DH550 5.2-Channel AV Receiver STR-DH550 B&H Photo Video


You can also go with something like this, there is a ton of varieties if this type of thing too but this should work too.

 
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Zindan

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Funkor Funkor Yep, the best receiver I've found so far, with all the connectors I want has been this:

Yamaha

That one has the Audio out I am looking, though it is via RCA plugs, but I imagine I can buy a 3.5mm to RCA adapter to make that work, but since the only ones available on Amazon are used... I'll not buy it. Just not having any success in finding something an audio out like that.

mkopec mkopec Hah, I had never thought of plugging the 2.1's into the headphone jack; my current receiver can do this, of course, but it lacks the HDMI inputs/output. I simply want a setup that doesn't require switching cables.