View Full Version : 2.1 vs. 5.1 speakers for PC gaming
Which kind of speaker setup do most PC gamers use? 2.1 or 5.1? Is 5.1 really worth the extra hassle of finding room and "correctly" placing the two surround speakers?
I've actually had 5.1 for a while but didnt get a sound card that had good 3d sound compatibility with games until a couple years ago, and imo it is very much worth it cause games have been improving on it for years now, there isn't a game that dosn't come out with surround sound support. First person games and top tier driving games like NFS shift use it extensively.
06-21-10, 11:20 PM
I use headphones for gaming, speakers for music. I find I can hear better with headphones.
06-22-10, 02:10 AM
For the longest time I used the optical out on my on-board to the optical in on my 5.1 receiver which was hooked up to 4 mammoth towers (each sported a 12" woofer) and a beasty center speaker (had dual 6 1/2" woofers and dual horn tweeters). At high volumes it added life to my games you'd never get from head phones... especially after I got this X58 board and used the DDLive where the games where encoded in DD 5.1
Since I'm moving I've gotten rid of all my audio gear so now I just use headphones. I'll be going back to a dedicated 7.1 setup ASAP though... it's *very* worth it. :)
Over the years I've had 2.0 2.1 5.1 and 7.1 and IMO the more channels the better. 5.1 or above really is a must for gaming. It makes a hell of a difference.
06-22-10, 01:33 PM
More channels = more immersive experience
06-30-10, 02:33 PM
It depends IMO. I think a 5.1 system is ultimately going to be better but it has to be a GOOD 5.1 system. I do not consider the logitech 5500's that great of a setup. At first I liked them for gaming but eventually moved on and sold them to my brother. they can produce explosions and gunfire pretty well but that's about it. Lows and highs.... I guess rap or hip hop would be acceptable on them too.
They're ill suited for music and movies where midrange lives. It's just the nature of their small form that they really can't produce big full midrange frequencies.
My main speakers for my desktop pc are Adam A7's. not gaming speakers specifically but more for audio recording and for that, they're flawless but they also sound spectacular in games.
Downside is no surround but it's not a priority for that machine.
for surround, I rely on my 5.1 setup in the living room. This is a more reasonable approach for a REALLY good 5.1 gaming/movie/music experience. Not talking about the 5.1 home theater bundles with the tiny little sattelites. I mean some decent floor standing speakers or bookshelf speakers (which are dirt cheap these days), a center channel with 3"+ drivers and a decent 10" or larger sub.
rear speakers are the compromising point for me. I cheaped out and bought a set of Infinity QPS-1's and my Mission (can't recall model) center channel speakers used from the AVS forum for $150.
I got my Acoustic Research S40 towers for $175 for the pair from a guy locally (one had a blown driver which was a quick phone call and $25 for a replacement driver)
My Infinity HPS-1000 sub was a freebie from my old man for setting up/programming his new home theater and the old (no hdmi) Denon receiver was $200 from a guy at my office.
so (aside from the sub) a comparably priced 5.1 home theater can easily be pieced together that will absolutely bury the popular "multimedia" branded desktop speakers.
Obviously size and foot print in the room will be different but so will the sound.
A guy at our office though has the Z5500 setup that has simply swapped out the front 2 satellites and center channel with these and he said it made a little extra difference but not so much that he would have spent much more on it.
larger drivers will help fill in the midrange a little and lower mids but I wouldn't expect a night and day difference because the main issue with simply swapping out the speakers is that the Z5500 doesn't have an adjustable crossover for the sub/satellites. The sub's Xover is set to try and produce waaaay too much upper mids and mids that a sub honestly has NO business trying to produce. But since the satellites are only 3", logitech had no choice... an adjustable xover on the amp would have been a HUGE plus for that.
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