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AutrePensee
26-11-2015, 21:53
Hello All and thank you for reading this.

Let me preface this by saying that I do not have a TV.
I have a desktop computer feeding a large 27" DELL monitor with DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort inputs and a stereo jack output.
My desktop computer has a Asus Z87i deluxe (https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/Z87IDELUXE/specifications/) which has several audio output options including optical (but right now I use display port with tiny stereo speakers hooked into my monitor).
Also, I have a chromecast plugged into my monitor HDMI which I use to play music from my phone intothe small stereo speakers.

Up to a few months ago, I have always had analog 5.1 logitech speakers hooked into my computer.
However, given the complexity of what I am trying to accomplish and the shape of my new living room, this is not an option.

I am trying to find a setup which lets me play music or movies from my computer or through the chromecast onto the living room audio. Ideally that setup allows for real 5.1 or at least emulated 5.1. I also would like to expend into multi-room audio.
Of course I thought of sonos. However, the lack of Dolby DTS support and the hefty price tag for mutlti room setup made it a no-go.
But I assume a soundbar might be the best for the living room.
As for the multi room setup, well fortunately, google came out with the chromecast audio which should allow me to do that soon, provided i find a descent affordable powered speaker (no need for bluetooth since I'll be plugging into the speaker via jack, optical or RCA (list of chromecast outputs).

So to sum up, I have my motherboard audio output (optical or analog jack) and an HDMI video chromecast which I need to feed into the living room sound setup. I also have to extract the hdmi video signal to feed it to the monitor. Oh and unfortunately audio designated real estate is limited so I Cant go for huge floor speakers..... I have read that some audio equipment nowadays are smart enough to adapt to sound source type (movie/music, music type...) and adapt their frequency response accordingly. I have now idea how well this works but if well implemented I imagine this could work well for me since I'll be playing movies, videos, and plenty of different types of music.

I also need to find powered speakers (hopefully stereo within a small package) that have good pristine sound for the other rooms (including bathroom).

I realize what I am looking for is basically asking for a lot. It might not even be possible within my budget (not thousands but hundreds of $). However, since I have no idea how to go about creating this setup, I figured I would ask people who know what they are talking about!

Thank you for your time!!

Light Dependant Resistor
26-11-2015, 22:56
Hello All and thank you for reading this.

Let me preface this by saying that I do not have a TV.
I have a desktop computer feeding a large 27" DELL monitor with DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort inputs and a stereo jack output.
My desktop computer has a Asus Z87i deluxe (https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/Z87IDELUXE/specifications/) which has several audio output options including optical (but right now I use display port with tiny stereo speakers hooked into my monitor).
Also, I have a chromecast plugged into my monitor HDMI which I use to play music from my phone intothe small stereo speakers.

Up to a few months ago, I have always had analog 5.1 logitech speakers hooked into my computer.
However, given the complexity of what I am trying to accomplish and the shape of my new living room, this is not an option.

I am trying to find a setup which lets me play music or movies from my computer or through the chromecast onto the living room audio. Ideally that setup allows for real 5.1 or at least emulated 5.1. I also would like to expend into multi-room audio.
Of course I thought of sonos. However, the lack of Dolby DTS support and the hefty price tag for mutlti room setup made it a no-go.
But I assume a soundbar might be the best for the living room.
As for the multi room setup, well fortunately, google came out with the chromecast audio which should allow me to do that soon, provided i find a descent affordable powered speaker (no need for bluetooth since I'll be plugging into the speaker via jack, optical or RCA (list of chromecast outputs).

So to sum up, I have my motherboard audio output (optical or analog jack) and an HDMI video chromecast which I need to feed into the living room sound setup. I also have to extract the hdmi video signal to feed it to the monitor. Oh and unfortunately audio designated real estate is limited so I Cant go for huge floor speakers..... I have read that some audio equipment nowadays are smart enough to adapt to sound source type (movie/music, music type...) and adapt their frequency response accordingly. I have now idea how well this works but if well implemented I imagine this could work well for me since I'll be playing movies, videos, and plenty of different types of music.

I also need to find powered speakers (hopefully stereo within a small package) that have good pristine sound for the other rooms (including bathroom).

I realize what I am looking for is basically asking for a lot. It might not even be possible within my budget (not thousands but hundreds of $). However, since I have no idea how to go about creating this setup, I figured I would ask people who know what they are talking about!

Thank you for your time!!

Hi Autre
Active speakers like those from Meridian https://www.meridian-audio.com/collection/loudspeakers/ would allow a digital cable to connect, and
save on power amps as they are inbuilt into the speaker. also those from ATC are very good: http://atcloudspeakers.co.uk/

I think a good set of active speakers will answer your requirements nicely, Hope this helps.

Cheers / Chris

Macca
27-11-2015, 08:50
You are not going to get active Meridians or ATCs on a budget of hundreds, not even second-hand.

If you go for a sound bar I can recommend the Cambridge Audio one. Not expensive and a decent sound.

Affordable powered speakers I can't really help with, not heard any in years. The Wharfedale Active Diamonds were good for the money but I'm not sure they still do them. Otherwise check out some pro audio online shops like Studiospares - they tend to have a fair selection of them.

spm
27-11-2015, 20:44
Do you need the Chromecast Audio for the multi room? Also what is your main driver for wanting active speakers? Small T amps take up very little room if space is the issue.I use my phone to play flac files from a NAS. I use an OTG cable to connect the phone to the inbuilt DAC of a small Topping TP30 amp but I could just connect the headphone out from the phone using a 3.5mm to RCA cable. The phone has to be connected to the network via wifi. I can also play spotify from the phone. The TP30 is about 60 although I bought second hand for 30 but there will no doubt be better dacs/amps for a little more money. Might give you a bit more choice on speakers.

AutrePensee
29-11-2015, 13:20
Indeed those look pretty expensive, and I dont have space for floor speakers.

Thank you for your suggestion on the cambridge audio. I like the price and it looks like it has quality sound. However it seems that dolby is not supported.
I also like the preset EQ modes.
I will keep it in mind!

AutrePensee
29-11-2015, 13:25
Do you need the Chromecast Audio for the multi room? Also what is your main driver for wanting active speakers? Small T amps take up very little room if space is the issue.I use my phone to play flac files from a NAS. I use an OTG cable to connect the phone to the inbuilt DAC of a small Topping TP30 amp but I could just connect the headphone out from the phone using a 3.5mm to RCA cable. The phone has to be connected to the network via wifi. I can also play spotify from the phone. The TP30 is about 60 although I bought second hand for 30 but there will no doubt be better dacs/amps for a little more money. Might give you a bit more choice on speakers.

I need the chromecast audio for the multi room indeed, but also and simply to stream audio from my phone to any room in the house.
Indeed my requirement for active speakers might be misguided as I thought amps were necessarily big and expensive. The most important requirement for the other rooms is small footprint and price while retaining semi good quality sound (if possible good stereo from one single speaker). For these, since the chromecast audio has a jack output, it clearly does not make sense to use anything else for the speaker input is that correct? I know they suggest jack-2-hdmi or jack-2-optical cables, but if its a jack output isnt the sound already analog?

AutrePensee
29-11-2015, 13:35
I have been browsing through soundbars after the cambridge audio suggestion and I think for me the living room system that would work best would be

1) a soundbar with proper left/center/right repartition, and possiblity to add wireless subwoofers/rear speakers.

2) a soudbar with proper left/center/right repartition and wall bouncing created rear sound.

In either cases, I assume that optical output from my computer is the only real option. IS that a correct assumption? I have always been told that analog sound out in a computer is rather noisy.

Concerning 1 which suggestions would you have? I have seen a sony ht-rt5 system but assume there are other options (although that one looks good other than I have limited feeedback on it and the design is a bit lackluster).
IS wifi sound good enough other living room distances?

Concerning 2 I have seen the yamaha systems with sound projection. They seem to have very good reviews and they have a beautiful design and come from a trusted audio brand I believe. Does anybody have experience with these? (or similar technology from other brands) How effective is the system at producing 5.1 sound?

Thank you

Macca
29-11-2015, 13:43
I've not heard an attempt to make surround sound from 1 point of origin actually work in any satisfactory way. I'd discard that option if I were you. If you want respectable 5.1 then you will need to buy the speakers.

AutrePensee
02-12-2015, 18:58
So you think the sony ht-rt5 would be better than the yamaha ysp?
Does anybody have experience with this sony model? Or has any idea with equivalent models ( soundbar + subwoofer + wireless rear sats)?

Thank you

struth
02-12-2015, 19:05
My ysp1000 is very good and set up right is as good as you should need unless you really want a full cimema. quite powerful too and its surround representation is pretty good... beat my big kenwood system hands down

Audio Advent
02-12-2015, 19:22
You are not going to get active Meridians

Mid-80s Meridian actives you certainly will. M3 and M30s are quite small. EDIT: Sorry, forgot about the digital bit there.. those are analogue.

AVI are there to consider too.. And at the budget end, there are Behringer digital active speakers too starting from about 75 for their cheapest pair.