Sound Advice: What you use or want for your gaming sound system

gorfias

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Long story short, I'm looking for new rear speakers for a 5.1 sound system. I just put some used Bose 161s in my office and they're terrific but I'm looking for something that is a thinner, tower/rectangle shape for aesthetic purposes in my gaming room. I'd also want them to sound fantastic. My budget is around $200. I also want a receiver that can be adjusted to push sound to them. I'm told not having the right one and not adjusting correctly can make even terrific speakers sound way too quiet.

But I'd also love to read of any sound equipment you find particularly brag worthy.
 

Phoenixmgs

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I'm actually thinking about getting this when I don't even have a working receiver because it looks like a great deal and I want to move on from my soundbar eventually.

My last job had me testing audio equipment and I always liked the Klipsch sound (and they make some budget level products so you don't have to pay thousands for their stuff), I recall testing their 2.1 system (2 small speakers and a sub) and really liking the sound.
 
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I got the Philips Fidelio surround sound, which technically is 4.1 but I'd say functions about the same as 5.1. But then what do I know, it's the first speaker system I ever bought for my TV/console. It did cost a pretty penny (about 500 euro), but it's was worth it. It's got a nice big subwoofer, and the back speakers are wireless. It's been working great on my PS3 and PS4 for the last 3 years now.

I am a bit worried how to connect it to my future PS5, since I got it connected to the PS3 and 4 with an optical cable, and the PS5 doesn't have an optical port. And the only other connection that seems possible is HDMI, and the PS5 only appears to have one HDMI port which obviously is for the monitor. So I'm a bit puzzled how to connect my speakers when the time comes.
 
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Gordon_4

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I got the Philips Fidelio surround sound, which technically is 4.1 but I'd say functions about the same as 5.1. But then what do I know, it's the first speaker system I ever bought for my TV/console. It did cost a pretty penny (about 500 euro), but it's was worth it. It's got a nice big subwoofer, and the back speakers are wireless. It's been working great on my PS3 and PS4 for the last 3 years now.

I am a bit worried how to connect it to my future PS5, since I got it connected to the PS3 and 4 with an optical cable, and the PS5 doesn't have an optical port. And the only other connection that seems possible is HDMI, and the PS5 only appears to have one HDMI port which obviously is for the monitor. So I'm a bit puzzled how to connect my speakers when the time comes.
If a speaker/amplifier has HDMI in and a HDMI out then generally what happens is the signal is fed from the device, PS5 in this case, the whole signal hits the amp/speaker and splits it. Audio comes out speakers and video is passed the through to the television.

If that isn’t available, check your TV for an optical audio out socket, connect the speakers/amp to the TV directly and then tell the television to split the signals it receives between its panel and the audio output. I do that with my Sony television and the best thing is it’s a universal setting so everything I plug in via at least HDMI plays it’s sound out of the speaker system merely by changing input.
 
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Casual Shinji

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If a speaker/amplifier has HDMI in and a HDMI out then generally what happens is the signal is fed from the device, PS5 in this case, the whole signal hits the amp/speaker and splits it. Audio comes out speakers and video is passed the through to the television.

If that isn’t available, check your TV for an optical audio out socket, connect the speakers/amp to the TV directly and then tell the television to split the signals it receives between its panel and the audio output. I do that with my Sony television and the best thing is it’s a universal setting so everything I plug in via at least HDMI plays it’s sound out of the speaker system merely by changing input.
I'll take a look at that. Thanks!
 

hanselthecaretaker

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For PC I have Klipsch Promedia 2.1 desktop speakers. They get the job done for music, games, movies, etc. Also recently got a pair of Sony MDR7506 headphones which I love. I’d recommend them to anyone as they are as of yet an amazing deal for the sound quality, including full-bodied low frequencies. They’ve picked up things the Klipsch 2.1 desktop setup misses. Considering getting a Dragonfly USB DAC/Headphone amp but not sure if I’d hear significant improvement over the chip on my Z270 MK1 board.

For my consoles I have them hooked up to a 7.1 Denon receiver. I have an extra sub to get 7.2 but don’t always use it normally. I bought an SVS closed box sub when I wasn’t sure if my Infinity open sub could be fixed. The board went bad but it eventually got fixed so it’s interesting having an open and closed sub on either side of the room.

I also use the Sony 7.1 Platinum headphones as I’m only rocking PlayStation systems down there. They sound wonderful for games. The bass in Hades’ voice from God of War 3 is accurately produced through them, surprisingly.
 
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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I just use a pair of Bose Companion 2 speakers for my pc.
 
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Phoenixmgs

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I actually picked up those Polk speakers that I linked to as you really can't beat the $179 price. I was looking for just doing 3 speakers (right, left, center) and a sub and thought it might be about the same price for like a decent set of those if bought separately but even half off on the Klipsch speakers, it was running like $500 (+ still needing a receiver). I'm looking at the Yamaha RX-V385 receiver, pretty cheap overall price and will do exactly what I need as I really only like running a 3.1 setup because 1) I don't like running wires to the rear speakers and 2) I don't really feel it adds much to the sound. I used to play MGO2 online with my old setup with just the 3 front speakers and I could hear exactly where enemy players were at without needing the rears anyway.
 
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gorfias

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snip due to errors trying to post
That is a great deal.

I paid $70 for a Polk center channel speaker that looks similar to the one you linked. $180 for the whole thing is fantastic.

I have an 11 year old or so Yamaha RX-V363 in my office and it is still terrific. (Uh oh, hope I didn't curse it!) *Knocks on wood*.


snip due to errors trying to post
I'd not heard of having 2 Sub woofers before. Intriguing. One more reason for my wife to kill me! Now I'm obsessing.

My headset, got for $14 on Amazon. Terrible in Zoom calls. Gaming is great with fantastic booming base.

1607178811613.png
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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I actually picked up those Polk speakers that I linked to as you really can't beat the $179 price. I was looking for just doing 3 speakers (right, left, center) and a sub and thought it might be about the same price for like a decent set of those if bought separately but even half off on the Klipsch speakers, it was running like $500 (+ still needing a receiver). I'm looking at the Yamaha RX-V385 receiver, pretty cheap overall price and will do exactly what I need as I really only like running a 3.1 setup because 1) I don't like running wires to the rear speakers and 2) I don't really feel it adds much to the sound. I used to play MGO2 online with my old setup with just the 3 front speakers and I could hear exactly where enemy players were at without needing the rears anyway.
Receivers and sound bars can throw sound in ways that can fake it pretty well. Surround headphones can do it even more convincingly in most cases too. Having said that, for me so far there’s been nothing like playing Killzone 2 in 7.1 LPCM. One thing the Cell excelled at was sound design, and Mark Cerny even said he was disappointed with the PS4’s audio capabilities by contrast. There is definitely an improvement in dedicated speakers, but it also can depend on the room. My couch is directly in the middle of about a 12’x26’ room, so I benefit quite a bit from them.
 
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Phoenixmgs

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That is a great deal.

I paid $70 for a Polk center channel speaker that looks similar to the one you linked. $180 for the whole thing is fantastic.

I have an 11 year old or so Yamaha RX-V363 in my office and it is still terrific. (Uh oh, hope I didn't curse it!) *Knocks on wood*.

The main reason I'm looking at the 385 Yamaha is because it's available new at many places and has the banana plug "ports" for ALL the speakers, which from my days testing receivers/speakers is a nice convenience. I was looking at a Denon and Onkyo model in the same price range but both of them had only banana plugs for the left and right speakers (at least do the center too, come on!!!).

Receivers and sound bars can throw sound in ways that can fake it pretty well. Surround headphones can do it even more convincingly in most cases too. Having said that, for me so far there’s been nothing like playing Killzone 2 in 7.1 LPCM. One thing the Cell excelled at was sound design, and Mark Cerny even said he was disappointed with the PS4’s audio capabilities by contrast. There is definitely an improvement in dedicated speakers, but it also can depend on the room. My couch is directly in the middle of about a 12’x26’ room, so I benefit quite a bit from them.
The LG soundbar I've used for the past 5+ years doesn't really compare to the 3.1 setup I had before as far as being able to tell the direction of sounds. Yeah, 5.1 was better but not by much as I would only pull the rears out for the occasional movie. I'm sure 7.1 and 11.1 and 7.2.4 (speaker configurations can get pretty elaborate) are all better but you do get diminishing returns as you keep adding on. I'm a bit of an audiophile but don't really care for the inconvenience and price of doing those setups. Though, I have spent countless hours getting jetAudio on my phone all "perfectly" setup with the EQ and all the other settings and effects, it really is a night and day difference with everything at default vs my settings. I definitely agree that PS3 has way way better audio than the PS4, MP3s sound pretty damn amazing on the PS3 and sound like shit on the PS4 (so much so that I hardly even use "custom soundtrack" while gaming on PS4).
 

hanselthecaretaker

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The main reason I'm looking at the 385 Yamaha is because it's available new at many places and has the banana plug "ports" for ALL the speakers, which from my days testing receivers/speakers is a nice convenience. I was looking at a Denon and Onkyo model in the same price range but both of them had only banana plugs for the left and right speakers (at least do the center too, come on!!!).


The LG soundbar I've used for the past 5+ years doesn't really compare to the 3.1 setup I had before as far as being able to tell the direction of sounds. Yeah, 5.1 was better but not by much as I would only pull the rears out for the occasional movie. I'm sure 7.1 and 11.1 and 7.2.4 (speaker configurations can get pretty elaborate) are all better but you do get diminishing returns as you keep adding on. I'm a bit of an audiophile but don't really care for the inconvenience and price of doing those setups. Though, I have spent countless hours getting jetAudio on my phone all "perfectly" setup with the EQ and all the other settings and effects, it really is a night and day difference with everything at default vs my settings. I definitely agree that PS3 has way way better audio than the PS4, MP3s sound pretty damn amazing on the PS3 and sound like shit on the PS4 (so much so that I hardly even use "custom soundtrack" while gaming on PS4).
I still use my PS3 as my main Blu-ray player downstairs. Everything from decoding to the interface is just better than PS4. I hope the 5 is at least as good as the 3 on these aspects, because I’d rather not have to get another one beforehand if it ever dies. 11 years so far on my Slim and it still runs like a champ.
 
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gorfias

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Receivers and sound bars can throw sound in ways that can fake it pretty well. Surround headphones can do it even more convincingly in most cases too. Having said that, for me so far there’s been nothing like playing Killzone 2 in 7.1 LPCM. One thing the Cell excelled at was sound design, and Mark Cerny even said he was disappointed with the PS4’s audio capabilities by contrast. There is definitely an improvement in dedicated speakers, but it also can depend on the room. My couch is directly in the middle of about a 12’x26’ room, so I benefit quite a bit from them.
My Office is 10x10 and sounds far better than my larger gaming room, even though the system in the gaming room is more powerful. I think I need a new receiver and rear speakers there, but even if/when I get them, a small enclosed room helps a lot. I just threw Killzone 2 into the PS3 in my office to see if it hits me the way you speak of it. Been a dog's age since I played it and it wasn't on a 5.1 system back then.

I still use my PS3 as my main Blu-ray player downstairs. Everything from decoding to the interface is just better than PS4. I hope the 5 is at least as good as the 3 on these aspects, because I’d rather not have to get another one beforehand if it ever dies. 11 years so far on my Slim and it still runs like a champ.
Gave my slim to the boy when he moved out. Best of the 3. Still, I still have a fat in my exercise room and a super slim in my office I use for Bluray.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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My Office is 10x10 and sounds far better than my larger gaming room, even though the system in the gaming room is more powerful. I think I need a new receiver and rear speakers there, but even if/when I get them, a small enclosed room helps a lot. I just threw Killzone 2 into the PS3 in my office to see if it hits me the way you speak of it. Been a dog's age since I played it and it wasn't on a 5.1 system back then.



Gave my slim to the boy when he moved out. Best of the 3. Still, I still have a fat in my exercise room and a super slim in my office I use for Bluray.
Also if you have Killzone 3 too, the MAWLR level is outstanding for sound. Running through the trenches dodging gunfire with that thing thundering overhead was pretty hair-raising. Guerrilla Games has great artstyle but doesn’t skimp on the technical end either. Horizon: Zero Dawn has some great sound design too, for what the PS4 can do.
 
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gorfias

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Also if you have Killzone 3 too, the MAWLR level is outstanding for sound. Running through the trenches dodging gunfire with that thing thundering overhead was pretty hair-raising. Guerrilla Games has great artstyle but doesn’t skimp on the technical end either. Horizon: Zero Dawn has some great sound design too, for what the PS4 can do.
I'll have to play some KZ3 too! I have Horizon on the PS4 in my gaming room. I'll have to check that asap too.

You weren't kidding about KZ2 in surround sound. Pretty amazing. Makes me want to move a PS3 up into the gaming room. Appears games sound 100% better than do movies. Or am I doing things wrong?
 

Phoenixmgs

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Got my Polk speakers and Yamaha receiver all hooked up (though still waiting on my banana plugs) and it sounds pretty damn good, definitely the best sounding system I've ever had. Though everything I had prior was like $200 or less from my last 5.1 system (Sony receiver, Jensen satellite speakers) that was somehow super cheap together many Black Fridays ago to my recent LG soundbar. There's such a sound difference between this and my soundbar along with the massive directional improvement to actually having right and left speakers properly separated vs being close on a soundbar. And it's so nice having that real Dolby/DTS sound on movies. The subwoofer is real nice too, by far the best sub I've ever had as well, it took up about 2/3s of the box. The fact that it's down-firing I think makes the bass sound quite a bit better than my previous smaller subs I've had. It's also real nice having everything (PC, PS3, PS4) plugged into the receiver via HDMI, though I had to buy a couple extra HDMI cables.

It did take a bit of fiddling with all the settings on the receiver to get everything sounding right. All the Yamaha enhancer options don't really improve the sound. The speaker manual recommended putting the subwoofer crossover frequency at 120hz but that was just too much sound going to the subwoofer. I was trying to get 60hz sounding right as I'm not a big bass guy but the bass just never sounded quite full enough and then settled on 80hz. Then, I googled around and saw that 80hz is the recommended crossover frequency so I guess I wasted some time tuning it myself.
 
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Gergar12

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I don't care, it's the graphics/ GPU, and CPU plus power supply, storage, RAM, and etc that are all vastly more important. As long as it works, and doesn't break, I am fine with it.
 

Gordon_4

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I'll take a look at that. Thanks!
Were either of my suggestions viable?

I don't care, it's the graphics/ GPU, and CPU plus power supply, storage, RAM, and etc that are all vastly more important. As long as it works, and doesn't break, I am fine with it.
While its true those all make the running of the game the smoothest it can be, good sound design is a great compliment to any game. Sound effects and music coalesce to help create atmosphere, increase the tension of feelings of grandeur. Be it the 8bit (I think) bleeps and bloops that we bobbed our heads to in Mario Brothers or the sexy rock n roll soundtracks to classics like Devil May Cry, all are enhanced with sound.
 
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