Sounds Good, Man

One bit of the new PC build I glossed over: I also ordered a set of computer speakers with the new build on a whim. I’m real happy with them! Allow me to provide far more detail than anyone cares about to explain why.

I’ve completely redone my computing setup over the past year and change, as I got rid of the desk I had in the last move. (It was a solid-core door on some 4x4s that were too tall. I did not spend a lot of time building it, and it showed, and it was time to get rid of it.) That, coupled with my old Klipsch speakers dying and moving to new screens that weren’t on VESA mounts this time, meant that I had issues with computer sound. I’d had an old set of harmon/kardon 2.0 speakers that came from Dell a couple decades ago hooked up - they sound pretty good, but somewhat muddy, and they’re pretty tall, so they don’t really fit under my screens or really next to them due to cable length. Anyway, it was time for them to go too.

Amazingly, I like stereo imaging, so a new set would need to either fit under the screens or, ideally, to the sides. They also needed to be fairly small - new desk isn’t terribly large, and if they’re gonna be big they’d better also be fancy studio monitors. Ideally, what I’d like is a set of JBL Creature speakers, which are small ones they haven’t made since around the time of the first iPhone. (I’d had a set of older ones, from circa 2001, that I liked a whole lot - good sound, small sub, and satellites no bigger than a soda can.)

As luck would have it, NewEgg had a set of Logitech Z313 speakers on cheap as refurbished when I got the parts together for the PC build, and I went ahead and added them in. For under $25 refurb (or slightly more new, evidently), I’m honestly really impressed. Even before listening to them, I was entirely too happy about how the satellites work. They connect to the sub via a standard TRS connector, which splits off into two separate cables about 3” from the plug. The cable is captive, but there’s just an absurd amount of cable between the satellite and where it joins together to go into the plug - it’s seriously like four feet of cable per channel. That alone would have gotten me to keep ‘em. The sub itself is tiny - roughly a 7”x7”x4” box - and has a small down-firing ported woofer, and contains the connector for the satellites, the power cable (also captive), and the input jack, which is actually connected to a pod with a headphone jack, volume knob and power button. The cable situation on that, even, is ridiculous - the input cable on its own is rather long and terminates at the pod, and there’s another good length of cable between the pod and the sub. I could about literally have my machine across the room long-ways and still have the speakers hooked in if I wanted. That will make some people cringe, but I really do need a bunch of cable to position these things where they’ll make sense and any excess can be handled with zip ties anyway (as it should be).

The icing on the cake? They sound really good. Perhaps a bit bass heavy, surprisingly - I had Apple Music EQed to boost bass a good bit and yeah, that became a bit much, but just due to sheer volume and not distortion - but otherwise clear and pleasant. They are, of course, no match for the Advents I have plugged into the Onkyo receiver but that setup is way too unwieldy for the computer desk, and these really just do sound good on their own merits.

The only things I’d change would be to add some weight to both the pod and the satellites. I may do that; 10-15 cents worth of pennies would be more than adequate. And I might change that I only have one set. The JBLs I liked aren’t made anymore and are incredibly hard to come by - truth be told, the Creatures weren’t the ones I had, and the model I had I can’t even find anymore online - and I’d like to have a backup set for when these eventually die. Of course, one of these days I will set up with a nice set of studio monitors and a real amp and audio interface, but I am more than satisfied for now. If anything, that setup will be pushed back a good bit.

In between the HKs and the Logitechs, I did try a set of the amazonbasics 2.0 pod-type speakers. They’re very small and they have very good weight - they’re surprisingly heavy, and a bit bigger than a nice hand-held rock - but the sound is not great and the cable situation is terrible. (One side connects to the other, and the other has the USB power and audio in, and all the cables are way too short, and, of course, the input one is on the right channel, which works great since my computer is on my left.) They’re a good enough basic speaker for the $16 they cost but the additional $6-$10 or so to get the Logitech set is very, very worth it.

Here’s the Logitech speakers, via NewEgg (and, of course, readily available on Amazon as well).

Some More Information For Y'all

Hi, I'm James. Some people call me 'murgee'.

I'm a web developer, general computer nerd, and music geek based in Memphis, TN.

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