Looking for a decent set of 5.1 speakers at a good price

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I have just bought a new apartment and I am looking to build a whole home theater system within a budget.

I have in mind a Samsung LCD TV, the newer one that supports the HDMI 1.3a, I will get a PS3, a Onkyo receiver - I have been recommended the TX-SR605 because it also has HDMI 1.3a support (which might be an Aisa only model - I am living in Hong Kong).

Basically that has blown most of my budget. Whilst I would like to get an amazing top of the range set of speakers, and I know it is probably the most important part, I am having a great difficulty justifying to the missus paying more than about 300 pounds for a set of speakers. I might be able to go over a bit but it would better be worth the sweet-talking.

What would you recommend? Oh, also because I have two small kids I am looking at ceiling mounting the back 2 speakers to stop them knocking them over, so the back two speakers should not be floor standing.

Also would anyone recommend that I save myself a lot of money and get a HTIB set, bearing in mind I will be getting a PS3. Would I for instance get the same quality outputting a Blu Ray disc from the PS3 directly into the TV, and using the PS3 optical to connect to a HTIB digital input? Or does that like I will be sacrifiing a lot. Also since I am thinking of sinking the rear speaker cables into the ceiling I don't want anything with propreitory cables.

Thank you!
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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Hi there,

A tough one, this. Personally i'd do some serious sweet-talking to your missus to give yourself a bit more budget - or your Full HD system will be let down by under-specced speakers.

I certainly wouldn't advocate a one-box home cinema at this price - the speakers are often the weakest link, and you could have issues with fixed cables. You'd be far better off sticking with your separates plan.

If you really can't stretch beyond £300 for speakers, KEF's 1005 system is a superb entry-level package. And there are deals to be had on its big brother - the 2005 - if you can spend a little more. Both would be more than happy being wall/ceiling mounted.

If you can wangle a bit more cash, B&W's MT range offers even more, with Monitor Audio's Radius an incredibly flexible and effective range.

One last thing - if you are going to sink your speaker cable into the ceiling, make sure you invest in decent wire, as i'm guessing it'll be there for some time. After all, you may want to upgrade your speakers in the future, and it'd be a shame if the cabling let the whole system down

Happy bargain-hunting.....
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks Claire,

I have also heard good things about the KEF 1005, and what's more they only charge about 230 pounds for it here in Hong Kong, whilst the 2005.2 is running close to 600 pounds. I am very much tempted, but I'll be honest, despite all the rave reviews the biggest thing that's putting me off is the size or lack-of on these things. "Small speakers, small ....". Why can't the 2005 be more affordable? That would really clinch it for me!

I am also bordering on the Onkyo SKS-HT230, or 240 which should be within my reach, and today someone almost sold me on to the JBLs SCS-178 also within budget.

The decision is driving me mad! It's exactly because I know at this pricepoint if I get the wrong thing, I am going to regret it, and I have such a hard time distinguishing sound quality in showrooms with salesmans breathing down your neck. Has anyone else been in the same boat? What would you do?

Should I just get the KEF and be done with it? Would I be better matching the Onkyo receiver with the Onkyo speakers, and haggling a better price from the dealer (you can do that to an extent here)? Is JBL a dreadful idea (though I must admit they look like proper speakers, god knows what they sound like)?

Decisions, decsions!
 

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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I would stick with the future-proof Onkyo receiver and go with the KEF 1005s for now, with that decent speaker cable I mentioned - then you can always upgrade the speakers at a (hopefully not to) future date, and sell them on in exchange for something a lot better.

Good luck!
 

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