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Best Speakers for FLAC, Computer Speakers to appreciate FLAC
tuffgong
post Jan 12 2013, 01:21
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I think the O.P. might be implying he loves two channel audio, and his wife misunderstood and purchased a nice 5.1 system for him, but he really just wants to listen to his flac files. I still think the mm-1 is the best for two channel and simplicity since no separate dac and interconnects, very few cords. Very high wife acceptance factor.

This post has been edited by tuffgong: Jan 12 2013, 01:23
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saratoga
post Jan 12 2013, 01:34
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QUOTE (Rescator @ Jan 11 2013, 03:18) *
I did not look into the THX certification for home equipment/PC gear etc.


Its just a marketing thing that appeals to low-information consumers. I think the main requirement is just that someone pays the license fees for the logo.
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krabapple
post Jan 14 2013, 05:11
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QUOTE (tuffgong @ Jan 11 2013, 01:09) *
This is a great youtube video of the mm-1, I hope the quality comes through:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXIWUYq6Ns4
It did for me. The review that mentions they can hear a difference between bit rates is here:
http://www.tonepublications.com/review/bws...table-speakers/


Um, no. Just...no. That woo is notoriously strong in that publication. I wouldn't take anything they write about audio seriously without authoritative independent backup.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Jan 14 2013, 05:11
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Mach-X
post Jan 14 2013, 06:23
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In theory thx certification requires home theater setups to crossover at 80hz between mains and subs. Since audio ceases to be positional at 100hz the 12 db/octave rolloffs of the low/high pass filters is assurance that no audible positional frequencies will originate from the sub...but thats all its useful for. Only badly distorted/badly eqd setups will allow you to hear the difference between properly encoded mp3 and source. Thanks to greynol for showing me the light on this! A flat response makes it MORE difficult to hear differences not less.
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tuffgong
post Jan 16 2013, 04:51
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Mach-x do you have any articles to check out about how sound is not directional below 100hz? That is fascinating, i'd like to learn more.
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mzil
post Jan 16 2013, 07:22
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QUOTE (Rescator @ Jan 11 2013, 04:18) *
I'd like to add though that the Logitech z-5500 is THX certified.
Which does mean they are (or at least should be) approved per some certification process, and Logitech need to ensure they remain so (in mass production) ... But I can assume the THX specs either matches the industry standard or slightly surpass it....

...THX certification exist for cinema/special setups, home cinema/studios, living room/hifi, computer gear/consoles.
There are differences in the certification for these areas, but do guarantee that a certain minimum standard has been met.


You are correct. It is not just a "marketing thing" (unless THX, the company, lies to us). I'm not intimately knowledgeable about the specifics for multimedia/computer speakers, but for home gear it generally means three things:

A. Certain minimum performance specs have been met. This varies per device category (and the room size it is meant for in some instances).
B. Certain electrical manipulations to the sound must be offered, on certain devices, at least with switchable, on/off user control.
C. Certain standard settings and connection color coding rules must be adhered to so you can mix and match different (THX certified) brands at will.

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 16 2013, 07:41
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KozmoNaut
post Jan 16 2013, 13:51
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I'll throw in a vote for the Audioengine A2s, they're very capable speakers. I use them as a secondary system with a USB DAC fed by a netbook. They'll never reach discotheque sound levels without tearing themselves apart, but at normal volume levels they are amazing, especially the crisp and tight bass they are somehow able to produce despite their small woofers and tiny cabinets.

They're also roughly half the price of the B&W MM-1s (which I haven't had the chance to listen to).

This post has been edited by KozmoNaut: Jan 16 2013, 13:52
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 16 2013, 14:46
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QUOTE (tuffgong @ Jan 15 2013, 22:51) *
Mach-x do you have any articles to check out about how sound is not directional below 100hz? That is fascinating, i'd like to learn more.



Google is your friend. This is so well known that it wasn't easy for me to find scientific articles giving solid evidence, but if you do the experiment for yourself that is how things generally turn out.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 16 2013, 14:48
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QUOTE (Jp4ragon @ Dec 26 2012, 10:54) *
If so and if I return the logitech, my budget is between 300-600 dollars and i'm looking for a good recommendation on speakers I can hook up to my PC to listen to FLAC; 2.1 is preferred because the room I have isn't best for surround sound. Anyone have any good recommendations? I'd really appreciate any input here.


Behringer B2031A. On steroids compared to just about anything else you'll see mentioned here. At least one pair of Audioengine speakers I've seen look a lot like dramatically shrunk, but not that much cheaper versions of them.
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mzil
post Jan 16 2013, 17:41
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QUOTE (tuffgong @ Jan 15 2013, 23:51) *
Mach-x do you have any articles to check out about how sound is not directional below 100hz? That is fascinating, i'd like to learn more.

It isn't actually a fixed, single frequency for everyone, and it depends on the conditions:

-Is it a pure tone or a band of noise?
-Do you limit it to the subwoofer being at least in the forward hemisphere of the listener only?
-Is the signal a short pulse or a continuous event?
-Is there other music/movie content simultaneously or is the low frequency sound by itself?
-What is the content and level of the other, direction-masking content?

and here's one which stumps many casual tests:

-How careful has the experiment been set up to ensure the directional cues the listener is detecting aren't actually spurious noises such as subwoofer port noise ("chuffing"), mild power cord rattling, subwoofer box panel flexing/creak, or some other object's sympathetic vibration (with higher frequency content) which acts as a "tell".

If you have to walk away with a single frequency in mind that has good, real-world use in almost all applications, I would say think of it as "80 Hz". That is the standard used by many, including all THX systems.

http://www.nousaine.com/pdfs/Stereo%20Bass.pdf
http://www.acoustics.hut.fi/research/cat/p...niemiaes118.pdf
http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/papers/paper_25/paper_25.shtml

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db1989
post Jan 16 2013, 18:41
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Dec 27 2012, 09:42) *
I will point to various MPEG tests that show while MP3 and AAC have very, very good results, they do not in fact manage, in the MPEG tests, to be indistinguishable from PCM.
Please do point to these tests, or at least clarify their conclusions and implications for lossy codecs. Iím not questioning your experience and knowledge, but this statement, out of context, seems too general and risks misleading people into thinking they will always be able to hear a difference in lossy audio (perhaps assuming they spend a load of money on snake oil first).
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krabapple
post Jan 17 2013, 16:43
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 16 2013, 12:41) *
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Dec 27 2012, 09:42) *
I will point to various MPEG tests that show while MP3 and AAC have very, very good results, they do not in fact manage, in the MPEG tests, to be indistinguishable from PCM.
Please do point to these tests, or at least clarify their conclusions and implications for lossy codecs. Iím not questioning your experience and knowledge, but this statement, out of context, seems too general and risks misleading people into thinking they will always be able to hear a difference in lossy audio (perhaps assuming they spend a load of money on snake oil first).


Are yous suggesting that lossy audio at high enough bitrates *cannot ever* be distinguished from its PCM counterpart?

Even hear on HA we have seen credible reports of 320 kbps LAME mp3 encodes being ABX'd. It's rare and I'm not convinced anyone can routinely tell them apart (including self-professed 'audiophile' mp3-haters) -- but that doesn't mean it's impossible. It depends on who you are (e.g., a codec developer, trained to hear lossy artifacts?) and what you a have encoded, as well as the codec.

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db1989
post Jan 17 2013, 16:48
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Jan 17 2013, 15:43) *
Are yous suggesting that lossy audio at high enough bitrates *cannot ever* be distinguished from its PCM counterpart?
Of course not. All I said was that the specific way in which Woodinville referred to the tests might be misleading. I assume they were highly thorough tests designed to catch out even the best codec. But other readers might read that, not think about its actual implications, and just take it to mean that MPEG-based codecs are never going to be transparent. I had to do a double-take, so I donít think itís impossible that somebody with (even) less technical knowledge and/or a latent bias against lossy codecs might misinterpret Woodinvilleís intended meaning.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 17 2013, 17:03
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 16 2013, 12:41) *
QUOTE (Woodinville @ Dec 27 2012, 09:42) *
I will point to various MPEG tests that show while MP3 and AAC have very, very good results, they do not in fact manage, in the MPEG tests, to be indistinguishable from PCM.
Please do point to these tests, or at least clarify their conclusions and implications for lossy codecs. Iím not questioning your experience and knowledge, but this statement, out of context, seems too general and risks misleading people into thinking they will always be able to hear a difference in lossy audio (perhaps assuming they spend a load of money on snake oil first).


Look for a JAES article in the archives, co-authored by JJ, that provides a lot of detail about the MPEG listening tests related to AAC, MP3, etc.

I'm sure it exists even though it doesn't seem to be here:

http://home.comcast.net/~retired_old_jj/bibliography.html
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mccarthyk
post Jan 17 2013, 17:09
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I agree with most of the people here. All of my music is FLAC, but I store my CDs as FLAC not MP3 knowing that I am not getting and audible difference - but so I can burn CDs for friends and when they put it on their PC it won't have been encoded back and forth multiple times.

I would recommend you look for good speakers, but not because you want them for FLAC.
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krabapple
post Jan 18 2013, 09:16
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jan 17 2013, 11:48) *
QUOTE (krabapple @ Jan 17 2013, 15:43) *
Are yous suggesting that lossy audio at high enough bitrates *cannot ever* be distinguished from its PCM counterpart?
Of course not. All I said was that the specific way in which Woodinville referred to the tests might be misleading. I assume they were highly thorough tests designed to catch out even the best codec. But other readers might read that, not think about its actual implications, and just take it to mean that MPEG-based codecs are never going to be transparent. I had to do a double-take, so I donít think itís impossible that somebody with (even) less technical knowledge and/or a latent bias against lossy codecs might misinterpret Woodinvilleís intended meaning.



It depends on how you define 'transparent'. If you mean 'transparent to most people under most conditions', that reflects the actual state of play for high quality lossy. But no lossy codec at any setting that I know of is claimed to be transparent to all listeners.

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Andavari
post Jan 18 2013, 18:44
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I always chuckle when people want "the best" without realising there's often some very inexpensive ways to have good sounding speakers, etc., without spending an absolute fortune.

My thoughts on "best speakers for FLAC" which would be to switch this question to an audio in general question, and it would be to buy what you can afford and like without relying upon b.s. reviews from so-called "audiophile" magazines, websites, etc. How speakers sounds can be subjective - for instance I've always liked a certain set of Sony headphones for the past 20 years which have always cost under $12 USD, whereas other people may be so biased to call them cheap crap, etc., based solely upon their price alone without having ever listened with them.

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Dec 26 2012, 20:59) *
I always recommend that people go to a hi-fi or home theater store and LISTEN to some speakers.

The problem with that is they won't necessarily sound like they did in the store as they'll sound in someones apartment or house. I've been there and done that back in the early 1990s when getting a new speaker system and won't fall for some store sound ever again since the rooms they have them in may have acoustic advantages which my house will never have.


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greynol
post Jan 18 2013, 21:20
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Just to reiterate Porcus's reply and some of my earlier comments, the other thing that is funny is the idea that a better speaker is warranted because the source is lossless.

Again, based on my understanding, if anything, it is a lossy source that will warrant a better speaker. Where the qualities of "better" would be flat frequency response and on/off-axis performance. Deviations from ideal could break masking of perceptual encoding which is not a factor with lossless sources.

This post has been edited by greynol: Jan 18 2013, 21:24


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probedb
post Jan 19 2013, 20:28
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QUOTE (Andavari @ Jan 18 2013, 17:44) *
QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Dec 26 2012, 20:59) *
I always recommend that people go to a hi-fi or home theater store and LISTEN to some speakers.

The problem with that is they won't necessarily sound like they did in the store as they'll sound in someones apartment or house. I've been there and done that back in the early 1990s when getting a new speaker system and won't fall for some store sound ever again since the rooms they have them in may have acoustic advantages which my house will never have.

Decent shops will usually swipe your card for the full amount and let you try them in your home, or at least a couple of places near me will do that.
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2tec
post Feb 2 2013, 20:36
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QUOTE (Andavari @ Jan 18 2013, 11:44) *
QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Dec 26 2012, 20:59) *
I always recommend that people go to a hi-fi or home theater store and LISTEN to some speakers.

The problem with that is they won't necessarily sound like they did in the store as they'll sound in someones apartment or house. I've been there and done that back in the early 1990s when getting a new speaker system and won't fall for some store sound ever again since the rooms they have them in may have acoustic advantages which my house will never have.

Yes, of course, the room will affect the sound, somewhat, however I believe that's irrelevant in regards to DVDdoug's comment. When I audition speakers, I'm not expecting the speaker to sound exactly the same as it would in my listening room, what I'm doing is comparing two different speakers to each other, in order to determine which of the two I prefer. I assume the speakers I prefer in the store would be the same I prefer at home.


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greynol
post Feb 2 2013, 20:51
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QUOTE (2tec @ Feb 2 2013, 11:36) *
I assume the speakers I prefer in the store would be the same I prefer at home.

I don't imagine that many here will think that's a good assumption to make.

This post has been edited by greynol: Feb 2 2013, 21:00


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2tec
post Feb 2 2013, 21:55
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QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 2 2013, 13:51) *
QUOTE (2tec @ Feb 2 2013, 11:36) *
I assume the speakers I prefer in the store would be the same I prefer at home.

I don't imagine that many here will think that's a good assumption to make.

LOL Of course, if you have a better suggestion, I'm all ears. ;~)


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greynol
post Feb 2 2013, 21:59
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So you agree with me then.


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2tec
post Feb 2 2013, 22:25
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QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 2 2013, 14:59) *
So you agree with me then.

You may be assuming too much. I put in my view. That's enough for me, thanks for your concern.


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