Help me find a simple speaker solution!
November 25, 2007 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Looking to get some decent sound out of my DVD player on the cheap. I'm a complete idiot when it comes to things with wires.

So, I'm not an audiophile by any means. I just want to get some decent sound out of my DVD player. I don't want to fiddle with rear speakers or anything. I'll end up pulling my hair out/putting unnecessary holes in walls messing with those things.

Basically, I'm wondering whether or not I can just get a couple of floor/shelf speakers and maybe a center speaker, and hook them directly to my DVD player? Like with an audio-in (out?) connection. Nothing complicated and preferably nothing too pricey. I'm completely clueless! Any suggestions?
posted by kmtiszen to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First problem: you still need an amplifier (which, in this context, is often called a 'receiver'). You might get powered speakers (ie, the amplifier is contained in the same box - there are loads sold as 'computer speakers'), but generally speaking you cannot attach speakers directly to a DVD player.
posted by pompomtom at 7:22 PM on November 25, 2007

Computer speaker systems are pretty dead easy to set up, and all the decent ones are powered. You can get some pretty excellent deals on them nowadays, since being "computer equipment" they're subject to competitive pricing.

Usually the amplifier is built into the subwoofer (most are subwoofers with either 2 or 5 satellite speakers) and there's a separate control box (of varying elaborateness) where you adjust volume, etc. Lots of them even come with remote controls, which would probably come in handy.

Hooking it up to your DVD player would probably involve using a 1/8"-male-to-dual-RCA-male Y-adaptor cord, which are pretty easy to find. The fancier speaker systems have digital input, which is easier to connect (just use a single RCA cable or a TOSLINK optical cable, depending -- almost all DVD players have a digital output of some sort).
posted by neckro23 at 7:45 PM on November 25, 2007

There are plenty of "home theater in a box" options for under $200. They usually come with rear speakers, but that doesn't mean you have to use them. Some include a DVD player with a built in amplifier and clearly marked color-coded inputs for the speaker wires.

There are also some units that use "virtual surround."

This is a one-piece system
is about $400, but they are available in various price ranges.
posted by The Deej at 9:51 PM on November 25, 2007

go to circuit city, home theater section. there's some boston acoustics 5.25" bookshelf speakers for $150/pair and then find the $90 receiver/amplifier and you've got a starter setup for well under $300.
posted by rhizome at 12:04 AM on November 26, 2007

Oh goodness no people, just get a $30 set of little freestanding computer desktop speakers -- ones that come with a subwoofer (a box that sits on the floor). There's just one wall plug, really simple wires that connect to the little ones and to the subwoofer on the floor. They could probably also hook you up with a RCA-to-headphone converter, so you could plug the speaker system into the DVD player's audio jacks. $40 tops for house-jarring sound. I've got a digital projector in the living room and a simple set of these (like this) are all you need, nothing complicated or expensive.
posted by vanoakenfold at 3:41 AM on November 26, 2007

The Audioengine A2 desktop speakers are getting rave reviews lately -- they're small, self-powered (one of them has an amplifier in it), and, judging by the review in the current issue of _Stereophile_, sound very good. Oh, and they only cost $199. Might be worth investigating.

So, you could plug your DVD player direct into the speakers and you'd have an instant speaker solution. Linky here.
posted by the matching mole at 9:25 AM on November 27, 2007

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