Which speakers should I get for my Mac?
August 7, 2008 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be relying on my iMac and the music stored on it for a while. I would like to get a set of speakers so that the computer sounds better. What reasonably-priced powered speakers have folks had success with? I'd rather not get a separate subwoofer. I'd be willing to get a small amp and use my small stereo speakers if all the other options are too crappy. Thanks.
posted by OmieWise to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Bose Companion speakers, about $90. Great range and decent bass. If not that then a cheap stereo amp would be a good investment for about the same money.
posted by limited slip at 6:24 PM on August 7, 2008

These are awesome, I got them last year cause I was sick of carrying around an extra power supply for speakers. They are powered/connected through USB which is super convienenent and for the small size they sound really good, definetly fills up the room. They're not very bassy but that's not really what they're for, if you want convenient good sound than these are the tits.
posted by BrnP84 at 6:32 PM on August 7, 2008

Haven't heard either the Bose or the Logitech -- I'm chiming in to recommend the USB connect, or that you get some kind of external audio interface for your speakers.

On my G5 I was surprised that I could hear the difference in clarity between the built-in audio and the M-Audio Firewire 410.
posted by omnidrew at 9:08 PM on August 7, 2008

Logitech is a consumer electronic company that also does speakers.

Bose is a marketing company that employs some engineers to come up with gimmicks that sounds good in an ad. They also do speakers.

Altec Lansing is a speaker company that also does consumer electronics.

All three have decent offerings. However, their best sets cannot compare to that of companies dedicated to speakers, with names you have never heard of, like Tanoy and Klipsch. Check them first and decide whether they are out of your price range.

Here are two rules of thumbs for you. First, the heavier the better. Good speakers are made out of powerful electric motors. They will have large magnets and heavy bracing, so they will be heavy. Second, the physics of sound dictate that small boxes cannot reproduce low frequency. If you do not want a separate subwoofer, the speakers will have to be somewhat large. Something around the size of a 2 liter carton of milk should give you a good compromise between sound quality and size.
posted by gmarceau at 9:23 PM on August 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

These little $50 JBLs are great.
posted by nicwolff at 9:24 PM on August 7, 2008

These little $50 JBLs are great.

Thank you, I believe I will buy a set. I really like the sound of JBLs.
posted by Wolof at 1:02 AM on August 8, 2008

The Insignia ns-b2111 are really quite nice, unlike a lot of other Insignia stuff. See review here. As for an amp, I've hear good things about the sonic T-amp.
posted by pwicks at 1:11 AM on August 8, 2008

oh, the one small problem with the Insignia's is that they are not magnetically shielded, which may not really be a problem depending on your setup.
posted by pwicks at 1:12 AM on August 8, 2008

I always like the sound of Klipsch when in comes to small speakers; their iPod boombox is the best I've ever heard, I have a pair of bookshelf speakers for my apartment, and a pair of Klipsch ProMedia speakers for my laptop that are great.
posted by nowonmai at 8:30 AM on August 8, 2008

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