Questions about speakers

By taffia77
Jan 13, 2006
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  1. Okay, as technically minded as I am, I've never really been bothered with sound and so my knowledge of how speakers work is extremely limited.
    Yesterday I bought some 360w desktop speakers and although I paid under ten pounds for them, I was expecting a bit more. The sound from them is quite "empty" (that's the only way I can think to describe it!) and I can't get them to go much louder than about half way up the volume control, any more and it becomes muffled, and get to about 3/4 of the way up and it's just a loud hissing noise with some music thrown into the background.
    Finally, last night when I shut down my PC, but left the speakers powered on, I could hear a radio broadcast. I have no idea what station it was, and the reception was very crackly, but nevertheless it was definately a broadcast. I had no TV or radio playing elsewhere in the house.
    So to sum up:
    1) What can I do to make the sound better?
    2) Is the muffling because of the quality of the MP3, or is it just that the speakers can't take it (in which case what's the point of making 360w?)
    3) Why am I getting a radio broadcast, how do I stop it and how much of an effect is this factor having on 1 and 2 above?

    Would really appreciate some advice on this!
  2. iNoob

    iNoob Newcomer, in training Posts: 91

    What brand + model are the speakers? You say you paid under 10 pounds for it? That's like 20 bucks! (I know the British currency is strong, but no THAT strong) Did you buy these from a credible retailer? how many channels are the speakers? (2.1? 5.1? etc?)

    I doubt the poor sound quality is due to the music file. You can check the bitrate of the MP3 file by right-clicking the file -> properties and there should be something like "128kbps" (which is CD quality)

    I'm not too sure about the Radio Broadcast...sounds kind of freaky to me. It might be some components inside the speaker that are accidentally pickup some radio frequencies. I've heard of hearing aids picking up radio signals, but not computer speakers. Anyone have any ideas? I'm stumped.
  3. taffia77

    taffia77 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Hi thanks for the reply, the only spec I've got is:

    360w speakers
    2.0 Destktop Speaker system
    Volume, Treble and Bass controls
    3.5 MM Audio jack

    The dealer is reputable, and the speakers are own brand

    All my MP3s are 192kbit, so from what you say more than enough.

    I can't help thinking its the radio broadcast thing is the problem, and like you say it's a bit freaky!
  4. Peddant

    Peddant Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,644

    Do you have a seperate soundcard or ist it onboard ? Is the jack in the right socket ? Are all the volume controls up high enough(control panel/sounds and audio devices) and system tray.iNoob is right,10 of those funny British pounds sounds a bit cheap to me.:)
  5. kirock

    kirock Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,598

    Under 10 pounds are you kidding and you're wondering why you're picking up a radio station? :haha: I'm sorry but i'm having trouble typing. :haha:

    but seriously :haha: Stop it you're killing me. Was the radio station any good?
    What was playing? If you turned your speakers could you tune in another better station? Try putting 1 on top of the PC and the other on top of the printer, your reception may be better.

    Ok I'm done. Thanks.

    360Watts is the peak power for milliseconds literally. It's peak at the highest frequency the speaker can transmit, prob about 15KHz. So the peak power time is 1/15,0000 seconds. So any cheap amp/speaker can do that. It's continous power out is more like 10Watts.
  6. iNoob

    iNoob Newcomer, in training Posts: 91

    That's what i think too. Those speakers SHOULD be outputting a sustained power of something like 10W. There is absolutely no way for a 2.0 speaker to output 360W.

    Regarding the radio station, try unplugging the speakers from your computer but not the power source. If you still hear it, then crack open one of them and see what's inside. You never know what you will find, LoL.
  7. seanp789

    seanp789 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 113

    1) speakers range from $10 to $10,000 and quality varies accordingly. better speakers will offer you better sound. Past a certain point will will need better equipment to match the speakers.

    2) the muffling is largely do to the speakers, there is some quality loss in mp3s but at 192kbps the problem you are describing is not the mp3s

    3) The radio broadcast (also known as RFI) is due to the cheap unshielded cable your cheap speakers use. it acts as an antenna picking up radio which can be heard from the speakers. you dont have to buy expensive cable but at the least it needs to be shielded to reduce RFI.


    - Logitech Creative, and Klipsch make some good PC speakers in the $100-200. also depends if u want 5.1 or just stereo sound. For music try googling the Swan T200a and the swan M200a as they come highly recommended across the internet.

    -What sound card are you using? That will also limit how much you should spend on speakers.

    -Let me also say that the watts rating will give you very little indication of a speaker power or quality. Its a number company's marketing departments always inflate. Find a set of speakers you like at the store and then google it for reviews. example "review logitech z5500" That will give you much better information on popular, low cost speaker systems.
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