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Question about 2.1 speakers

12-07-2008, 02:20 PM
Hi all,

I'm running on a tight budget when it comes to speakers - looking for 2.1's for around 100 dollars. I've found a nice pair of speakers I like, the Logitech z-2300's. In the past, with the use of rca cables and an adapter to a 3.5mm headphone jack (the white/red to green cable), I've been able to plug my consoles into a switcher, and run the switcher right to the speakers and tv, thus allowing me to get the sound from my old Altec Lansing 2100's and video from my tv. However, I've never been bothered to figure out if I could plug my tv into the speakers, because I never thought I could - the only thing I tried was plugging the sub directly into the headphone jack of the tv, resulting in sound coming through only one speaker.

The reason I have a problem is because I'm looking to get a new hdtv - the panasonic 32" lcd flat panel. I have an hdmi cable for both my xbox 360 and ps3. However, if I'm not using rca cables, I see no way to be able to plug the consoles into my speakers. I know these 2.1 speakers are intended for pc use, but I was hoping to be able to plug my tv into them using the same adapter as before. Trouble is, I'm not sure of two things;

1) If the tv will be able to output RCA in some way or another
2) If I instead plug the speakers into a headphone jack, will sound only come out through 1 speaker or 2?

I want to make sure I know what speakers I will be getting before I get the tv.

Any help will be much appreciated - thank you!

Links: ( I can only post pieces of the links since I'm a new user)
Logitech z 2300: (amazon) /Logitech-Z-2300-THX-Certified-200-Watt-Speaker/dp/B0002SQ2P2

Panasonic TV: (best buy) /site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8744905&st=panasonic&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&id=1202649176477

Speakers I'm using now: (amazon) /Altec-Lansing-2100-Computer-3-Speaker/dp/B00005S8KY

Adapter I'm using now: (livedigitally) /wp-content/logitechwire600.jpg

The switcher, for lack of a better term: (madcatz) Default.asp?Page=177

12-08-2008, 06:34 AM
Honestly to use just 2 speakers up front like that I'd just use the TV speakers. Should sound good enough. I'd save up to eventually get a HTIB even a low end 5.1 will be better than a 2.1 designed for use on a desktop computer for gaming.

This is honestly just my opinion. I just don't see any bonus to it except maybe for the sub woofer which is going to be minimal in that sort of setup anyway.

12-08-2008, 06:21 PM
Thanks for your reply.

Yeah, the main reason I'm doing this is for the sub...I really like the bass from gunfire and explosions from my 2100's. My room is not the size of a standard living room; I sit less than 10 feet from the tv, and although I don't feel any sort of rattle from the sub, I appreciate the added oomph to my audio. I only looked into 5.1 a little bit - I'm apprehensive only because I'm not sure I could find a good way to set it up in the space I'm given.

Also, I haven't gotten a chance to hear quality of the tv's onboard speakers. I also decided on a different tv, due to the panasonic's lac of pc input.

Sony Bravia 32" - http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8808061&st=sony&lp=8&type=product&cp=1&id=1206142174666

If I WERE to do 5.1 instead, where should I start? I don't necessarily want entry level if I can afford better. I want to be able to match or fall somewhere near the quality I'd be getting from the Z 2300.

12-09-2008, 08:21 AM
I don't have prices on this stuff because my items are mostly higher end. But if I were you especially with the holidays I would check out some of the more inexpensive Home Theares in a Box. Someone posted a sony one here recently and while sony isn't "great" by any means I don't think they are bad either.

Once you go 5.1 you're going to wonder why you never did it earlier. Just having the seperation from the center channel to the effect speakers is worth it. You have the voices coming from the middle, where they are supposed to while you are watching TV or a movie. And those gunfire in video games. Well it's nice to know when someone cocks a shotgun behind you.

12-09-2008, 11:10 AM
Alright, 5.1 sounds like something I should definitely look into then. Are all five speakers usually wired? Also, browsing tv's at the store last night, I found the rca outputs I was looking for - now that that's cleared up I can focus more on speakers.

EDIT: I've found these ones, they seem attractive and budget-priced all in one.


I do have another question pertaining to 5.1 though - the rca output from the tv is the red and white cables. Will the sound still be properly split amongst the 5 speakers if my input is only the two cables?

12-09-2008, 12:20 PM
Those speakers aren't going to give you 5.1 audio from your tv. I believe those speakers have 3 head phone jacks, which are meant to receive 5.1 audio from a so equipped sound card on a computer.

To get 5.1 sound from your tv, you need a 5.1 source (such as a HD broadcast going straight to your tv, or to a cable box, a ps3, an xbox360, etc). Then you need a receiver that can decode the Dolby Digital 5.1 signal. This is usually fed via a digital optical cable. You really need to look at HTiB (Home THeater in a box), so that you will get everything you need ( a receiver that can decode Dolby Digital audio, 5 speakers, a subwoofer, and all the wires).

12-09-2008, 01:42 PM
Yeah those computer type speakers aren't going to do what you want it to. You need to have something running the whole system. Check out the Home Theatre in a box options, you're going to get the same answer over and over here on this subject.

I have a 5.1 system on my computer and it's no match for what my reciever can do with sound in the livingroom.

12-09-2008, 06:30 PM
Alright, I'll take your word for it. However, the only HTIB options I looked at had dvd players included..does that double as the device to control the whole setup?

12-09-2008, 10:59 PM
Alright, I'll take your word for it. However, the only HTIB options I looked at had dvd players included..does that double as the device to control the whole setup?

There's a ton of options out there but looking quickly I found this.


The important thing is to have a couple HDMI inputs and 1 output to your TV. It's not so important with the cable box but you definately want to have your PS3 and Xbox360 hooked up with HDMI.

12-10-2008, 12:24 AM
That's a very nice looking system, but its unfortunately way out of my price range.

I'm looking to spend 200 dollars maximum, but I won't ask you to do the searching for me..

I might just end up reverting to the 2.1 speakers. Of course I will do some testing with the ones I have once I actually get a tv, but I am easily satisfied when it comes to sound - and with college bills I can't justify spending too much at this point. In fact, I've lowered my price range on the tv almost 200 dollars to the 32" Dynex lcd - though I have no idea what I'm getting in to, it seems like a pretty great entry level tv.