Poll Question 258 – What kind of speakers do you use?

21st January 2012

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Having a good sound card and speaker set up can make a big difference to your experience of gaming, yet few of us can have a large speaker system dedicated to our PC.

Currently I just use my laptop speakers or some cheap headphones. I have had 7.1 headphones but my ears overheated, so I had to stop using them.

As much as I would love to have huge speakers to play with but my living arrangements and the fact I like portability, anything other than headphones is impossible.

Tell me more about your speaker set up. Got any recommendations regarding headphones?

Time to vote!


  1. Hec

    I’d said lap speakers, but they started to fail a little, so I moved on to some basic PC speakers, which costed me 1 USD in Walmart, not the best option but they work fine and they have ok quality sound, also I complement them with some headphones, when I dont want to disturb anyone at hom with my gaming sound.

  2. Voted other because I was not sure of the categories of 2.1 system ( laptop, premium ?)
    That right, since I use it to replace my basic speakers my gaming experience get better.

    I also have a 5.1 system that I use for my TV even it is designed for PC.

  3. I have an old cheap laptop for portability and my main computer focus (and money) goes to a desktop. I have a Corsair SP2500 2.1 speaker system and love it, both for gaming and music. I know there are better systems out there however they tend to cost a lot more.


    I have a very old version X-Fi sound card which I will remove when I upgrade my computer, as I “think” modern higher quality motherboards have very good sound. However, not sure about that, and I’m looking forward to hearing others” ideas about a sound card which would be both reasonably priced and superior to a MB in both gaming and music.

  4. denizen50

    I use these home made babies:
    needless to say, the amount of hifi detail and house-crumbling linear bass is humongously spectacular. =)

    1. Those are beautiful. You have my admiration. I bet the Hunters” scream would have me pooping my pants and the Striders” death man breaking windows!

      1. denizen50

        Let me say, having played all HL2 mods and most scary FPSes out there, I’ve had quite a few immersed scares with these speakers.

    2. Wow. Those are beautifully crafted speakers. How long did they take in construction and what wood did you use?

      1. denizen50

        I used MDF of course, for its density, and the build took about a month since I had some previous experience.
        BTW, the entire build is detailed here:

  5. First of, get what you can afford and as far as sound goes, stereo speakers are still good. After all we only have two ears! And I also have a headphone recommendation. Cheaper is better! My wide range Sony headphones pick up too much computer sound to be worth using. I can hear it think!
    Yet a low cost pair I sometimes use do not have that problem and still sound great!
    My home-built, hybrid PC system uses an old “Soundblaster” card linked to a “Dell — Altec Lansing ADA995”, “THX” 6-speaker 5.1 surround system, with a huge, under desk subwoofer!
    I have a 7.1 system on the “Asrock” motherboard, but I use “Microsoft Flight Simulator FS2004″ and this doesn’t like ” soundblaster” emulation, hence the old soundcard.
    I get great DVD sound, where my centre speaker is essential to pick up the actual dialogue from the overloud ” spfx” soundtracks on modern surround DVDs
    Stereo sound is good, but below par compared to my HiFi!
    But I have often read that serious gamers consider headphones to give the best aural experience, with surround headphones being even better!

    Ps. My system may be noisier than most because a part of my sound system was recovered from my old PC frame that had been left out in the snow. And it’s components span two centuries!

  6. Derbler

    check out the studio headphones by the german company beyerdynamic. they are expensive, but the clarity is immaculate

  7. Joe Cap

    As some of Podcast17 buddies know I own a sound rental company so I have no shortage of speakers 🙂

    A few times on large outdoor festivals when we have to come down and setup the system
    the day before, after the rig is tuned and set I have played some HL1 on my laptop and feed the audio threw the rig. Just think of HL1 being hurd threw a 3000 watt concert sound system. 🙂

    1. Video or it didn’t happen!

      1. Joe Cap

        You got it Phillip just wait until we get warmer weather out here!

  8. Kyo

    I have a pair of Altec Lansing AVS200 computer speakers that I’ve had for several years now and they still work great and are as clear as a bell. Considering that I spent all of $20 for the 2 speakers, they’ve really impressed me.

    I also use a pair of Koss headphones which fit quite snugly on the ears and get warm after prolonged use. They’ve broken twice over the years, but Koss replaces them at no charge, which in the long run has probably made the price worth it. I do wish I bought their older model instead – the kind that look like they are from the 70s – because I’m sure those things are built like tanks. The reason I like these headphones is because the cord is reinforced where it goes into the phones. This seems to always be the point of breakage for cheaper pairs of headphones (usually because the cord gets yanked) and it surprises me how headphone manufacturers typically don’t reinforce that connection.

    I have a cheaper pair of Sennheisers at work that are pretty awesome too.

  9. AI

    I use a Creative X-Fi ExtremeGamer sound board, Creative 5.1 surround speakers, during the daytime(no one home at the bld where I live) For evening playtime or movietime, I use a pair of Acoustic Research (AR) wireless headphones! 😉

  10. just a pair of sennheiser HD-515 headphones. Not quite premium but not quite basic either.

    Sound quality is fantastic.

  11. I couldn’t vote as there was no option for both headphones AND speakers, also nothing for having more than one computer!!

    for my desktop computer, I have both headphones and speakers plugged in via a Y splitter. For the most part I use the headphone’s but if I am alone I switch on the speakers. Sometimes if I am showing something to someone that requires sound I will switch the speakers, but for playing games I always use headphones so as to shut background distractions. As for the quality of the kit neither is premium or basic but mid range. I don’t use my desktop as a media centre so I don’t need top of the range audio equipment.

    My Webbook (Netbook) and laptop are a different case, I don’t expect or need top quality audio from them so the built in speakers are sufficient and if I need to keep it down, a cheap headset is more than sufficient.

    it’s all very well having the best, most expensive kit, but unless I was going to use my machines as media centres I don’t see the necessity to get better audio equipment.

    The only thing I might consider getting in the future is a wireless headset (with mic) for use with skype.

  12. I use a pair of Auvio headphones, and 2.1 Insignia Speaker set. It’s a pretty sweet combo.

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3933226 are the Auvio headphones I think.

  13. Unq

    Well when I had my own place and didn’t care about bothering anybody I used a good Logitech 5.1 speaker system with a subwoofer that was about 1 cubic foot. Nice bass and good sound. But now that I’m not in my own place I use a good set of headphones, the AudioTechnica AD700. I didn’t want “computer” headphones since I wanted better quality and comfort. But what I really like about the AudioTechnicas are that they are open-air, meaning they don’t seal out other sound (image search them if you want to see). They also aren’t hot and are very comfortable for lengthy sessions. I use a cheap Zalman clip-on mic that seems to be pretty good for Skype and games.

  14. I’m still using the speakers I bought 10 years ago. They will have to be replaced soon, because the cables are beginning to fall appart. :D. I’m not sure if I should replace the cables or buy new speakers. I think the quality of cheap stuff has decreased these days. For the games that are scary I use some big headphones. When I’m playing with them I have to take regular breaks, because they are not too comfortable.

  15. Halo

    I use a set of basic pc speakers that I won in a contest some years back. Hilariously I also won a 128M stick of ram in that contest that has long ago become obsolete but at the time was twice the cost of the speakers.

  16. Alex

    I use my pretty good speakers.
    They only cost £20 (reduced from 60) so I bought two!

  17. Herr_Alien

    Oh, I use such a variety!
    At work I use a basic pair of phones. Decent bass, but it cuts deeper in the higher spectrum than I like.
    At the laptop, I use a basic pair of phones. They pretty much suck at both ends of spectrum, bass and treble.

    At my desktop though, I use a pair of Logitech USB speakers, that sound better than any that I had (but not as good as my bro’s setup though – Creative setup). If the speakers are too loud, I switch to a pair of Sennheiser headphones: they sound very good in the entire frequency range, and even excellent at high frequencies. Love’em, and I’m a bit sad that they press a bit too hard on my ears to bear them for more than 3-4 hours.

    Some of the funkiest setups I had involved a pair of decent speakers for the front channels, and a pair of cheap headphones for the back channels. The audio card would be then set up to output 4 channel surround. The sensation was fantastic. It felt so … real (!) that I had to switch back to the plain stereo headphones (I was playing Undying at that time and I didn’t want to change my underwear too often 😐 )

  18. Fred

    Altec Lansing Speakers and Sub that came with my Dell that I bought 10 years ago. They work fine, But mostly I yse my MS Lifechat head phones.

  19. agent00kevin

    I use a surround sound/dvd upscale unit bought in 2009. An adapter cable lets me plug it into the PC output and the dual RCA inputs on the unit. Its also an RCA model 😛

    Its supposed to be used for the bedroom TV but the speakers are all set up surrounding the gaming area as thats where I spend my time. I just use the on-board HD sound since I just built the rig and the RCA unit does all the real work anyway.

    On my kids PC, which used to be my main gaming rig, we just use Altec Lansing 2.1 Surround and an old Sound Blaster XFI HD card. Even that one packs enough punch to sound great…though the wife isnt too fond of hearing all out war from 2 PCs in the same room.

    3rd and oldest PC, my very first gaming rig, is hooked up to the TV and just uses the TV sound which is fine since its just there for the occasional 3rd LAN player.

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