We have a new Win8.1 computer. Did not come with speakers, old ones sound scratchy and off. Do we need new ones? Old are 12 or more years old. Have the electrical specs changed or maybe the speed? TIA.
You don't say what kind of a PC you have. If it's a major brand, it's possible but not likely there's a problem with the audio circuit. There's no harm done in replacing 12 year old speakers and that's more than likely to fix the problem. If it's is not a major brand, I might have a different view.
To my knowledge, the electronic spec for audio has been the same for a long time. External speakers essentially are plugged into a headphone jack and then amplify that sound.
You should be able to find something suitable for $25 or less. Logitech is a good brand, there are others too.
Thanks so much for the advice. this computer is HP and old one was too. I've used Logitech products in the past and know it as a good brand. I wasn't sure if any changes had been made for audio, wasn't aware of any. Thanks.
If you or someone you know has earphones or ear buds, you could try plugging those in first to see if the sound is normal.
I'd also double check your volume settings too, in Control Panel - Sound, to make sure the volume setting isn't too high or too low.
Being not an audio aficionado I purchased an entry level set of Logitech speakers to go with this W8/8.1 system when I got it. They lasted about two minutes as they were absolutely unacceptable. They sounded like those cheap Japanese eight transistor AM radios back when I was a kid. I went back to my old LabTec pair.
If I ever do decide to replace them I will be listening to them before I leave the store.
Just sharing one man's experience.
Thanks for the advice on checking audio in Control Panel, I had already done that before posting here. They changed back and forth alright, but with only one tone, it's hard to determine how the sound really is. I do have headphones, and earbuds, don't think I would have thought of that. Next thing I'll try. I was surprised that the Media Center doesn't play movies, DVD is a media type, and I thought there was something wrong with the program used to replace it. But regular cd doesn't sound good either. These speakers did sound good last time I used them on old system. Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.
One fix for "scratchy" old speakers ... open them up and clean out any dust, dead crickets and cat hair.
If they still sound bad, it might be the jacks or other connections.
Most little computer speakers are well closed up, I don't think most are subject to a build up of dirt inside.
Speakers have finite lives, the actual material in the speaker can rip or get brittle, other parts can fail or detach. A broken speaker gives off a muffled or garbled sound.
They're cheap enough to replace.
DA, it sounds like you got a defective product. I bought a pair of pretty cheap Logitech speakers about 5 years ago. The sound that comes out doesn't compare to a good component system by any means (for a dozen reasons) but it's clear and undistorted.
Speakers do come in different impedence values usually listed in ohms for example, 8 ohm. For best results, the speaker ohmic value should match the source's value. However, mismatched speakers will play but won't deliver maximin sound power.
As far as I know, powered speakers for a PC do not have an impedance value that needs to be considered or "matched", as you put it. Everything works with everything.
Passive speakers with a sound source coming from an amplifier are a different story, most especially when multiple speakers are connected to one source.
I bought cheap Logitech speakers in Staples. They are small black speakers and have a volume control. I don't think they cost more than $15-20.00 and they are great. I listen to my Itunes and radio during the day and have never had a problem, plus, the sound is fabulous.
I bought Creative speakers with a powered sub-woofer many years ago. Don't remember where I got them, probably either NewEgg or TigerDirect. They were on sale for less than $30 and are still going strong. Wonderful with classical music.