what will be the next step up from the z5500s?
as far as computer speakers/audio is concerned... i know in the eyes of a 'pro audio guy that has thousands of dollars to splurge', pc anything is = utter crap.
i've owned my z5500 since 2003 now, they're still performing better than what they were out of the box since back then, rocking my windows and neighbors (we share a wall lol feel sorry for them but o wth.).
i'm still very blown away by these z5500s, i've moved homes about 12 to 15 times now since owning them, and they just rock.
i'm always checking out speaker demo systems at like BestBuy and Fry's...but none i've demoed there had the clarity my z5500 has at high volume outputs, their subs always end up sounding extremely muddy, overwhelming, or the highs end up distorting and crackling.
i recently went down to Magnolia (i believe it was in/around bestbuy? its the very high end home theatre section)...clearly in my jeans and hoodie they prolly knew i couldn't afford any of that sh1t yet.. however there was another couple in there, with leather pointy shoes and a suit on..dressed super nice, they were looking to buy. so i joined in and listened in on a demo they were doing on their "high end product".
not really sure what brand the speakers were, but they were tagged with like "$8999" or something. The couple had brought along a cd, with Eagles - Hotel California on it. They asked to play that track, on the system for demo. They cranked it up and such...
i hated it. it was way to 'bright' sounding, and hurt my ears when they cranked it even louder. I felt my ears straining.
i went home myself, pissed and a lil' in disbelief that a sound system tagged for "$8999" was this unpleasant for me.
went home, fired up Pandora.com, it played Eagles - Hotel California as well, and oh my, it was a whole different world. I literally shut my room door and cranked up my z5500 all the way to 4 or 5 bars away from the max level, before it goes into the "Boost mode".
it was soo amazing, it just sounded ... ugh.. orgasmic? and this was the kind of "loud" i simply didn't want to end. My ears didnt strain at all, nothing seemed "too bright" either, each instrument and guitar strum was just heaven.
i wish i could put Pandora to repeat lol.
maybe the fact that i have the z5500 paired to an x-Fi is also adding/changing to my z5500 experience.
what can you guys recommend for me? as the next step up from these z5500s? my budget is less than $500 after/including tax. I want and need a system that will match the z5500, meaning it can do it all.
5.1 Playback for my PC, PS3, Wii, all at once, with a headphone jack.
even better if this potential new upgrade can offer HDMI audio input, and handle "TruHD" Blu-ray audio formats.
thanks everyone for reading and your time! i truly appreciate any recommendations i can start looking at.