The Ultimate guide to

eBay Home Theatre Speakers



Years ago, in the dim, dark ages of early DVD adoption, I leapt into the world of home theatre (or home theater for any American friends reading :P ) by buying myself a 5.0 set of Welling speakers and a Sony amplifier (See here for a look at my measly setup). None of it was top of the range by a long shot, but they were within my budget and to my ears they sounded great. At the time I bought the speakers, from a high end HiFi store no less, I could find no information on them, and never saw them in any other stores for some time. These days they've cropped up in JB HiFis everywhere and are thought of as fairly lowly speakers, but again, to me they still sound great these many years on.

However, I've never had a subwoofer, and always wanted one. Starting a family and all the time and financial constraints that it brings put hold to those plans, and so it has never happened. Recently though I've been looking on eBay to see what is available in the subwoofer market, and discovered there are a number of Australian eBay stores selling entire 5.1 speaker sets for really small sums of money. I had not heard of the brands being sold, being Accusound, Dream Acoustics, Pure Acoustics, Simba or Steinman Audio Labs, and I'm always very skeptical, so started hunting around for reviews of any of these brands of speakers and came up a little lacking.

After asking the question of the friendly folk at the Australian DTV Forum I've managed to gather some first hand usage stories, found out more about the companies behind the speakers, and have added to that with some research of my own to come up with what I hope is a great help to anyone looking to dip their toe in the waters of low cost home theatre.

So, without further ado, let's look at the major speaker sellers on eBay Australia.



The Audio Australia Shop


The first shop I came across was this one who sell primarily a brand called Accusound. Accusound is an Australian speaker designer and manufacturer (although it would seem most of their speakers are now manufactured in China).

From user Tim at DTVForums:

"Accusound are a well respected Australian brand and have been around for over 23 years. They make some very good higher-end speakers, which they sell both in Australian stores and export. Like alot of other Australian brand speakers, they don't really seem to enjoy as higher profile as they deserve. In saying that their Delta speakers have won alot of awards, and seem very well regarded by those in the know."

and followed that with

"The stuff listed on ebay is their cheaper line, but still seems very well built, with good bracing/build, good size magnets used, excellent quality crossovers, and quality connectors. They perform nicely, with smooth clean detailed sound. They are also very very good with music, and not only movies, something I dare say alot of cheaper systems would struggle with. I have listened to both the reference 6 and 8 systems that they seem to be currently selling via ebay, and was very impressed. Can't believe they are selling that cheap really, especially when you see whatelse you get for this sought of money!!!! "

And user mav states:

"I purchased a set of Accusound Ref8's off ebay a couple of years ago now and they have been good solid performers. Mine came with a sub and even though I am in the process of upgrading my speakers at the moment I still intend to keep the sub that came with my package as it is a little ripper.

I found the centre speaker was not up to the task accoustically however the fronts and surrounds were reasonably good. I will probably get my money back on this set when I sell it locally so overall I have been happy with it."


User scotty79 has added this after reading this page:

"I have a 7.1 set of accusound eclipse 55's at home, they good for HT but they lack dynamics for stereo use. They're a bass-heavy speaker (hence why they are so good for HT use) but aren't tonally accurate if you're an audiophile.

BUT - the accusounds represent great bang-for-buck, dont be shy now ;-)"

So it would seem that they would serve most people well, and they have on their site a lot of reviews from various home theatre publications, which always makes me feel a little more secure in purchasing speakers unheard.


What can you get for what price?

Basically set your budget at around $1000 for a 5.1 speaker system, and then expect to leave with some change. From watching some auctions it would seem that if you add a zero to the end of the model number, that's a pretty good indicator of the price of the speakers! (ie. $630 for the 6.3s and $830 for the 8.3s although they do go for quite a bit more sometimes) The units they sell on eBay are the "Signature Series", in particular now the 6.3 and 8.3 models, with the 8.3 set offering slightly higher power ratings than the 6.3s. These are a range apparently exclusively distributed via Audio Australia, and are therefore lesser in quality than some of their top range speakers, and are going for the 'volume vs margin' segment of the market.

Also on offer are the occasional factory 2nds of some of Accusound's other models like their Eclipse series, these seem to usually be a case of minor marks on the speaker cabinets and the like, so you're able to pick up some nicely priced upper range speakers from their range too.

Other than entire 5.1 speaker sets you can also buy individual surround, centre and subwoofers as well.


On putting up this site I asked all of the sellers for permission on using the images from their sales on this site. On doing so of Audio Australia I received a very prompt reply from the Managing Director, Justin Frith. I include here some further information on the speakers he would like readers to know:

"We now have 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 sets with larger centre and rear speakers, and now 3-way designs in all of our front speakers.

The Reference 6.3 sets now include 5" centre and rears. Even though they are the smaller of the 2 sets, the centre/surround packages are still much larger than any other product on eBay.
To keep production costs well down, most of the cheaper brands on ebay have very small rear and centre speakers. Small centre and rears also keep freight costs down, particularly with the geographical diversity of eBay customers. Cheaper freight can entice a buyer who has absolutely no idea how important these other speakers are. Unfortunately, most buyers see huge front speakers as a sign of "a good thing". Not so, especially with modern surround audio formats.
In 2005, both Alan Henning (Director of Engineering - Accusound International) and myself designed these new Reference packages and had them in production and ready for release in early 2006.
This New Reference Series now shares the "top shelf" in the Accusound Range with the Theta Range (2006 Delta Replacements). Retail mark-ups are the only differences.
Particular time was taken ensuring we had a complete balance in both of the systems. The centre & rear speakers were designed using the same mid-bass drivers as in the front speakers. Cabinet depth & volume (per driver) was carefully matched to ensure exact frequency equalization. Each set has it's own "tone matched" Subwoofer, designed to crossover at the correct frequencies for each respective model.. This was the only way we could meet the tough standards of Dolby Digital & DTS.
As result, the packs became much larger than the other brand previously made available on ebay. The demand has been overwhelming, a sign that our factory direct Accusounds still represent the best value for money anywhere in Australia, by a massive margin."


Dream HiFi

eBay Store link | Dream HiFi website


If you're looking for even more bang for even less buck than the Accusound speakers, then you could go with Dream HiFi. These speakers sell for roughly half the price of a comparable set from Accusound, but reflect that in their construction and performance. The brands that they sell are all their own lines, namely Simba & Dream Acoustics. There are a lot of similarities between the Dream Acoustic and Pure Acoustic speakers (mentioned in regards to another store below), and some of them are actually the same speakers, with an example being those reviewed here.

Some owner's thoughts on the speakers (All users from DTVForums)


"I have actually got a set of the dream 77 model. Overall I'm happy with them, the two towers are really good, worth the money by themselves. The centre speaker isn't as good, the clarity isn't fantasic and during talking scenes/surround music was slightly muffled for a better word. At the moment I've got the speakers hooked up with a virtual centre and it's ok. The rears are similar to the centre but not as noticable, mainly cause the only sounds that come out of them aren't as critical as speach. I figured for under $400 it was pretty hard to go wrong, if they where terrible I'd save up and buy better ones. I've probably had them for 2.5 years now. I've also got one of there subwoofers, downfiring one, ok but not brilliant. Makes lots of base but not as clear and crisp as the more expensive ones.

Also got a mate that recently got the simba V6 or X7 and he is really happy, he said that centres and rears on his all match up perfectly. Maybe they've fixed the problems,"



"I've got a set of dream acoustics and many posters on here have had or still do have sets. Some of their older models are the same as the pure acoustics line available on ebay, but all their speakers have similar characteristics which would seem that they come out of the same factory in China.

The quality of their speakers leaves a lot to be desired, but their value for money is fairly impressive.

The box construction is basic, but not awful. Its mostly made of cheap mdf or particle board as is fairly poorly braced especially in their larger speakers. The front baffle is made of good quality mdf and is quite solid but it is quite thin. The internal damping is basic and insufficient.

The crossovers used are basic and is some cases pretty useless. I cant say for all their speakers, but all of mine have drivers that have no filtering or poorly suited components. It is common to see a capacitor on the tweeter and no crossover on the woofer in their smaller speakers.

The drivers on the speakers have smallish magnets, but are of at least reasonable quality and effective enough.

But as an overall package the speakers do work well enough for home theatre and ocassional music. Audiophiles will want to look elsewhere, but that goes without saying."


"I bought a 5.0 set of dream DA828's and an ms12 subwoofer from ebay about 18 mths ago. the sub is ok and the fronts were ok but the centre was attrocious and i am still using the surrounds.

If the centre was better i would still have them but upgraded because the centre speaker was that bad.

Their warehouse is in preston, just off bell st. I had to go there once for a replacement driver for one o the rears. it cost me $19.

For the price of the speakers they are amazing value and sometimes as good as speakers 2 and 3 times their price but as my tastes changed and matured my ear for sound did too. I found faults in them that I would never found or even looked for previously. For the majority of buyers who shop for speakers from ebay and looking to buy 5 speakers for $200 they will be perfect because that buyer is obviously not looking for the best in HT. He is however smart enough to know that these speakers and a $400 - $500 5.1 channel amp will blow the doors of any HTIB"

So overall it would seem what you're getting in the Dream/Pure Acoustic speakers is amazingly low prices but not necessarily amazing performance.

What can you get for what price?

So, after noting that the reviews of these speakers are nowhere near as positive as the Accusounds, it is at least comforting to know that they can be obtained very cheaply indeed. A set like those pictured here (note there is no subwoofer included, so it's a 5.0 system only) goes for as low as $91 (as I just recently watched a set sell for), which is insanely cheap for this style of speaker. As such they do give excellent 'bang for buck', but may well leave you wanting for more in terms of actual sound quality from them moreso than the Accusounds.
The subwoofers they sell go for the roughly $200 mark, so when you add that to the 5.0 system you're actually creeping up a bit. Still, overall you are looking at roughly half that of an Accusound system.


Aussie Hi-Fi

eBay Store link | Aussie Hi-Fi website


Aussie Hi Fi are another eBay store with a large presence, and they deal primarily with Pure Acoustics and Steinman Audio Labs speakers. Quality wise the Pure Acoustics would seem to be directly comparable to the Dream Acoustics mentioned above, mostly because some of the models are the exact same speakers. As such these can be considered very low priced speakers which do demonstrate some of that cheapness in their construction and final performance , so take everything from above and apply it to these. Again, a review of one of the Pure Acoustics models can be found here.

The Steinman Audio Labs speakers seem to fit somewhere between the Pure/Dream Acoustics and the Accusound, in that they would seem to be better quality than those cheaper speakers but perhaps not quite the quality found in the Accusounds.

As far as user experiences with the Pure Acoustics, it would be safe to say you can read those for the Dream Acoustics above and apply them directly as they are in many cases the same speaker, and in cases where they aren't they would seem to be sourced from the same supplier so can be deemed to be of the same or similar quality.

User experiences for the Steinman speakers was hard to come by, but they do have a fair showing in the 'Best Buys Home Theatre' quarterly magazine. The ebay listings love to link to copies of the reviews, and I have confirmed that they are in the magazine by sourcing a copy from a newsagent. Best Buys is a sister magazine to Sound & Image, which is a trusted review source within Australia. As such it does give you somewhat of a better feeling about the speakers to read that someone who has reviewed others finds them to be up to the challenge.

Reviews (All from Best Buys magazine): SMS6, HS102, SMB4 & THR2. All of these are 5.0 speaker sets.


What can you get for what price?

As a seller, Aussie HiFi seems to set a lot of high reserve starting prices compared to the other online stores, as such you can see a large number of their auctions end with no bids. One such auction seemed to provide excellent value for money as it contained the THR2 system pictured, along with a 10" subwoofer and a Kenwood AV receiver for $689 starting (and ending as it ended with no bids) price. This is a good price to get an entire 5.1 setup complete with receiver. Especially of a setup which seems to have been reviewed as being good value and quality.

One thing that I'm not keen on with Aussie HiFi is that they make their auctions 'private' which they say is to 'protect the buyer', but really just stops people being able to easily see what their items have sold for in the past. This sort of 'hiding' smacks a little of trying to drive up the sale price of their products through lack of any better information.



So, these are the major players in the eBay market within Australia. There are others, such as CityHiFi Direct (who sell a completely unknown brand called EuroAudio). And some even smaller sellers such as hificonsultant and speakerbits who are not 'stores' as such, but sell a lot of Hi Fi equipment, although in the last two cases they sell big brand equipment, so can be a fine source for bargains on better known brands (thanks to forum member zorg for the heads up on those two).

With all the above taken into consideration, what would be my recommendations? It comes down to budget I suppose, and it also comes as no surprise that the more budget you have, the better speakers you are going to end up with.


Best speakers for the money From all I've read, both in reviews and people's experiences, I would not hesitate in recommending the Accusound speakers via The Audio Australia Shop. They give superb value for money on a brand that is well known and respected within Australia.
Best speakers on an absurdly small budget If you're on a really tight budget then you can get a quite decent home cinema setup for an amazingly small sum of money via Dream HiFi, but you might find the quality a little lacking.
Quickest way to get an entire Home Theatre setup By carefully picking your auction via Aussie HiFi, you can pick yourself up a very good value complete setup (including amplifier) with speakers that have been reviewed within at least one 'real world' publication.


So, in the end I was quite surprised that you can actually get some very nice quality speakers on eBay at great prices. I was not surprised to find out that others were of lesser quality, but then I was again surprised that they sell for such miniscule (in the home theatre world) sums of money.

I hope this guide is of use for those of you hunting for the best bang for your buck in Australia.


Contact me

If this guide has been of use or you have differing opinions on some of the sellers/speakers listed here, or further information to help this guide, let me know at