For some people they decide which parts of their computer to upgrade by which have become old, obsolete, or simply have stopped working. PC speakers, however, are discretionary item for most users. Most systems generally come with some sort of speakers whether they’re a cheap $10 speaker set or a set of $900+ Siroccos, most of us are in the first category, if you're in the second I don't think you would be reading this review. So why spend almost $200 of your own hard earned jack when you’ve been eyeing that processor upgrade or a shiny new GeForce3 on a set of 2.1 speakers? Hopefully, I can give you a few reasons in this review. I would like to point I chose to buy these speakers, they were not given to me so I know how hard the decision can be. First off let’s take a look at the specs.
Company: Klipsch Product: ProMedia 2.1 Availability: Seems like these things have been around forever. Price: $169-$179 Written By: Memphist0 Reviewed: January, 2002
Introduction: For some people they decide which parts of their computer to upgrade by which have become old, obsolete, or simply have stopped working. PC speakers, however, are discretionary item for most users. Most systems generally come with some sort of speakers whether they’re a cheap $10 speaker set or a set of $900+ Siroccos, most of us are in the first category, if you're in the second I don't think you would be reading this review. So why spend almost $200 of your own hard earned jack when you’ve been eyeing that processor upgrade or a shiny new GeForce3 on a set of 2.1 speakers? Hopefully, I can give you a few reasons in this review. I would like to point I chose to buy these speakers, they were not given to me so I know how hard the decision can be. First off let’s take a look at the specs.
Specifications: These are supplied by Klipsch’s website
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 31Hz - 20kHz
MAXIMUM BURST POWER OUTPUT: 200W Note: All Channels Driven Simultaneously
AMPLIFIER: Digital/Linear A/B amplifier; discrete MOSFET output power section
INPUTS: MP3 two-channel soundcard miniplug
DRIVE COMPONENTS: Satellite: Two-way system using 0.75" (1.9cm) polymer dome tweeter with a MicroTractrix® Horn and one 3" long-throw midBass driver. Subwoofer: Side-firing 6.5" (16.51cm) long-throw driver
TWEETER: 0.75" Poly compression driver
HIGH FREQUENCY HORN: 90° x 40° MicroTractrix® Horn
HIGH FREQUENCY CROSSOVER: 5kHz
WOOFER: 3" Fiber-composite cone
SUBWOOFER: One 6.5" (16.51cm) fiber composite cone
DIMENSIONS (H x W x D): Satellite: 8.5" (21.59cm) x 4.2" (10.67cm) x 5.67" (14.4cm) Subwoofer: 9.5" (24.13cm) x 9.8" (24.9cm) x 10.2" (25.9cm)
ENCLOSURE MATERIAL: Satellites: ABS Subwoofer: Medium density fiberboard construction (MDF)
ACCESSORIES: RB-1 Stand, WB-1 Bracket (each sold separately)
VOLTAGE: 110/120 VAC
EXPORT VOLTAGE: 230 VAC
YEARS BUILT: 2000 -
First off is the Frequency Response, for those that aren't familiar what this means, this is the range from how deep the bass is to how high (or bright) the highs are. From some forgotten science class you might remember that the average human can hear form 22Hz - 20kHz, bass however can be felt below this. The Klipsch specs come closest of any moderately affordable speaker set I've seen to covering this range. Some of its closest competitors only reach down to 35Hz with most being greater than 40Hz. What this long winded explanation means is the Klipsch should give you a greater bass response while you're getting blasted by a rocket launcher in Unreal Tournament.
Next is the Maximum Burst Power Output, which I simply perceive as how much can I throw at these speakers without them whining. A comparison with some other speakers would shown you that 200 watts is monstrous. Some very decent and somewhat pricey sets don't even have 50 watts of max power!
Then probably the most impressive spec of all is the Maximum Acoustic Output. These babies pump out 106dB of sound! Other quality speaker sets barely reach into the mid 80s and you might remember that the difference between 85dB and 106dB does not mean that the Klipsch are 24% louder. Decibel ratings are non-linear the power level doubles every 3dB, these speakers have roughly 7 times the power of your typical speakers.
Finally a little thing I like and something you will generally see in better speaker systems is the subwoofer enclosure is made out of a fiberboard instead of thin plastic used on other sets. I've always believed that for bass wood or fiberboard provides the best sound quality for any speakers.
One thing not talked about in the official specs is the ProMedia's THX certification. While the THX standard for PC speakers is as high as for home theaters, the ProMedia were the first to earn this distinction. We now see other manufacturers try to get the certification added to their products.
What you get: Of course with the set you get both satellite speakers, the subwoofer enclosure, all connecting cables, an installation guide, and some little felt pieces you can stick to the bottom of the speakers to prevent them from possibly scratching your desk or sliding. On the left speaker you have a volume control and a subwoofer volume control. I point this out because many speaker sets I looked don't have a separate subwoofer control so you are at the mercy of what the techs at the factory choose to set it at. Also, on the left speaker you have a headphone jack and as a surprise to me a miniplug to connect an MP3, CD, MiniDisc player, or whatever you want that has a miniplug output. Its nice to actual buy equipment that has more features than I originally expected.
Impressions: Ok so we have general idea of what the specs tell us, but as we all know the specs can sometimes be misleading. For this review I listened to these speakers connected to both the Philip's Acoustic Edge sound card and the onboard CMI 8738 sound card from the Soyo Dragon Plus, note this is not the typical onboard AC97 sound this is a dedicated 5.1 soundcard embedded into the motherboard. I ran them under Window's XP using WinAmp 2.78, and the following games: Unreal Tournament, Quake III Arena, Diablo II (yeah I know not much dynamic sound there), and Tribes II. Also, I watched a couple of the following DVDs using WinDVD 3.0: Star Wars: Episode I, Armageddon, and Independence Day.
After having these speakers for a little over a week I have to say they are AMAZING. If you have a roommate or live in an apartment you will have to turn down your system's sound to keep from receiving complaints. But don't think you're missing out on anything. The fullness the ProMedia 2.1s bring to anything you listen to is nothing short of jaw dropping. The bass response is phenomenal. Now you may be thinking these speakers are nothing but a lot of boom, but I gotta tell ya the clarity rivals many home stereo setups. Were not talking Bose here but definitely not far off.
Next combining these speakers with the Acoustic Edge with the EAX turned on in games like Unreal Tournament was spectacular. When you're running across the landscape loading up the rocket launcher with 6 rockets and fire that off your desk will shake and you get a feeling of depth I've never gotten out of the game before. Or picking out your favorite sniping spot listening to the rifle fire then ejecting the shell as it bounces to the ground is outstanding.
Seperate Subwoofer Volume Control
Clean Black Design, no cheesy wannabe techie looking components
The Price, you could get a cheaper set of 5.1s for $200
Neighbor complaints as You "Test Out" your new speakers
While some Audiophiles like to point out some of Klipsch’s design flaws no one can argue they aren’t the top speakers in the price range. Whether, you are a home user that uses your computer for web browsing while listening to some MP3’s or CDs, the die-hard gamer that wants thunderous bass and sound loud enough for your neighbors to hear, or a college student watching DVDs in your dorm room these speakers will satisfy them all.
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