Sahil Mohan Gupta, NDTV,
July 18, 2011
Corsair has long been a company associated with high quality PC hardware and now has ventured into the audio stratosphere. With the SP 2500 2.1 set, Corsair is targeting the gaming audience. Lets see if Corsair has brought their world famous hardware wizardry to these speakers.
The packaging of the speakers was top notch and we received a massive woofer with the two satellite speakers. Generously, Corsair has provided a wired controller for the speakers, which also boasts of a tiny LCD display. Through this display we can control the primary functions of the speakers. We also get two four-pin connectors for the Satellite speakers and also the main power cable.
All in all the packaging really impressed us and the speakers were very secure.
Build Quality and Design
The satellite speakers are fairly dull and boring in design but the construction is rock solid as the company uses very high quality plastics. The sub -woofer is quite heavy and can pump out 200 watts of bone-crunching bass.
Again, design wise the sub-woofer is Spartan, reminding us of a large cube or - for Star Trek fanboys - a "Borg Cube". Make no mistake, if you are looking for something snazzy which will make your desktop look cool then these are not meant for you.
Now, Corsair has promoted the SP 2500 set as a thunderous audio companion for the hardcore gamer but, unlike other gaming sound systems, these puppies sound quite sweet with music too.
Obviously, the set-up rocks hard when you have the likes of Mass Effect 2 and Crysis 2 playing. The speakers deliver a stereophonic immersion, which is normally associated with high quality gaming headphones. From explosions, to the sound of a gunshot or even the sound of a landing spacecraft each and every note is very detailed.
A similar experience was found on High Definition content, as the sound dynamics remained the same. We tested .mkv files of Star Trek, Matrix and Inception all sounded very engrossing and gave us a sense of excitement. Normally, this level of sound quality is not found in this price range, which is another feather in Corsair's cap. More so since we were not even testing these speakers on a system with a dedicated sound card, which could have enhanced the digital processing resulting in better sound quality.
What surprised us the most was the way in which the SP 2500 set handled music.
For testing, we used high quality MP3 files (320kbps) and the sound had warmth normally associated with speakers driven by tube amplifiers.
These speakers generally sound absolutely brilliant if one is listening to some acoustic music as one can hear each and every tiny nuance generated by the instruments.
Imagine the Nirvana MTV Unplugged set sounding like a live concert - Kurt Cobain's acoustic melodies were ringing like church bells. But while this was good, the vocals tended to become overly trebly as the speakers boast of a sizzling high-end which might sound quite pleasing initially but becomes irksome over prolonged usage.
The speakers have a very sweet mid-range, which nail the warm overdriven electric guitar tone, found on Sweet Child'O Mine or the husky vocals of David Gilmour on the Pink Floyd classic, Echoes.
It's a fascinating experience when one comes across speakers which successfully manage to nail this facet of the sound. Audiophiles pride themselves on identifying the exact instrument played on a particular track, and we are sure they will be able to depend on these speakers. We were able to identify the differences between the singing leads of Gibson Les Pauls and the bright funky quakiness of the Fender Stratocasters. The whole experience was immensely satisfying.
As far as the low-end went, these speakers boasted of thumping tight bass. These speakers are ideal for electronica or trance like music. From the psychedelic beats of DJ Astrix to the bone-crunching thump of a Dr Dre set, the SP 2500 held their own and came out all guns blazing.
As far as 2.1 speakers systems go, the Corsair SP 2500 holds its own against the offerings from Creative and Logitech in the sub- Rs 15k range. Sound quality-wise, these speakers trump most of the competition but they do fall short in terms of functionality and visual oomph.
Buy these if you just care about the sound, as these puppies will sing. Don't buy them if the functionality and feature set is paramount. Also, for people who do not enjoy a lot of treble, we would recommend the Logitech 2.1 set up as it reproduces a more balanced sound.
For - Rs 10,500
Wow Factor- 3.5
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