The 7100 Plus includes five small satellite speakers, for the front, center, and rear channels. The five satellites are identical, as is the case with all MidiLand systems, so each can be used for any channel.
Physically, the satellites are small, measuring about 8cm x 10cm x 11cm. Each satellite is made from MidiLand’s Platallic™ material. Platallic is, according to MidiLand, a synthetic blend of metal and plastic, which improves the sound quality of the satellites by reducing coloration due to resonance, as do metal casings, while maintaining the lower price point of plastic casings. The material, in fact, does more closely resemble plastic than metal, although it is harder and more solid than plastic alone.
Each satellite is protected by a non-removable cloth grille. In general, the satellites are small and unobtrusive. The metallic color is quite stylish as well, although the overall shape of the satellites could, perhaps, be made a little more aesthetically pleasing. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Fig 1. One of the sattelites, small and unobtrusive, with an non-removable cloth grille.
Each satellite houses a single 2.5” full-range driver, rated at 10W RMS. Frequency response from the satellites is rated from 250 – 20,000 Hz, +/- 3dB. Frequency response indicates the range of frequencies, from low to high frequncy, that can be adequately reproduced by the speaker. In this case, the +/- 3dB rating indicates that the satellites can produce sounds in that range with, at maximum, a 3dB deviation from the program volume. The +/- 3dB specification is nice to see, as it ensures not only that the satellites can cover that range, but that they can do so with consistent volume.
The satellites' amplifier features a Signal-to-Noise ratio of only 55dB. The Signal-to-Noise ratio indicates the difference between the program volume level, and the background noise volume. In other words, this figure indicates the difference in volume between the actual music or sound, and the background hiss. The higher the S/N ratio, the better, as it indicates that the speaker produces a much cleaner signal, without the background hiss becoming too overpowering. A 55dB rating here is fairly low, and indicates that we may encounter issues with a higher noise floor when listening to this system. For comparison, MidiLand’s flagship, the 8200, features a S/N ratio of a much cleaner 92dB.