Good morning! We’ve just gotten a whole bunch of 5.1-channel speaker systems in which we’ll be evaluating over the next few weeks and by the looks of it we’ll be able to evaluate all of the high-end 5.1-channel systems that are available right now. Naturally we have the just released Logitech Z-680 here which indeed looks to be very impressive, Creative Labs was kind enough to supply us with their Inspire Digital 5700 and MegaWorks 5.1 550D which is another speaker system that looks very promising.
Fig 1. The Logitech Z-680, getting a checkup and a functionality test in our lab.
Naturally we’ve not forgotten about the other manufacturers such as Klipsch and their famous Promedia 5.1, unfortunately we have no confirmation from Klipsch just yet whether they’ll supply us with a sample, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed. Videologic unfortunately discontinued their Sirocco Crossfire product and thus we won’t be including that in the roundup, if there’s however other manufacturers you’d like to see included, just drop us an email and we’ll see if we can accommodate your wishes. In the meanwhile we’ve unpacked all speaker system and connected them up to our testbed, just for a few quick tests to make sure they’re working properly and also to break in the speakers for a couple of hours.
Fig 2. The MegaWorks 5.1 THX 550D in our labs, it too proved to work flawlessy after the checkup.
The photos you see above are just for illustration, these photos were taken right after the speaker systems were taken out of the packaging for a checkup in our lab, just to make sure they worked and didn’t develop any defects during shipping. Mind you, this is not how we’ll be evaluating them. We’ll be setting them up in our living room and compare them head to head by blind listening tests and with a wide variety of sources, including, DVD, DVD-audio, CDs and naturally EAX enabled games such as Epic’ Unreal Tournament 2003.
We’ll also be comparing them to a full-featured home theatre setup costing in excess of five times as much, just to get a feel of what these high-end PC speaker systems are capable of. As a playback source we'll be using a full featured PC with an Audigy2 Platinum, ATi's Radeon 9700, a DVD-rom, Cyberlink's PowerDVD XP 4.0 and naturally a DLP projector for a genuine home-theatre experience.