This Cambridge Soundworks speaker system covers all the basics that you would expect from any sound system for a computer. It offers surround sound, it has a handy separate volume control on a long cable that you can attach it wherever you like, the bass is powerful and the small speakers are great for fitting into small spaces around your computer desk.
However having glossed over the attributes, anyone thinking of buying this should pay a lot more attention to the problems.
Sure the bass is great and it is nice to be able to adjust it via a knob on the back of the woofer, however the rest of the sound is not of high quality. I am not a sound expert but my father recently spent 20 quid on some creative 5.1 speakers and it was very noticeable that they offered vastly superior quality.
Part of the problem with these is that you either have great booming music where you quickly reduce the volume or you have quiet voices where you need to turn it up. There never seems to be a happy medium.
Setting up the speakers was ok and took just a couple of minutes: the 5 smaller speakers connect into the back of the woofer along with the power cable and the volume control (this has a long wire allowing you to mount the volume control on your desk). There are then the standard plugs to connect the woofer to the soundcard in the back of the pc.
However the software that comes with the speakers is a bit of a let down. It prompts you to install the drivers (ok that part went smoothly) and then installs its own speaker management software. All the onscreen messages point to it having worked but I really struggle to get all the speakers working together at the same time. Sometimes the front 2 will play, sometimes 1 at the front and 2 at the back will play and sometimes it is just the woofer. In the meantime all the other speakers will hiss...so much so that I have resorted to unplugging them. I have tried the same films with my father's creative soundsystem and all speakers play together.
All in all, spend your money elsewhere
When i got it, i opened the box, put it all together then noticed i needed a surround sound card for my pc...... So i thought F@%$in hell. Anyway, i had 5 head phone jacks i needed to plug into my pc but i only had one port on the pc, so wot i did was, on the surround sound i cut off all the connectores, i conected up the wires (red to red and blue to blue) then connected it back to one head phone connector. Which then i can plug into my pc. It sounds exactly the same even if i did have a surround sound card. Its a nice piece of kit this surround sound. The good things about it is: 1)Easy to put together. 2)The rear speakers has got a good 4 mitres of wire, so its easy to spread ur speakers around. 3)Its really loud. 4)When on full volume, no point talking to a mate because he or she wouldnt hear you. 5)It doesnt distort like these other surround sounds. Its good for pc's (dont worry if you havent got a surround sound card just do what i did), dvd players, portable cd players, t.v's and so on. The other thing is that if you or your child wants a hi-fi just buy a cheap cd player and buy this surround sound system do what i said above and u'll have the power just like a hi-fi. Overall get out there and buy it!!!!!!!!1
The Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 system is a great addition to any PC, it's okay having a top-spec computer but to fully appreciate the sound and music you need a decent sound system to go with it. I think this sound system costs around £35 when bought separately and that is a very good price for what you get. The Soundworks system comes complete with 5 surround speakers which are 3x3 inches and a subwoofer which is about 5 inches in size. The quality of the sound is impressive, the speakers do their job competently and the subwoofer handles the bass very well for it's relatively small size, it can cope well with any rap and bass tune. Admittedly I have one problem with the system which is that the middle speaker does not seem to work with any applications on windows XP, this is only a minor flaw in my view, all other 4 speakers work perfectly well. Overall, a very good system which produces impressive sound at a very affordable price.
This is an amazing speaker system with one major flaw. After a few hours (or minutes) depending on the volume you run at, this system will overheat and die. There is no thermo-couple that kills power to prevent a burn-up. Once it stops, it's dead. This problem could easily be fixed by making the power supply external or putting a thermo-couple in to kill the system when it overheats. Creative Labs is ignoring the problem and offering very little help. For myself, living in the Virgin Islands, they are offering nothing in the way of help except "ship the entire system back and we'll charge you for the repair"....The system died with less than 3 hours total run-time on it. I've done a bit of research and found this problem to be wide-spread. Others have had the same thing to say. Great Sounds until it fried. Again, if they can fix the problems it will be a great system. Until then, I'd suggest something else. Please note, I'm not slamming Creative Labs or thier products. I loved the system while it worked and really want it back. Creative Labs just needs to be a bit more customer oriented. The fact that this problem is well documented should be reason enough to help those who need it.