I'm currently writing this review with Cambridge Soundworks Megaworks THX 5.1 550 providing the soundtrack, which is the Swedish House Mafia set from Creamfields. I can close my eyes and the sound is just perfect, pitch, tone, all spot on.
So when you hand over your hard earned cash you will recieve a rather small and unassuming box. Inside you get the 5 satelite speakers, 1 subwoofer and a remote control along with all the relevant wiring and instructions. Constructed from a mixture of black plastic with the occasional bit of MDF.
The first sign that this is a little special was the fact it is THX certified, which you may know means that it is designed to deliver the highest form of audio. Originally developed by George Lucas so that the sound on Return of the Jedi would be accurately reproduced, it now finds its way into your home.
The second hint was that you get five speakers which is the same amount as a home cinema kit. Effectively that is what this is, transforming your desktop into the ultimate multimedia experience delivering a premium audio/ visual experience. In this age of downloads and streaming, an essential item.
The digital 5.1 speakers deliver a combined output of of 500 watts, which is loud, believe me. Essentially each of the satelites delivers 70 watts while the subwoofer puts out an impressive 150 watts. The subwoofer is able to deliver a base note around 25khz. The cabling varies in terms of length as you get 3 lengths at 3 metres and 2 at 5 metres. The two 5 metres are to supply the staelites that will be behind you.
In day to day usage the sound quality does not drop nor decline and delivers a great deal of fidelity in comparison to the source material. It delivers with all types of sound at any range. The bass notes are percussive and deep whilst the dynamics are excellent. The medium and the treble are of a good quality, but not quite at the level of the bass.
Installation as with any device of this type can be fiddly and time consuming. This set is no worse than any other I have come accross so that cannot be judged as a bad ponit. Just be prepared to set aside an afternoon, not just for the wiring but also the configuration and sound balance.
My only complaint is that it is not exactly the most stylish of setups to look at. The cube shaped subwoofer as well as the five satelites on their plastic stands look cheap, which is a shame because they deliver such a high quality end product. A little bit more effort here would have gone a long way.
I'm not sure you can pick these up new anymore, although I notice amazon.co.uk is selling one used for £150 and there are a few on eBay. If you are considering picking one up or another of the manufacturers devices, then I can certainly recomend them based on my experience with this set.