Initial ImpressionsIt has been a while since I last reviewed some speakers, so I was quite excited to get these up and running. Off the bat the speakers were really bright. Almost ear bleedingly bright. Bass was good, midrange was well represented and warm, but the high end was really apparent and seemingly overwhelming at times.
Several things ended up happening here. The first is that I was used to a much mellower sound while listening to computer audio. I have several different sets of Logitech based speakers, and while they have good sound, they are light on the high end. Being exposed to speakers that do not fall off so dramatically at the higher frequencies can be a very different experience for those who are not used to that quality of sound.
A close up of the speaker wire and its connectors. Pretty beefy units overall.
Next is that the speakers did seem to need some time to break in. The sub and midrange drivers are made of paper with a stiff rubber surround. While the cones will not lose any real stiffness during the break in period, the rubber surrounds will. They will lose their stiffness, and that is a good thing. This means that the cones can move more freely within the housing. After a few days the overall sound balanced out, and the perceived “brightness” blended into a fuller sound.
Being “bright” right out of the box is not necessarily a bad thing. When using a good sound card, users can adjust the output so that the sound can be smoothed out. What is not wanted is a muddy sounding speaker set. If speakers come out sounding this way, there is very little a user can do to improve the sound.
The inputs are very sensitive on this set, so a user needs to be careful about how high of volume they are outputting from their computer. Keeping the line out level at about 50 (on a scale from 1 to 100) will give the best results. Pushing above that can really overdrive the sound, and that is perhaps another reason why the speakers initially sounded so bright. I had mistakenly set my output level on the sound card to 90%, and that was just too high.
There is something very satisfying about a good set of speakers with a strong, punchy bass. One of my favorite sounds in a game is that of the MP5 sub machinegun in Counter-Strike Source. The Logitech speakers I am used to simply do “ok” when reproducing this sound. The SP2500s excel at it. Even when I could afford better assault rifles, I found myself going back to the MP5 just to enjoy the thump and pop of shooting that weapon.
When set to the Flat EQ setting, gaming was very immersive and enjoyable. Audio/spatial cues are well represented, and the soundfield gave the illusion of exceeding the actual physical boundaries of speaker placement. Voice communications were easily heard and understood, even when action was intense with sounds coming from multiple directions.
The control pod is well protected, and note as well the extra pads included. On the bottom left are the two stands which allow the speakers to be rotated upwards towards the listener’s head.
I tried the FPS and Action Gaming settings in the EQ, and I found that I preferred Action Gaming above everything else. It seemed a bit smoother, with better representation of overall sound all the while accentuating the bass. FPS seemed to muddy the rest of the sounds unnecessarily, though that particular setting really seemed to push the bass and to enhance the voice frequency range.
Overall I was very happy with the performance of these speakers in a gaming scenario. In other titles which have soundtracks, it may be better to utilize the Flat EQ setting rather than Action Gaming or FPS. Games such as Oblivion, which feature fully orchestrated soundtracks, will benefit from the Flat EQ. These speakers will not fool anyone into believing they are 5.1 units, but the enhanced soundfield does help to give the impression of greater space and immersiveness.