Movies and MusicMovies
These speakers do an excellent job in movies. Personal taste will dictate whether a listener will want to utilize the Mod-X EQ setting, though I found it helpful in clearing up most dialog, especially in movies with a lot of action. Other titles will sound better in either Flat or Classical, but again this will be a matter of taste to most users.
The subwoofer is nice and understated, but does exactly what it is supposed to do.
These speakers are able to reproduce sound in a big way. The soundstage is wide, and spatial cues can be heard from all around rather than just in the plane of the speakers. The speakers are able to reproduce quite accurately even the most complex of soundtracks. When action, dialog, and music are all in full force, the speakers do not sound muddled or overwhelmed. The sound never takes away from the action on the screen, or drops the viewer out of immersive situations due to weaknesses on the speakers’ part.
A 5.1 set is probably the better overall option for true multi-channel sound, but if a user is limited to a 2.1 set, then the SP2500s will not disappoint when watching a movie. Hard core movie fanatics will either invest in a 5.1 system, or utilize home theater components to power their PC. The overall experience of using this 2.1 setup will still impress, especially if a user does not have the room or the ability to mount/place rear speakers.
If there is one area in which this set of speakers excels, it is music. While they do a great job with games and movies, they are simply exceptional with music. There is a caveat though. These speakers are so accurate they easily expose the limitations of the source material.
The soundfield for well mixed and engineered music is expansive. Instruments and voices are easily identifiable, and their positions readily defined. When eyes are closed, these speakers give the illusion of much greater space and depth than can be expected from most desktop speakers. While the human voice has a fundamental frequency of upwards of 255 Hz, good high end above 3000 kHz is necessary to get the interactions of sound waves with not just the environment, but with themselves. This helps to give the listener that sense of “transparency” and “space”.
While more mellow speakers can cover up the insufficiencies of some source material, these speakers will expose them. MP3s encoded at 128 kbps will sound flat, clipped, and lifeless. Poorly engineered and mixed CD’s will sound artificial and constrained. When high quality source material is played, then the speakers really come alive. Details and touches that were covered up or underrepresented with lesser speakers will come to the fore. Well engineered recordings become vibrant, and one can nearly imagine standing in the sound booth listening to the reference speakers used for mixing while the artist is performing.
Ok, that last bit might be a bit of hyperbole, but the exceptional clarity and depth provided by these speakers in musical selections belie their categorization as a computer speaker set. They simply sound exceptionally good with quality source material.