ConclusionEvery application I could throw at these speakers sounded just as it should. While games and movies are well represented here, music is really the strong suite of these speakers. The musicality of these speakers matches, and perhaps exceeds, that of a $300 pair of bookshelf or standalone speakers. But unlike those standalone speakers, the Corsair SP2500s feature their own amplifiers and control setup. Another $150 to $200 would need to be spent to get a standalone receiver/amplifier with similar specifications.
They are designed from the outset to be PC speakers, and as such should really be limited to that functionality. The satellite design is biased more towards a listener being 3 to 5 feet away from the set. While the speakers have more than enough power to fill a room, they have a relatively narrow sweet spot. If these were placed as the primary speakers in a basic home theater setup with a medium sized room (say 15×15 feet) then the speakers would do the job, but sound relatively lifeless and underrepresented. Once a user adjusts the volume and sits in that sweet spot close to the system, then it is a wholly different experience.
The primary testbed enjoyed the companionship for the Corsair SP2500 speakers. I certainly enjoyed testing them as well.
If Corsair wanted to make a big splash in computer audio, they certainly have succeeded. The SP2500s are the best 2.1 set of computer speakers that I have set ears to. Now, when comparing these to a home theater system with some Paradigm Monitor 3s combined with a 12” Paradigm sub, running a high current amplifier, then there is no comparison. The larger system wins out. But most of us do not want to put speakers nearly that large by our desktop computers. It also is about $600 cheaper overall for the Corsair system.
This is something of a niche system. Most users will balk at paying $250 for a set of 2.1 speakers. Then again, there are those who do take audio much more seriously than others. While $250 is a lot of money, I feel that Corsair delivers a product worth every cent. I have been following computer audio since the days of those tiny, tinny 2.0 speakers that were battery powered. The jump to the Altec Lansing ACS-31s was massive from those terrible speakers. This was followed by plenty of competition from Creative (the original Megaworks 510D were fantastic), Klipsch (ProMedia series), and Logitech (Z-560 followed by the Z-5×00 series). Over the past 20 years we have seen tremendous leaps in sound quality in computer speakers. Now as we enter 2011, I can honestly say that these are the most accurate, well rounded, and best engineered desktop speakers that I have yet heard.
Bring on the 5.1 version. Please?
PC Perspective Gold Award Recipient