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     > Product Reviews
          > Trust Soundwave 2000P 5.1 speaker set
22/3/02


Overall opinion
84%
Great value for money
Unlocks popular technologies (Dolby® Prologic & Dolby® Digital)
Good output from the satellites
Sub-optimal ergonomics


The proliferation of digital video and 3D games boasting advanced positional sound have changed the face of multimedia. It's no wonder that an emphasis is being put on the speakers we use. Boring old stereo just doesn't cut it these days, but do we have to pay through the nose for yet another upgrade?

First impressions
Trusts Soundwave 2000P 5.1 speaker set, as the name suggests, is a 5 satellite and sub-woofer surround sound speaker kit. Costing less than other six channel setups, you might assume it has serious shortcomings. That's exactly what we aim to find out...

The packaging is fairly uninspiring. Once inside, the first thing to look at is a simple leaflet covering seven languages and displaying an understandable line-art diagram. It's not the worlds most impressive manual, but it's an adequate guide.

Hardly detrimental, but the power switch wriggles! Despite my best efforts, the switch refused to come loose in my hand, thus ensuring this remains a minor issue. On a more positive note, tap this sub-woofer on its side and you will hear a reassuring wood-like thud. Things are, sounding good!

Compatibility & Ease of use
To get the most of this 5.1 surround sound speaker kit, you will need a matching 5.1 sound card. But don't despair, there's no reason why you can't use this kit as a 4.1 or 2.1 setup while saving for other upgrades.

Incredibly long cables are included, as are 3.5mm jacks for connection to most computers and 6x cinch plugs for compatibility with other devices. There's also a centre/bass adapter to guarantee compatibility with any 5.1 sound card. This product does not accommodate digital, optical or USB sources.

Installation is simply a matter of following instruction but we see room for improvement. There's no colour coding for the five audio-out ports which are only designated by raised plastic text.

It's my opinion that any sub-woofer cone should be close to the ground to deliver low frequency, penetrating thumps through the floor, that can be felt in your stomach. The independent volume, bass and power controls are located near the base of the sub-woofer unit. Considering that many computer users find space for their subs under the desk, it's apparent that these controls aren't in the most convenient location.

While not to my tastes, I will concede that in scenarios that necessitate the use of table top units, this speaker set will make a more compelling bid for your cash.

Specifications
12W RMS sub-woofer
2W RMS centre
2W RMS satellites (x4)

50 - 20,000 Hz frequency response
6 channel built-in amplifier

Acoustic Performance
Sorry for being unfashionable. We don't take a PC multimedia devices, compare its sound with that of a professional equivalent priced ten times higher, and pass condemnation. We compare reviewed products with similarly priced alternatives.

Each satellites overall performance is very impressive. Arguably, individual sounds aren't the most clearly defined but this is hardly noticeable. These speakers can withstand punishment and considering there's five of them, you would have the desire to overlook any inconsequential shortcoming.

The sub-woofer drove out a smooth beat that refused to distort under normal conditions. However, the bass volume couldn't be increased independently of the satellites by sufficient margin to suite everyone's tastes and when forced, there was notable distortion. Despite this, we consider the sub-woofer to have demonstrated adequate performance for use in the intended setting.

Reflected in the score, the weakest part of the equation is the built-in amplifier which couldn't always produce the uncomfortable levels of volume required for serious testing. This was not the most powerful setup at our disposal.

Entertainment
Next came the fun part. We tested with leading games using EAX and surround sound. The sub-woofer was placed on the floor.

Shoot 'em ups were incredibly fun. Although sudden rocket explosions beneath our feet weren't accompanied by the most exhilarating bass, we were given fair warning as to the course of offending projectiles.

Using all five satellites and the sub-woofer to unlock the effects of Dolby® Digital (AC3) results in a rich and deeply engaging audio output that really adds life to DVD movies. Voice definition seems particularly good. In action movies, the sound of bullets flashing past our heads demonstrated a level of depth that some similarly priced surround sound sets have failed to achieve.

Lasting impressions
In quieter environments, the Soundwave 2000P 5.1 speaker set provides good surround sound with few shortcomings. The ergonomics don't have my approval, but at the end of the day, it's the audio output that matters most.

Research into human hearing has shown that spatial information is usually considered more important than wide-bandwidth response. Overall, the setup isn't terribly loud and at this price, you cannot expect up-mixing or other such luxuries. There's no support for digital input either, but the 2000P would still suit most computer users and they're great fun!

After considering the outlay, I can happily say that Trusts offering is value for money and would suit anyone seeking to give their PC enjoyable DVD playback without breaking the bank. There are better 5.1 setups to be had, but not at this price.

© Networks United. Product by Trust
http://www.trust.com



£49.35
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Very Good


Options to suit almost anyone


Volume, Bass and Power

* We may have seen these for slightly less at source.com.uk

 

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