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Corsair SP2200 2.1 PC Speaker System

Stylish 2.1 setup for your gaming system

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Author: Jouni 'Jipa' Vasama
Published: 17.03.2011
Manufacturer: Corsair
Product Group: Audio
In English In English
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Sound quality

The problem with 2.1 sets like the SP2200 is always the crossover between the tiny satellites and the subwoofer. The idea of a proper subwoofer is to only reproduce sounds under 100 Hz or so. The beauty of this is that at the low frequencies it's impossible to tell where the sounds are coming, so the subwoofer doesn't mess up the stereo impression. The tiny satellite speakers can't produce low frequencies at all, so in order to prevent any gap in the frequency response the subwoofer crossover needs to be high. This again means that the subwoofer needs to deal with frequencies way over the 100 Hz limit, it becomes very easy to hear where it's placed and the stereo impression suffers. Ideally it should be right in the middle of the satellites, so the balance would sound right, but obviously this isn't always practical or even possible.

 

Corsair SP2200 2.1 PC Speaker System - Stylish 2.1 setup for your gaming system
 

Once you get the speakers in place it's time to judge the actual sound quality itself. To be fair we haven't done speaker reviews in ages and lack comparable sets from other manufacturers. The SP2200 are marketed as a Gaming Series Audio product, so the testing began with gaming. The explosions and other effects were loud and clear. Anyway the real test is always music playback, and here things didn't go as smoothly, as the satellite speakers just never sounded natural enough for my liking. We also tested the speakers using a sine wave generator and the problem area seems to indeed be the high bass - low mid tones around 100-300 Hz. The general tone of the satellites ends up being heavy on the treble and becomes tiring after long use. The subwoofer does a good job at playing back the bass, but it's struggling with the 100-300 Hz band as well.

Then again, we come to the price of the set - which is supposed to be somewhere under 100 €. For that money you can really only expect so much, and for the price the SP2200 is still a decent set. It's just that personally at that kind of budget I would buy a pair of headphones for much better sound quality or save some extra and look for higher end sets.

During the listening we also noticed a problem with the volume controller having a crooked balance between the channels. When listening at low volume the right speaker was louder than the left one. At higher volume this problem disappeared. This should be a good enough reason to get the speaker set RMA'd, but also tells something about the quality of the volume potentiometer.



Conclusion



PROS 
  • Three inputs
  • Stylish satellites
  • Headphone jack on speaker


CONS 
  • Volume controller
  • High crossover
Award
Silver Award!
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Corsair has once again entered a new market, and while I personally wasn't perfectly happy with the sound quality, the SP2200 is still a solid performer in its class. Starting from the looks and functionality, it's definitely a nice product. The satellite speakers look nice and stylish, and there's three inputs to cover all the needs. On the right speaker there's also a jack for headphones, which is handy. Really the only nag I have about the physical side of things are the cables, which, knowing how carefully the subwoofer needs to be placed, could be a bit longer.





The sound quality is largely subjective thing, and in lack of comparable speaker sets in the same price range, it's really hard to judge the SP2200. One thing for sure are the laws of physics, and the crossover, which really bothered me. In games it's all good, but listening to music made me pretty soon want to switch back to my own speakers.

So for the price and for a bit less demanding user it's a good kit, but I just found myself really missing the higher end SP2500 model.


Additional Information

Corsair

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Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.
Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.


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