Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speaker System and HS1A Headset - HotHardware

Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speaker System and HS1A Headset

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Before we discuss sound quality, we should discuss the specific attributes of the speakers themselves. The subwoofer included with the Corsair SP2500 2.1 channel speaker system uses a fourth order bandpass enclosure design with an 8” driver. A fourth order enclosure is essentially a sealed subwoofer enclosure with an additional section that houses a tuned port. The port is tuned to a certain frequency and extends the low frequency response over a basic sealed enclosure, within the limits of the driver. Fourth order bandpass enclosures are efficient and offer good power handling, but only up to the limit of port’s tuned frequency. Try to push lower than the tuned frequency and things get distorted real quick. But, since the Corsair SP2500s uses individual class-D amps with dedicated DSPs, supported frequency ranges, or crossover points, can be specified to minimize distortion. The sub is rated for 120 watts and is powered by a pair of bridged 60 watt amps, which can output up to 120 watts.

Although they don’t use quite as elaborate of an enclosure design, the SP2500 satellites also have the benefits of individual amplifiers with DSPs per speaker. Crossover points are set to each driver’s rated frequency range, and the drivers consist of a 3” 40 watt midrange and a 1” 16 watt ferrofluid-cooled silk diaphragm tweeter. Total power capacity per satellite is 56 watts, and you guessed it, there is a 40 watt midrange class-D amplifier and 16 watt tweeter class-D amplifiers, both with integrated DSPs.

We have been using the Corsair SP2500 speaker system for a few weeks now and have had the opportunity to listen to a wide range of music, movies and games. Overall, we’d classify the sound quality of the speaker system as excellent, but not perfect.

Music:
We listened to a variety of music sources on the Corsair SP2500 2.1 channel speaker system including low-quality, streamed internet radio, high-bitrate MP3s, and store-bought CDs. Across the board, the SP2500s excelled. The almost total-lack of distortion from the speak system itself seems to mitigate some of the poor audio qualities of streamed content at all but the highest of volumes. High bit-rate file playback was simply excellent. Listening to a variety of top 40 titles, including artists such as Pink, Cee Lo Green, and Rhianna, we were continually impressed by the sound quality of the speaker system. Highs are clean and crisps, mids are clear and easily distinguished, and lows are solid and punchy. The same can be said of the store-bought CD playback, which was also excellent. We tried discs which included everything from the ‘Walk the Line’ soundtrack to kids’ titles from Laurie Berkner and everything sounded great.

Movies:
Watching movies was also very good on the Corsair SP2500s, for the most part. We watched a handful of movies including Zombieland, WarGames, Saving Private Ryan, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Walk the Line and sound quality across the board was great. Vocals were particularly easy to distinguish and highs were crisp. As good as the sound quality was, however, this 2.1 channel setup cannot compete with a true 5.1 setup in terms of positional audio / surround sound effects. So, while sound quality was great, the movies were perhaps not as immersive as they would have been with a surround sound setup.

Gaming:
Many of the same comments we had with regard to movies ring true with gaming as well. We played a lot of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, F1 2010, and Bad Company 2. BC2 and F1 2010 performed exceptionally well. Quality was excellent and the gunshots and explosions in BC2 were as clean and clear and we’ve ever heard. The same can be said for L4D and L4D2 with one caveat. It seems the SP2500s, regardless of the EQ or Program mode we tried, made subtle sounds more subtle than they were on other speakers. For example, the sound of the witch crying in the distance and the sound of a Tank hulking around the corner were much more subtle and harder to distinguish.

For users that like to tweak their sound quality for different situations, the Corsair SP2500 speaker system offers a number of preset program and EQ modes, most of them self-explanatory. Program modes include, Late Night, Stadium, Concert Hall, Club, Theater, Karaoke, Dynamic Pop, and Wide. If you’re wondering, Late Night mode reduces the harshness of high frequencies and lowers bass response, so Late Night gaming or movie sessions don’t produce sounds that reverberate through a house, even at low volumes. Preset EQ modes include Reference, Classical, Pop, Jazz, Mod X, Action, Drama, FPS, Action Gaming, and Headphones. Mod X in particular is interesting because it processes Blu-Ray and DVD audio for better performance on a 2.1 channel speaker system, rather than a movie theater environment.
 

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Noticed an ongoing error.

3” 16 watt midrange and a 1” 40W ferrofluid-cooled silk diaphragm tweeter

40 watt midrange class-D amplifier and 16 watt tweeter class-D amplifier

Which way is it? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the 3" midrange should be 40W, with the 1" tweeter at 16W

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Yup. Will Fix. Corsair's actually got the specs wrong on their site and I just carried over the mistake. :)

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Thanks for the article I have been eyeing these and wondered how they perform. I have the HS1 Headset and I love it. I recently bought some speakers but I am not completely happy with them so these are tempting.

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I will like to pick up a new headset as mines is about to give any day now... :D. I would love to get the speakers too but i was looking for a 5.1 system, i will just have to deal with my monitor's built in speaker and my head set for now. Logitech should have some old controllers laying around!!!!! My controller for the speaker broke and the whole thing is basically useless :(

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Man, it seems like stereo sound will be rocking until the day sound days, and we have implants implanted that allow us to feel sound in every way possible.

Inspector:
Logitech should have some old controllers laying around!!!!! My controller for the speaker broke and the whole thing is basically useless :(

Tell me about it, the subwoofer for my X-530 is blown to high-heaven, surely Logitech has some subwoofers lying around for my poor 5.1 sound system...

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I had the same issue with the controller on my Logitech ZX 560's. In my case I was able to take it apart and found the issue to be a loose wire.

Anyway I really like the look of these Corsair speakers.

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I'm pretty sure Logitech sells spare parts for thier speaker system. I know they do it for some gaming mice.

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Not for products that are not in manufacture any more, that's according to their customer support. :(

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These speakers look great. Clean Lines and not a lot of unnecessary flash & bling to them. They are a tad on the expensive side, but are probably worth the money.

I need a new controller for one of my older 2.1 speaker systems too. It's a Microsoft Sound System II. When it works, it's amazing to hear.

I also have two pair sets of JBL 2.1 Creature-II's that sound great too.

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Bandpass boxes tend to be HUGE... and this subwoofer looks to be no exception to that. lol

Got any dimensions on that bad boy?

Nevermind, found them!

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