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Monday, October 18th, 2010

2.1 Speaker System Review: Part 1

Introduction

This is a quick review of my recent experience in shopping for a set of 2.1 speaker system in Malaysia. I spent a few good hours testing most of the speakers on display there (thankfully the shopping attendants were patient). Now I know that there are many other good systems out there, but coming from a small-ish town, choice was limited and here’s hoping that this review would help those in a similar position such as mine.

Altec Lansing FX4021

My trusty Altec Lansing FX4021’s control pod broke and required me to find a new pair of speakers. Ok fine…I broke my control pod…more on that later. Now here’s a quick few words about the FX4021…they are awesome even when they came out way back in 2006. The sound is crisp, the bass actually booms without distortion and it’s suitable for medium rooms. The subwoofer is really quite special with an “isobaric” woofer design, the bass output is deeper than many other larger subwoofers. You can read up on the meaning of what isobaric is here.

My only gripe is the control pod which is rather fiddly (which required me to jab the power button several times to turn it on). ┬áIt was in fact this exercise to disassemble and see what was causing the problem which broke the power button leaving me with a void where the power button was supposed to be. To turn it on, I had to jab a pencil at the little switch on the circuit-board…

I would still recommend it though for those looking for a good set of 2.1 speakers and it can be had at about RM490.00 (though I’m sure you can bargain it down considering it’s a 4 year old model). Problem is that it can be rather rare.

Shopping around in Saberkas, Kuching

Saberkas, is the Kuching equivalent of Lowyat with a huge concentration of computer/mobile phones/electronics. Arguably the most popular store there is PCImage (it certainly has the largest floor area) and they generally stock most common items.

Divoom and Eacan: Speakers for the Ah Beng/Ah Lian

Upon browsing their wares, I could see that their stock was mostly aimed at the budget conscious with lesser known brands such as Divoom and Eacan.

Not wanting to be biased, I decided to give it a go. The sound from these speakers were awful with a huge emphasis on bass bass and rattly bass at that…Furthermore, I noticed that one of Divoom’s larger 2.1 speaker sets (the XForce 5) had misspelt ‘Standby’ as ‘Stanby’…(this was priced at about RM380.00 by the way). Apparently Divoom is a Singapore brand which has atrocious English. I’ll let their website do the talking:

Source: Divoom

Site Title: Divoom Technologh Co.,LTD.Portable Audio, Laptop Audio, Lifestyle …

Divoom Technology Co.,Ltd.based in Singapore is dedicated to the research,design and development of Personal Audio System for Personal Computer and Portable Audio Devices.With its manufacturing and logistics base in the Middle Kingdom, Divoom Brand of products is currently retailed in more than 40 Countries Worldwide, with such a comprehensive integrated services.The Divoom Brand is now a Registered Trademark Worldwide, main market in North and South America,Europe,Asia and even the Pacific Islands.

Ouch. Middle Kingdom (they mean China btw)?

Their ad for the XForce 5 was hilarious too…

WHY YOUR FLOOR SHAKING!!!!

The picture does make it look a lot better than in real life.

Eacan seems to be in the same can of worms, being a China based company with both companies producing speakers that looked huge, Ah-Beng and downright nasty with loud but rattly sound.

In other words, unless you need your speakers to be large and Ah-Beng-ish and want your ‘Floor Shaking’…avoid at all costs.

Part 2 covering the offerings from Altec Lansing and Logitech to come soon!


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