10-06-2011, 09:41 PM
Call me Mak or K
Join Date: Sep 2004
Genius SW-G2.1 1250 2.1 Speakers
We donít bring products into the Lab just to beat them up, so we almost didnít bite when Genius pitched these speakers. We also try not to prejudge products, but we didnít have high expectations for this 2.1-channel speaker system: It looks cheesier than a wedge of Vermont cheddar and sells online for less than 50 bucks. We were fully prepared for a craptastic audio experience. Wow, were we ever off base.
Corsair neednít worry that Genius will bump its exceptionally good SP2500 speakers off our Best of the Best listóthe SW-G2.1 1250 isnít that goodóbut it is better than we thought any $50 speakers could be. Weíre not sure if the weird hourglass shape of the ABS plastic satellite cabinets is supposed to serve a function or is just an odd design decision, and we hate the hardwired speaker cables that connect them to the subwoofer. But we have no complaints about how they sound.
Weíre also not sure what Genius sprayed on the one-way drivers to achieve that shiny red finish. These are simple 3-inch paper cones with inexpensive foam surrounds, so we were quite surprised with their capacity for reproducing both midrange and high frequencies without dedicated tweeters. While listening to ďHe Was a Big Freak,Ē from funk diva Betty Davisís They Say Iím Different, we found that the satellites rendered the drummerís high hat unexpectedly tight and crisp without compromising Davisís lusty screams and guttural growls.
The compact subwooferís design is equally simply: a 5.25-inch paper cone driver with a foam surround housed inside a 9mm MDF cabinet. This isnít the tightest sub weíve heard, and itís easily driven to distortion if you crank the bass dial much farther than the halfway point, but it does move an incredible amount of air through its rear reflex port. We thought the bar across the face of the compact sub might be there to protect the woofer, but Genius tells us itís just for decoration.
Most 2.1-channel speaker systems tuck the amplifier inside the subwoofer cabinet, but Genius houses this one in its own enclosure. And we suspect the amp is the component most responsible for this systemís better-than-average sound. Most inexpensive active speaker systems utilize class D amps, but a more sophisticated class AB amp drives this system. The amp delivers just 9 watts RMS per channel to the satellites and 20 watts RMS to the subwoofer, though, so donít expect to fill a large room with sound using this system. Itís plenty loud for near-field listeningóincluding gamingóand the satellites donít distort, even with the volume control pegged.
The aforementioned hardwired speaker cables limit your options when placing the components, and having the amp in its own enclosure will add to your desktop clutter, but we like its large primary volume knob, and we doubly appreciate having a discrete bass control. This is no audiophile system, but we predict weíll kiss a lot more frogs before we find another set of cheap speakers that sound this good.
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