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At the front of the speakers are the controls. The left switch adjusts the graphic equaliser presets, while the bass and treble adjusters, well, adjust bass and treble. I didn't find that the EQ settings improved sound quality much at all. A decent set of speakers shouldn't need to be adjusted depending on the type of music being played after all.
The general sound quality of these speakers is pretty good and the bass response is admirable. However, when turning the bass knob past the middle point, the sound very quickly became distorted.
The volume of these speakers is very impressive and could happily fill a decent sized room. They seem to be much better suited to dance music than any other variety though. This is often due to the simplistic nature of the music. When trying to play more complex pieces, they soon came unstuck. The overall sound stage just felt a little lacking – mainly at the upper end. That's why I found putting the treble nearer the top made the music sound a little better.
Overall though, these Abit speakers felt balanced and adding a sub-woofer seemed like a bad idea. But there are a number situations where a little more bass can enhance things – gaming and the aforementioned dance music for instance.
The sub-woofer has a much more simplistic control set. The signal is daisy chained through the first set of speakers. As you can see, you can only adjust the volume, and the intensity of the bass. The biggest issue I had with this system is that the volume on the speakers and subwoofer is entirely independent. This means, if you turned the master volume down on the speakers, the sub-woofer would stay at whatever volume it was previously left at.
You can use this in your favour though. You can use the independent volumes as a way of balancing exactly how much bass you would like. Then, volume can be controlled via Windows instead.
I was however, rather disappointed with the sound of the sub-woofer. I felt the speakers were fairly balanced, so adding more bass didn't do much for the sound. The bass wasn't particularly punchy and almost felt slightly delayed from the rest of the music. The frequency cut-off could have been better too. With the volume on the speakers off, quite a lot of the higher frequencies were leaking in to the sub.
My biggest disappointment has been the sub-woofer, which I really didn't think did Abit any favours. If you are after a decent bass sound, you'd be better off buying a set of good 2.1-channel speakers.
The speakers themselves though were fairly reasonable and far from unbearable, which means that it purely comes down to a price decision. At an RRP of £150 this set seems overpriced when the excellent Acoustic Energy Aego M speakers are now available for around £82 and offer amazing sound quality by comparison. With competition like that on the market, Abit is going to have its work cut out with the iDomes.
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