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Sony SRS-DB500 PC Speakers review



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Sony SRS-DB500 PC Speakers
  • Sony SRS-DB500 PC Speakers
  • Sony SRS-DB500 PC Speakers
  • Sony SRS-DB500 PC Speakers
  • SRS-DB500 Speaker System (2.1-channel - 300W RMS)


Our Score:


Somewhere out there in the UK, there’s a new group of people that deserve our sympathy. They’re not bound together by any class, religious or ethnic ties. They’re not linked by job, company or hobby, nor do they follow a common team, band, artist or icon. You won’t even find them all within a given county, city or suburb. Nope. All these poor devils have in common is that they’re unlucky enough to live within hearing distance of someone with a set of Sony SRS-DB500 speakers. Whether they own the house next door or rent the flat upstairs, they’re never going to know real peace and quiet again.

These babies are monsters; two satellite speakers dishing out a whopping 75W per channel, backed up by one big brute of a subwoofer packing a mighty 150W RMS. Powered by an S-Master digital amplifier, this is a hideously powerful desktop speaker system. And let’s remember that as we go on; these are speakers designed to sit within a few feet of you on your desk, not distribute sound throughout your living room. If you want a set of these you’re either after speakers that can pack a Tyson-strength punch or you’re so deaf already that nothing else will do the job.

It’s no surprise that this is – literally – a heavyweight system, with the package as a whole clocking in at a mighty 10Kg, give or take 100g here or there. What is a surprise is how much of this weight is down to the sub. The satellites are solidly constructed units roughly 14cm wide, 20cm high and 10cm deep, but they’re actually quite light, weighing in at a mere 700g each. With a 2.5in cone and a bass-port they’re designed to handle the high-end, mid-range and some low-end frequencies, providing a smooth crossover with the sub, but on first acquaintance I wasn’t particularly hopeful. Compare the Sony satellites to the satellites supplied with, say, Altec Lansing’s superb MX5021 set or Logitech’s Z2300 system, then take the bog-standard, bell-wire cabling into account and you don’t come away with much faith that the SRS-DB500 will do its job,

The Subwoofer, however, inspires more confidence. It weighs in at a back-busting 8.5Kg (bend the knees when you stick it underneath your desk!) and, as mentioned earlier, incorporates an S-Master digital amplifier, as found in Sony’s more conventional Hi-Fi and home cinema kit. The 160mm driver at the end of the bass port looks formidable, and nor is it the only thing that does. As with the SRS-GD50iP system we looked at last week, Sony’s engineers have decided to get busy with the illuminations, placing a ring of red light around the large volume knob at the top of the system. Not only does this work as a volume indicator, it also throbs and revolves in time to the music or sound effects your listening to, with three different effects that you can select using the bundled IR remote control (which was sadly missing from my review sample).


January 27, 2010, 11:08 am

that last picture really puts into perspective how big that sub really is:



January 27, 2010, 6:49 pm

What an engineering failure. Overpowered and with an absurd subwoofer that's probably larger than most people's desktop PC. Who in their right mind would buy this? Oh but it's got a light that "throbs and revolves in time to the music," well in that case, I'll buy two.

Gareth 4

January 27, 2010, 8:16 pm

It's very very ugly in my opinion :/


January 27, 2010, 9:48 pm

At first, I thought I had found my next speakers reading this, they within my new price range and look the part, but it soon became apparent that they are overkill. (Allthough that really wouldn't bother me while I'm blasting away at the Helghast)


January 27, 2010, 10:28 pm

To be fair, J4cK, you could do a lot worse if you want to do some blasting. I admit I really enjoyed whacking up the volume and battling away. For a lot of desktops, though, the charge of overkill isn't entirely undeserved.


January 28, 2010, 4:22 am

@StuAndrews, firstly, great review mate! I gather these are a really good set of speakers and I could do far far worse. I have my PS3 and gaming PC side by side sharing speakers and monitor. The Sony SRS-DB500 sound absolutely ideal for games and action films, but I listen to alot of varied music and the types of films I watch most often wouldn't benefit too much from the huge bass and lack of quality at lower volumes. While I would usually never say no to extra power and thump, I get all the thump I need from my Sony SRSD211.CEK! This is because my bedroom is Tiny! (about the size of 3 single beds side by side) Yea :/

I don't know, I'm sure these a great either way I might actually buy them unless you can recommend some other 2.1's for around £100. (Needs multiple inputs) a second Aux will do

Yes I have asked before about this but now I've upped my price range a little :)So if you can be bothered your help would be very much appreciated


January 28, 2010, 4:50 pm

@J4cK1505; if you can do without a sub, Creative's GigaWorks T40 are a great choice and for well under £100 too


January 28, 2010, 6:17 pm

@ffrankmccaffery yea thanks, I have allready taken a look at these and I gather that these are great quality speakers but maybe I'm deluded but I think a sub is a nessasity. At this rate im going to end up spending around 3 times my initial budget! haha I might take a look at something in the £150 range, I mean otherwise my money will just go on beer!


January 28, 2010, 7:10 pm

Proper ugly charver speakers, them. I'm another happy GigaWorks T40 owner.


January 28, 2010, 10:20 pm

"Subtle these speakers are not; but who wants subtlety anyway?"

I want it anytime, anyhow, anywhere. They can not reproduce the "texture" of sound, extremely low resolution, metal sounds like tin can.

"it’s arguably too damn loud for desktop use"

I find their max output level perfect for any use. Neighbors will be annoyed by pure huge distortion only.


May 1, 2010, 7:35 am

The law of physic states that one cannot get a good bass without a bigger box to house the woofer. So one cannot get good bass and don't want a bigger box. Two, sounds abrasive ? There is a proven concept known as 'burn in" in hi fi. After about 50 hours of usage, the mids and highs become more musical and non abrasive. It gets better and better with usage. Best multi media speakers in the world ? There is no such an animal or object. But this set of computer speakers and several others by different manufacturers come close.

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