Sony SRS-DB500 PC Speakers - Sony SRS-DB500

By Stuart Andrews



Our Score:


This view was confirmed by a quick session on Army of Two: The 40th Day. I’m not a huge fan of the game, but if you want mindless violence, this does it, and the cacophony of shotgun blasts, machine-gun fire and shouting was enough to have my better half hammering on the door and threatening all kinds of unpleasant repercussions if that racket did not STOP RIGHT NOW! This, frankly, is exactly the sort of thing that you buy a really big set of 2.1 speakers for.

It’s a similar tale with movies. I don’t think I’d want to have the SRS-DB500s set up to watch, say, Sense and Sensibility or Mamma Mia (you'd want to watch Mamma Mia at all? - ed), but with Terminator: Salvation in the PS3 and the sound cranked up the system’s no-holds-batted, belt-it-out approach has real appeal. With the satellites less than three feet from you the sensation is akin to being in a post-apocalyptic warzone. In fact, were you in a real post-apocalyptic warzone, there would probably be less danger of your ears falling off.

Still, as you might have gathered from the first paragraph, this is both the strength and weakness of this system. The SRS-DB500s sound okay with the volume dialled down, but they really only sound good with the volume turned up to midway or above. The problem is that once you have the volume turned up midway or above, you’ll lose your hearing and everyone in the vicinity will hate you. For a pair of desktop speakers this doesn’t necessarily make an awful lot of sense, and – were I spending my own money with a continuing interest in co-habiting with my nearest and dearest – I’d be more tempted to go with something a little more precise, versatile and not quite so noisy, like Creative’s GigaWorks T3 set or the 2.0 GigaWorks T20/T40 systems.

The SRS-DB500s actually seem more sensible if used with a console to replace under-powered TV speakers, but here I’d counsel you to see if you can track down the aforementioned Altec Lansing MX5021 or Logitech Z2300 sets, which to my mind produce slightly better results. The SRS-DB500s are still amongst the best gaming speakers I’ve ever come across, but sometimes you have to ask yourself: is this much power a good thing? Some buried, boyish part of me still thinks so, but another part of me is not so sure.


Big, beefy, somewhat brash speakers with the right credentials for big action games and movies. However, this isn’t the most musical or versatile system out there, and it’s arguably too damn loud for desktop use.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 7


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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