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Razer Mako 2.1-Channel Speaker System
When it comes to speaker systems for PCs, I'm in full agreement with Riyad - surround-sound set-ups are, for the most part, completely pointless. Unless said PC is in fact a media centre sited in a lounge and also hooked up to a TV, there really is no need for a 7.1-channel sound system. Rather, the money which would be spent on such a set of speakers would be better off invested in a good 2.1-channel system. It's a simple case of quality over quantity.
Last year, Creative's Gigaworks T3 speakers proved just how true that is, offering, for the pretty reasonable £160-odd asking price, not only great design but also, most importantly, fantastic sound quality. PC accessory stalwart Razer isn't prepared to let Creative rest on its laurels, though, and is ready to compete with its Mako 2.1-channel speaker system.
Razer's past performance in the audio arena might not garner expectations of greatness from its Mako speakers; the Piranha gaming headset, for example, ended up making a mediocre showing for itself. However, certification from THX and that party's collaboration on the design of the Makos should help assuage any doubters. On balance, then, we should rightly expect the Makos to make an impression.
Out of the box, they certainly do so. Both the sub-woofer, which also packs the system's bi-amp circuitry, and satellites have a button mushroom shape to them which is a refreshing change from the norm. The solid-feeling metal construction and matt black finish only goes to enhance the appearance and the imposing size (and weight) of the sub gives a reassuring air of quality to the whole arrangement.
At the back of the sub woofer-cum-amplifier sit the 'line 1' 3.5mm input, 'line 2' RCA input, power jack and switch, RJ-45 connectors (as needed for the Cat 5 cables for the left and right satellite speakers), together with an input for the wired remote connector.
Speaking of which, the remote is the one area where the Mako's design team hasn't done so well. The offering of power, volume and bass output level adjustment, a mute control and input selection, not to mention headphone and line-in jacks, is all well and good, but the use of touch-sensitive controls means that in practice the remote is simply horrible to use. Unlike the Creative T3 remote which has a wonderful tactile feel to it, making fine adjustment a breeze, trying to adjust the volume on the Makos with any degree of precision is an exercise in futility and a recipe for extreme frustration.