Also gone are the removable speaker covers, which have been replaced with a permanent speaker grill over the larger driver and a protective bar over the tweeter. This is a shame as the grills in particular really let down the overall styling – they’re not even lined up straight so they don’t match. Is it so hard to put a grill on straight? Oh, and evidently blue LEDs must cost more because power is now indicated by a green LED instead.
The shape of the speakers has also changed slightly as the T10s use wider (75mm) bass/mid-range drivers so the case has a slight bulge in the middle to accommodate them. The overall affect is that they lack the clean elegance of the T20s and T40s and, though I wouldn’t quite go so far as to say they look cheap, they definitely don’t look like a high-end piece of equipment.
Other more prosaic differences include the tone control, which uses a single dial rather than two separate knobs, and that the auxiliary input and headphone sockets are situated on the right side just behind the peculiar fabric tag. While both of these configuration options may cause some grievance if you prefer your cables laid out in a certain manner or if you particularly prefer the flexibility of separate tone controls, for the price, the lack of adjustability is understandable and the inclusion of both auxiliary and headphone sockets at all is a welcome bonus.
Of course, less than stellar looks, odd naming, and socket positions aside, what will ultimately decide the T10s fate is how they sound and unfortunately the reason for the removal of the Gigaworks brand name becomes immediately evident the moment you turn them on. Where the T20s and T40s produced a warm, enveloping, yet crystal clear sound, the T10s are decidedly muddier. That’s not to say they sound bad, at least not when considering the price, but the bass has a booming quality and the clarity simply isn’t comparable.
As I’m listening to it right now I’ll get specific talking about how the track Glass by Incubus sounds. Being a band well known for bringing together a multitude of different music styles and forming them into one impressive cohesive whole, their music is perfect for testing the ability of a set of speakers to pick out details in what can be an otherwise chaotic mess.
The Drum and Bass style rhythm sections are done considerable justice despite the T10s lack of a separate subwoofer and even when the volume is cranked the sound remains distortion free. Indeed at full pelt, they would be quite sufficient for filling a small room or providing background rumblings in a larger environment. However, while clarity is perfectly decent for casual listening, even for extended periods, the intense mix of record scratching, distorted guitars, crashing cymbals, and electronic samples can sometimes overwhelm the set’s abilities, resulting in instruments disappearing into the overall muddle.
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