The unusual and, to my mind at least, awesome styling of the Mako speakers isn’t just an important design choice aesthetically, though. Quite the contrary, in fact, as this downwards projecting speaker arrangement is used to combat the potential problem of interference between direct sound waves produced by ‘tower’ style speakers being interfered with by reflected waves from the surface on which they sit. As all of the sound from the Mako speakers comes reflected, there is little interference, which in turn should mean better sound quality.
Further, being downwards-facing, the drivers within the Mako speakers are not focused in any particular direction, but rather project sound omni-directionally which means they should produce a much wider ‘sweet spot’ than a traditional speaker set-up.
Finally, there is Razer’s proprietary ClassHD amplifier. Unlike other amps, which have power rails constantly at their maximum output, the ClassHD amp uses a tracking power supply that matches the power rails’ outputs to the input signal, providing only as much power as needed. Razer claims this offers a clearer sound, less distortion and better power efficiency than traditional fixed-output power rail solutions.
The effect of using ClassHD technology is probably the least noticeable. Not that the Mako speakers lack clarity, far from it, but attributing that to the type of amplifier used is difficult as the great clarity the Makos provide could simply be a case of Razer and THX using inherently non-distorting drivers.
Compensating for the lack of obvious benefit provided by ClassHD somewhat, the downward-firing orientation of the drivers definitely makes a case for itself. Instead of a position related sweet spot, as forward-facing satellites usually give, the Makos instead end up with a sweet spot controlled by the distance from the speakers and the volume at which they are set – the further away one wishes to sit, the more volume is required, although never to an unreasonable level.
The only problem, per se, is that the surface on which the Mako speakers are placed has a significant effect on how they sound. On carpet, the speakers are next to useless as almost all of the power and force of their output is absorbed by the fibres. If you don’t have solid surfaces on which to place the Makos it isn’t the speaker set-up for you.