AMS 5.1 Speakers - Page 3
Okay, let’s see how it sounds. As with any audio quality tests, a lot of this is subjective and
relative, as I don’t possess any audio metering equipment
to measure the frequency response curves of the speakers.
Although, Aztech did bundle in a good brochure with
technical evaluation results of the system (indicating
frequency response stats, etc), I was not inclined to refer
to these to remain as objective as possible.
Ultimately, I believe it is what you hear that
What I did was
compare it to my old Cambridge FPS speaker system and also
to my existing unorthodox setup of an old Denon Hi-Fi amp
(about 10 years old) paired with 02 x front JVC 2-way
speakers + 02 x rear Sony SRS-88 active-speakers.
I actually preferred my existing setup to Cambridge
setup, because it gave much more depth without sacrificing
clarity (owing to the clear treble from my Denon Hi-Fi amp).
However, I did recognize my existing setup fares
badly with a sub-standard bass.
I must also
qualify that I use my machine mainly for games (especially
Q3Test) and surfing the net.
Occasionally, I also do listen to various MP3s and
play DVDs in my room (if my TV in the living room is
unavailable) and place higher priority on clarity of sound
rather than a strong 'bassy' effect.
When I first
powered on the Aztech 5.1 speakers, it issues a small but
deep “pop” sound from the sub-woofer beneath my PC.
I then suspected that perhaps such a relatively
high-powered output system may be susceptible to introduce
unwanted Gaussian noise or static to the audio.
Hence, I performed a crude test by turning the volume
settings all the way up, but was pleased to note that I
could virtually not hear any hissing at all.
launched Gamespy in attempt to test with my favourite
multi-player Q3Test game. I
was immediately struck by the power of the bass when the
“Welcome to Gamespy” voice message was output.
The bass is exceptionally stronger than what I was
ever accustomed to. Undaunted,
I launched Q3 on my system and nearly reeled back when the
sound of the first rocket blast hit me!!
Man, my whole desktop was rumbling (like Godzilla had
just passed the building) as the immensely powered
sub-woofer was just placed under my feet, above my
computer!! I am truly
impressed with what this sub-woofer can output and have no
qualms getting the system for this sub-woofer alone!! Truly, it you’re typically into heavy rock / fragging and long
for a rumbling experience in the PC environment, this
sub-woofer delivers above expectations.
However, in the end I had to tone down both the bass
and volume on the sub-woofer as it typically over-shadowed
the other satellites.
aside, I did find the Aztech satellites slightly lacking in
clarity. I found that
the satellites are typically strong in the mid-range but do
not offer as pure a treble as the Cambridge FPS ones.
However, overall I still preferred the Aztech
satellites over the Cambridge, as the sound does sound
fuller but still a tad mellow compared to my unorthodox
setup of the Denon + JVC + Sony.
This was all done in the normal stereo mode to allow
a fair and pure basis for comparison.
then cycled between all the various resampling modes to note
their effects on the sound output. It was then that I noted that the Aztech AMS doesn’t
support Dolby Digital decoding in its amp, although it was
built as a 5.1 speaker system!!
This was a main gripe that I had and I felt was a
cardinal overlook in my opinion. Granted that Dolby is rather sticky in issuing its
certification for such a feature, however I just felt any
5.1 speaker system wouldn’t be complete without having
hardware-based DD decoding. Hence, in order to really hear true discrete 5.1 Dolby Digital
sound from all their DVDs, you’ll have to depend on
software decoding such as Win-DVD coupled with a sound-card
like the Skywell Magic 5.1 that offers a 5-speaker break-out
cable. Thus, I still
can’t test my SPDIF output via my SBLive!! Deluxe…
However, I did
find that the 2-5.1 or 4-5.1 (utilizing Aztech’s Advanced
Theatre Surround Processing technology) resampling mode does
offer a better surround feel than normal stereo / 4-speaker
mode whilst watching DVD movies and playing games.
But it definitely isn’t a mode for music lovers, as
it tends to muffle the sound slightly to achieve its
surround effect. The various equalizer modes also work decently and offer
distinctive audio ambience.
In summary, I
did find the audio quality good but tends to be a bit
lacking in clarity in my opinion (despite boosting the
treble). However, I
must admit that once I reverted to my existing 4-speaker
system, it was immediately apparent that my sound had lost
nearly all its bass owing to the lack of a powerful
sub-woofer like the Aztech’s.
Like I said, Aztech’s sub-woofer adds so much more
to the gaming / home-theatre experience that I would have
easily bought it separately for my use…
Wow, anything else to add??