Desktop Theater 5.1 DTT2500 Digital - Page 4

What Does It Sound Like?
Setting up the DTT2500 was a simple process, unlike the hassles typically encountered during conventional home theater system setup. I just connected all the speakers, balanced their levels by increasing the volume to a comfortable listening level and ran an internal test tone. I then proceeded to start various tests on a Toshiba SD2108 DVD player, Marantz CD-63II KI and Creative PC-DVD 5X Dxr2, sampling its audio performance based on different user group categories.

Music
With the system setup in my HDB living room, I started listening to CDs on my Marantz CD player with its digital output plugged into the S/PDIF input of the DTT2500. After some toying with the various modes, it became apparent that music sounded best with the CMSS mode on “Music” as expected, giving me a matrixed surround sound. In my course of listening, I couldn’t believe how good it sounded. The midrange was clear and uncluttered. And the cone drivers handled much higher/extended frequencies than I had ever anticipated. Listening to Eagles: Hell Freezes Over, I was surprised at the amount of depth and spaciousness that came through the speakers. Front to Back Depth was absolutely spot on. And the Sub has a nice pitch definition for such a relatively inexpensive driver.

Digital Movies
Still astonished over the high quality CD music it delivered, I moved on to test its 5.1 capabilities. I hooked up my SONY Wega TV (Yeah!) to the Toshiba DVD player and connected its AC3 output to the DTT2500’s S/PDIF input. Watching “The Matrix”, I was pleasantly surprised at the dialogue clarity - it was neither spitty nor echoey, extremely natural. “The Matrix” scene where Keanu Revees dodged bullets on the rooftop in slow motion was awesome - both visually and “ sonically” drooling. Bullets whizzed past my shoulders via the surround speakers at the back of me. The heavy soundtrack of “The Matrix” really works out the Sub too, and I found it handled without difficulty. In addition, I also tested out the Subwoofer’s performance via the Apollo 13 DVD, where the blast-off scene really brings the sub to its lowest frequency. No problems here too. Lastly, I tried Air Force One Movie DVD – another obvious choice for a total system workout. Throughout the tests, I was amazed at the dynamics and overall clarity rendered by the system. Notably, the Surrounds also provide a very good 3D sound field.

VideoCD
Well, I also tested its Video CD handling capabilities to see if the DTT 2500 could in any way, enhance one’s viewing experience. Since I had the original VCD for the movie – SCREAM, I use this as a base for testing. Do note that I had to first disable the CMSS function by depressing the CMSS button until ALL its three LEDs were off for proper stereo reproduction.

Surprisingly, it seems to enhance even the stereo sound track of the movie. The movie is rendered with greater ambience, emanating the eerie sensation typical of horror movies and virtually immerses you into it. Also, for Video CD movies encoded in Dolby Surround stereo and played via the DTT2500 Digital’s digital/SPDIF input, you can also utilize the Dolby Pro Logic decoder to experience discrete multi-channel audio.

PC Applications
On my PC, I hooked up the DTT2500 to my Creative PC-DVD Mpeg2 card via the SPDIF OUT (for AC-3 audio), and also connected it up to my front and rear channels of the SoundBlaster Live!. The latter provides for gaming and other audio applications like MP3, Internet Phone, etc, on the PC. I shall focus on this, having already tested its DVD audio playback qualities earlier.

Games
Well, I tried out games including Half-Life, Quake III Arena, Need For Speed 4, FIFA2000 and Unreal Tournament. Just one Word: Fantastic! Under games that don’t support Dolby Digital / Prologic (not many do anyhow), I used the Four Point Surround Mode which I believe to be ideal. Half Life was an unprecedented audio experience, and felt just like a movie with its exaggerated positional sound! Playing Quake III was also immensely intriguing. Even though I couldn’t sight my opponent, I could discern him via his footsteps from the various speakers. Obviously, when one hears better, one plays better. Need for Speed was also enhanced with sounds of cars shooting pass me via the front-and-rear panning. You can just feel how close the cars are behind, from the distance and delay effect produced in-game rendered so real by the DTT2500. Playing FIFA2000 was also like witnessing an actual match, fans cheering all round you. Feels especially good when you score where the fans would just go wild!!  Unreal Tournament had the same effect like Quake III. In all, the DTT2500 is a serious contender for Gamers alike.

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