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Cambridge SoundWorks FPS-1800 Speaker System|
Price (Retail at Best Buy): $99.99
8 watts RMS per satellite for a total of 32 watts
22 watts RMS for the subwoofer
Most people nowadays just save up their money and go and get a set of Klipsch Promedia v.2 400 speakers when they have enough. I did have the option to do that myself but I chose to have some money left over for a few reasons. Iím still a student and its always nice to have some extra money around to do other things, and I knew I wouldnít be able to enjoy the full power of the Klipsch set since I currently live with my parents. Therefore I decided to investigate low cost 4 piece speaker setups and decide which to purchase for myself. Here are the following reasons I decided to go with the Cambridge SoundWorks speakers:
You might have the same needs as I do, and if so the Cambridge SoundWorks system is a good choice. I have conducted a set of tests to see how these speakers perform in various environments. I have them hooked up to a Sound Blaster Live Value so I can do a good test of EAX. These are the tests that I conducted on the speakers:
- These speakers are small and easy to mount just about anyplace. I currently have the rears on a table behind me and Iím considering getting a set of tripods to replace that but it works fine for now. Creative includes all you need to mount the rear speakers on the wall easily, which I might do at a later point in time if I move to a smaller area.
- The amount of power they produce is sufficient. By many peoples standards the amount of power these speakers have is weak. But for my needs 8 watts per speakers is quite sufficient.
- The brand name. I know that a few magazines have given the thumbs down to Cambridge speakers in the past, but from what I have heard of them in store demos they sound pretty good to me.
I will now give you the test results and then my summary on the system.
- CD Sound Test. Basically I listened to a few tracks off my favorite CDs with a good mix of high range, mid range, and bass to see how well the speakers handled all.
- Game Test. I did this test to see how well the speakers did 3D sound and performed in the gaming environment.
- DVD Test. This was a bit more thorough 3D sound test as well as high fidelity sound test.
CD Sound Test
For this test I used the soundtrack to Titan AE which has a few of my favorite artists on it. In this test I found that the speakers did quite well on the midrange and on the bass of all the tracks that I played. The one area that they are slightly lacking is in the high range of the sound spectrum. This is probably because these speakers do not have a tweeter in them; the satellite consists of one speaker that handles all sound. It does quite well on the midrange and the lower range that the subwoofer doesnít handle, but itís a little lacking in the high range of the spectrum. This seems to be a problem in a lot of lower budget systems since all of the ones that I have seen the satellite is made in a similar fashion.
For this test I used the game NHL 2000, one of my favorite sports games. Iíll admit that I play a lot of FPS games too, but it seems to me that the sports games are a little better test than the FPS games. In any case the Cambridge system performed very well in this environment. I was able to hear sound distinctly from each channel. It sounded like I really was in the game, surrounded by the crowd. The sound transitioned very well from channel to channel and had the correct amount of sound coming from each channel.
For this test I used the movie Gone in 60 Seconds which has a lot of actions scenes that are good for testing 3D sound. In particular I used the Action Overload sequence that is in the bonus material section of the DVD. Again I found that the overall sound was excellent and that it transitioned from speaker to speaker very well. It actually does a little better in this test since the channels in a DVD movie are a bit more distinct. The bass from the explosions was quite adequate and had a good amount of punch.
In conclusion this is a set of speakers to consider if you are in a similar situation as myself or you just donít have a ton of money to spend. The Cambridge system does very well in 3D gaming as well as playing regular music. It also has the nice feature of a mount anywhere volume control for the system. The only downsides to this system is that its high range sound is a bit lacking and the amount of power the system has may not be enough to satisfy some people.
Score: 8/10 : An excellent all around system, but it could have better high range and a little more power would be a plus.
Review by nsafreak
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