by Jamie Fletcher on May 4, 2011 in Audio & Media
In our look at Corsair’s SP2500 high-end speakers back in March, we were left impressed by the quality offered – especially for the company’s initial offering. With its mainstream SP2200, priced at $100, the company had quite a job at hand to make sure that users received a perfect balance of features and audio quality. Has it succeeded?
What Corsair has done is a very clever balance of the audio curve, a balance that is heavily dependant on distance. The satellites utilize painfully small drivers at 2 inches, so much of the bass and lower mid-range are all but lost when you’re more than a couple feet away from the speakers. To compensate, much of the unit cost and power went into the sub.
The sub covers a much broader frequency range than it would do normally, covering up to and past 200Hz when doing a frequency sweep. This does add a directional element to lower frequencies, often felt as a pressure difference in one ear – if the sub is off-center. So long as the sub is centered, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The dramatic effect the sub has on total audio quality can be heard quite clearly by simply turning the sub volume down. You will quickly gather that the sub is handling much more than bass, as much of the warmth in the mid-range is completely lost too – those poor little 2-inch drivers on the satellites really do end up sounding like 2-inch speakers.
This isn’t a problem but an achievement, as this careful consideration and balance does result in a much richer sound, especially with regard to bass. The only real problem comes in the form of a poor mid-range response from the satellites. Since the satellites are 2-inch speakers, they can only pump out so much sound, and that audio curve will be very heavily dependent on listener distance from the speakers. Too close and the mid over-powers the treble; too far and you lose all the mid-range and are left with just higher frequencies.
These speakers have been designed as near-field speakers. While you can certainly listen to them from more than a couple meters away, the mid-range rolls off quite quickly and you lose all stereo separation too, leaving room-filling, floor-shaking bass, and most of the 1k+ range. Don’t expect to use these as a substitute for a home theater setup.
When one is placed in the sweet-spot however, audio quality is unmatched within this price range. Sure, you may miss out on the clarity of the dedicated tweeters or the accuracy of the 4th order sub, but for pure audio enjoyment in a small footprint, the SP2200’s are no slouch. The sub is surprisingly powerful while still keeping a fair amount of punch in the air.
While it may seem that we give out a lot of Editor’s Choice awards to Corsair, it’s hard not to, as each one is well-deserved. If you are looking to spend $100 on speakers, but want quality over quantity (missing out on a 5.1 system), then the Corsair SP2200s are very much worth the price; and without a doubt get our Editor’s Choice award.
Corsair SP2200 Gaming Speakers
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