ZXR-500 5.1 Speaker System
Author : Wayne
Date : 29th April 2002
As a home entertainment centre the PC has very
much come of age and with so many high quality audio products
available on the market the only real obstacle to owning a fully
fledged home theatre and gaming behemoth is purely one of finances.
At least that used to be the case but with companies like Creative
Labs and Videologic offering their 5.1 ready Sound Blaster Live,
Audigy and Sonic Fury cards at sub £50 price tags the
only remaining difficulty was to get a speaker system capable
of doing justice to their capabilities without needing to remortgage
Today I want to take a look at a speaker system
from VideoLogic that, on paper at least, removes that final
hurdle from the equation. VideoLogic's ZXR-500 (No it's not
a motorcycle!) is a full 5.1 speaker system that offers a more
than respectable 65Watts RMS, it comes in a sleek silver livery
and retails at, would you believe, under £80!
No doubt many of you are familiar with VideoLogic's
award winning DigiTheatre and Sirocco speaker range. These speakers
are highly regarded in the industry and certainly demonstrate
that VideoLogic aren't lacking when it comes to designing top
quality audio solutions. In fact it's the development of these
high end speakers that has pioneered the creation of the ZXR-500
and in their own words "this compact powerhouse has been
engineered to outperform systems costing twice as much.With
five powerful discrete satellite speakers and a mighty 25W RMS
subwoofer, ZXR-500 pumps out some serious sound". We shall
Of course a quick walk along the shelves of your
local PC retailer will confirm that cheap speakers are nothing
new, in fact just yesterday I was looking at a boxed 4.1 setup
(4 satellite speakers + Subwoofer) that claimed an almost ridiculous
600Watt output for less than £35. I asked if I could hear
it in action and the manager duly obliged while I stood their
smiling. Output at best was around 10Watts RMS, the satellites
were tinny and badly overdriven and the bass boomed wildly along
with the sound of unsecured cables rattling away inside the
enclosure. There's no such thing as a free lunch but this God-awful
system barely passed as a quick snack. So it seems you very
often get what you pay for, which didn't bode well for the ZXR-500s.
At a mere £79.99 I was bracing myself for some pretty
poor performance and some very crude design short cuts.
Let's get the obligatory specs out of the way
Minimum System Requirements: Six-channel
output - DVD Player with a built-in Dolby digital and/or DTS
decoder; separate Dolby digital and/or DTS decoder; or 5.1-channel
soundcard running 6-channel software DVD with inbuilt decoding.
Stereo output - PC with sound card, or any audio source with
Output power: Total 65W RMS; fronts,rears
and centre 8W RMS; subwoofer 25W RMS
Input sensitivity: 350 mV
Frequency response: Amplifier < 20 Hz
Power Supply: UK/Europe: 220-230V AC 50
Total Packaged Weight: 10.6 Kg
Cables supplied: Three 3.5 mm stereo jack
to stereo phono cables and integrated speaker cables.
Approvals: CE marked. Compliant with the
EMC and Low Voltage Directives (89/336/EEC and 73/23/EEC).
Minimum System Requirements: PC with sound
card, or any audio source with line-level output.
Warranty: Two years
Technical support: Technical hotline and
online support at www.videologic.com
Wood construction cabinet housing 5" subwoofer
with tuned front and rear bass ports. Front mounted volume controls
for precise audio tuning.
Cabinet: Wood construction cabinet with
front and side tuned bass ports.
Drive unit: 5" cone
Impedance: 4 Ohm.
Amplifiers: Integrated amplifier
Power supply: Integral low-noise power
Power output: 25W RMS
Controls: Individual volume controls on
front panel for front, rear, centre and subwoofer, Power on/off
(located on rear of subwoofer).
Connectors: Six phono inputs, five phono
Dimensions (mm): 165 (w) x 250 (h) x 340
Five compact speaker units with powerful 3" drive
Cabinets: Moulded ABS construction cabinets
Drive units: 3" cone
Impedance: 6 Ohm.
Power output: 8W RMS each
Connectors: Captive speaker cables with
phono connectors (3m front and centre, 8m rear)
Dimensions (mm): 85 (w) x 112 (h) x 98
All speaker cones are fully magnetically shielded
A quick flick through the specs immediately drew
my attention to a couple of points that I speculated may be
an issue with performance. Firstly no separate tweeters. With
only 3" drivers handling the midrange and the high end
I wondered just how these things were going to cope at the high
end. The other things was the seemingly meager 5" bass
speaker. Surely nothing with a 5" driver can possibly hope
to reproduce the kind of tight, throaty lows I expect from a
quality speaker system even if it does feature twin tuned bass
ports. Well, the proof of the pudding all that.
Before we move on to the testing let's have a
closer look at what you get.
Back to Review Index | Page
2 - A closer look>>>