Corsair indicate that the SP2500 speakers are built primarily for ‘desktop gaming’ however even diehard gamers will use their PC for listening to music, or watching movies so we will cover all the bases today.
We have had these speakers for several weeks now, but didn’t want to rush the review as most speaker drivers really do need around 50-100 hours to fully bed in and relax into their natural positions.
Listening to music was a pleasure with the Corsair SP2500 2.1 speakers, powered by the Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card. The passionate and highly charged licks of Joe Bonamassa on ‘Blues Deluxe’ were dynamically reproduced, capturing the intense, firey guitar playing of this insanely talented blues marksman. The emotionally charged solos were delivered with a feeling of spontaneity.
The mystical and involving ‘Soothsayer‘ from Buckethead’s Crime Slunk Scene proved to be a favourite with the KitGuru staff. The pounding bass lines and delicate semi acoustic chord patterns carried throughout the soundstage in a focused and realistic manner. Every note of his staccato shredding was effortlessly captured. An aspect we really liked centered around fine tuning of the subwoofer control, as it was really easy to compensate for various sound levels.
Bass response is exceptionally dynamic, with one of the clearest, most focused subwoofer experiences we can remember in this price range. Even when driven exceptionally hard the large driver never loses control of the bottom end of the frequency range. Indeed at high volumes the bass is powerful enough to raise the hairs on your head.
Classical music also fared well, with complex string arrangements able to fill a wide soundstage. Setting up the speakers correctly is integral to forming a good soundstage and the little stands that Corsair supply, actually prove to be less of a gimmick than we initially imagined. There are certainly times when the speakers feel as if they are slightly compressing the full range of frequencies, but this is not something unique to the Corsair design, we have yet to hear a set of ‘computer’ speakers capable of truly conveying the full range of orchestral tones complete with subtle nuances.
Vivaldi’s Concertos for Two Violins, with Viktoria Mullova and Giullano Carmignola was portrayed with wonderful insight and poetic depth. The dexterity of two of the worlds finest violinists proving to be an engaging and enjoyable experience.
The 20 bit mastered version of Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene 8 and 10 hinted at the massive bass reserves on tap, shaking the table underneath into submission, until we had to back down a little with the volume control. Even in a fairly large room, you will be hard pressed to get close to the maximum output level.
Bluray Movies such as Avatar and Taken sounded fantastic on the SP2500 2.1 speakers, and we were in a much better position to play with the various EQ settings. Many of the modes which could degrade the sound quality of music were able to help inject some life and dynamism into the cinema experience. We were particularly impressed with the sound quality and clarity of vocals.
Moving to onboard sound really did prove a point – many people will not be getting close to the limits of these speakers. The Asus Xonar Essence STX is such a wonderful sound card, with an incredible dynamic range and tight focusing on the smallest of audible detail.
Trying our hand at some games really did indicate that Corsair have a winner on their hands. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit delivered such an impact that we found ourselves looking externally, imagining the noises were coming from outside the room. Crysis Warhead and BioShock 2 were equally as impressive, with the full gamut of audio frequencies relentlessly bombarding our ears. It really made such a huge difference to our gaming enjoyment using this setup. Ambient noises and sound effects were meticulously reproduced with little effort.