Date: August 31st, 2002
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Hercules
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HERCULES XPS 510 INTRODUCTION
Most computer users in some respect are all audiophiles. We love to hear good, crisp, clear music and audio from our computers. Even the stubborn consumers that have a crappy set of speakers and find them all right will upgrade them if they hear what PC music and gaming is supposed to sound like on a decent computer speaker system. Now add in the fact that you upgraded your archaic 2 channel soundcard to a full blown surround sound card such as the Soundblaster Live(r), Audigy or perhaps a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. You now have the opportunity to upgrade your speaker system to a product such as I will be reviewing today.
I would have to say that I am quite picky about the sound and clarity of my music. I love having strong bass kicks complimented with the clash of a treble tweet. Deep, crisp sound is what I am after, nothing less. Does the XPS 510 system have what it takes to please me, well stay tuned.....
HERCULES CORPORATE PROFILE
Hercules, a pioneer in the graphics industry, began as a leading vendor of high-performance graphics accelerators for IBM-compatible PCs. From our roots in establishing the monochrome graphics standard, we proceeded to pioneer advances in color graphics solutions. Our graphics cards first arrived on the market in 1982, and quickly became known for providing powerful, reliable and cost-effective solutions to customers worldwide. Guillemot Corporation acquired Hercules in October 1999. Under the Hercules name brand, the tradition of high-quality and innovative product lines continues. Now, we are more than just the market leader of video card technologies; we carry a wide variety of products that enhance a PCs performance. We have expanded our product line to include audio cards and digital imaging tools. Guillemot Corporation has become a preeminent worldwide player in the multimedia industry. With a strong international presence, Guillemot designs and manufactures PC and console hardware and accessories under the brands Hercules for image, video and sound products and Thrustmaster for accessories. Currently present in 14 countries and distributing its products in a total of 45 countries, Guillemot markets its accessories with Ferrari®, Top Gun™, NASCAR® and US Air Force licenses. Guillemot's goal is to be among the top first three manufacturers in the world in this field by 2003.
Let's check out what this system brings to the table....
- Total Output Power: 60 Watts RMS
- Subwoofer: 20 Watts RMS
- Dual Satellites: 5 x 8 Watts RMS
- Wooden Case Subwoofer containing Bass, Volume and On/Off Switch Power.
- Game Compatibility: DirectSound 3D, EAX 1.0, EAX 2.0, A3D 1.0, I3DL2, MacroFX, MultiDrive, ZoomFX, EnvironmentFX sound cards
- Audio Compatibility: MP3 Player, CD Player and all Soundcards
- DVD Compatibility: All Dolby Prologic and Dolby AC3 Decoders
All additional features will be detailed in the next section.....
PRODUCT COMPOSITION & SETUP
Other than the funky box, what does this speaker system give me?.....
Well upon opening the box you are met by this.
So, you unwrap at the pace of a preschooler at Christmas time revealing...
As with and 5.1 system, you will receive the center channel, the front left and right speakers and the rear left and right speaker set.
A nice option that Hercules(r) has included is the option to use the speakers via the speaker stands provided, or if you would like, you could possibly wall mount them at ear level for optimal sound response.
Now comes my thoughts on the satellite speakers, dum dum duuuuuum. My opinion on the sound quality from these small speakers would be adequate at best. Although they didn't sound terrible, they were very hollow and lacked reasonable treble response. This indeed is something that needs to be worked on although for the price of the system, $89US, they still would instill a decent purchase.