It's all so clear to me now.
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? What a dumb question. To all you pseudo-existential gits out there - of course it makes a sound. Since when did the existence of sound become dependent on human ears? What about all the little furry animals of the forest? They have ears. Or do they not count because they can't wipe their own butts? What's with all the animal discrimination anyway? You know animals are people too…er…uh...wait a minute. Scratch that, I guess they're not. Whatever.
Now that I have your attention (the "What the hell is this dork talking about?" attention), allow me to introduce Logitech's Soundman Xtrusio DSR-100. And while you may not be able to hear them in a forest, they most assuredly produce a sound. And we're not talking about your run of the mill transmission of vibrations. No, this is glorious, crystal clear ear-crack! And since I have a set and you don't, listen up.
Logitech pulls no punches with the Xtrusio. Using a completely proprietary design called LIMAD (Linear Magnetic Drive), the technology incorporates magnets made from neodymium, a rare metallic earth element. According to Logitech, this design directly relates to less frequency interference, which in turn means all around kick-ass clarity. I don't know or care about the science of it all, but I can agree that the clarity is second to none.
But the Xtrusio has much more to offer. You get digital and analog 4-channel audio input. This should be enough compatibility for nearly any sound card on the market, even those old legacy device sound boards. Cool!
Also travelling with the Xtrusio is the Dolby Digital PowerDVD software, which retails for $49. This will greatly enhance your DVD audio with surround and MPEG-2 video. No hardware DVD decoder needed here.
Sadly, the Soundmobile.com software bundle makes an unwelcome return. It's loaded with a bunch of music editing software that allows you to edit absolutely nothing. All of the programs are trial versions that refrain from letting you try anything but the 'Play' button and the one that takes you to their respective websites. However, I did get a kick out of watching Ben curse like a rogue sailor who's just stubbed his toe as he tried to utilize the software found on this veritable drink coaster. This is one bad software bundle.
The most celebrated feature is the extremely handy SoundTouch remote control. This little doohicky rests about 3 inches from the keyboard and lets you adjust the volume for the speakers, set the balance with the fader dial or switch the system to standby. On the front of the SoundTouch remote you get a standard headphone jack. Once a pair of headphones is inserted, the speakers are instantly muted. That's what you call a smart design. But for a nice, nerdy and more detailed list of features, click here.
Sporting a sleek, black housing, the 100-watt Soundman Xtrusio is Logitech's finest speaker set. You get four small, 3-inch high 12-watt speakers. But don't let the peewee stature fool you. Think of these as the Jet-Li of speakers - small yet amazingly powerful (though only so-so as an actor).
Most of this awesome power comes from the thumpin' aluminum 52-watt subwoofer. The size of a small trash can, the subwoofer supplies deep, rich bass tones that are significantly more impressive than what we heard from the SR-30 speaker set, also from Logitech.
Obviously, the bigger and better sound constitutes a bigger (but definitely not better) price tag of $179.99 (the SR-30 MSRP is $69.99). Imagine that. For this kind of money, I would like to see a pair of stands for the rear speakers. (Here's a tip: Click the Compare Prices link above to find prices running at about $60 less than Logitech's MSRP.)
Like the SR-30 set, you get a couple brackets for rear speaker wall mounting, but like most underpaid gaming editors, I rent my humble abode and my landlord isn't the most lenient guy around. So I'm just not ready to go drilling permanent holes in things just so I can tell which direction the counter-terrorists are coming from. Again - give me some light, cheapo stands that can be easily moved when not in use. I don't think this is unreasonable - especially considering the $180 price tag.
But oh baby, do these things sound good, and the clarity is amazing. I've thrown everything I have at 'em. From games to DVD movies and just about every type of music under the sun, these puppies just keep impressing me. It almost makes it easy to gloss over the absent speaker stands. Almost.
Other than that gnat of a problem and the lame software bundle, the Soundman Xtrusio DSR-100 is an incredible set of speakers. I have seen and heard less quality for much more money. Four surround speakers capable of digital or analog feedback, a pumpin' trash can of a subwoofer and a snazzy little remote control complete a very enticing package. Logitech scores again.
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