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Sandberg X-Plosion 2.1 review

Verdict:

The design will split opinions but limited inputs and average sound quality can’t justify the high price.

Review Date: 19 Feb 2011

Price when reviewed: £62

Supplier: http://www.sandberg.it

Reviewed By: Tom Morgan

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

Sandberg’s X-Plosion 2.1 speaker set would probably look more at home in the boot of your car rather than under your desk, with its distinctive X-shaped speaker grilles and boom-box style subwoofer. The company might be better known for their budget peripherals, but these speakers feel reassuringly weighty so we were expecting better than average sound quality.

Annoyingly for a premium speaker set, none of the controls are within easy reach; the volume, bass and treble dials are all on the side of the subwoofer and the power switch is at the back. As most people will place the subwoofer on the floor, changing volume or tone settings can be a hassle.

Sandberg X-Plosion 2.1

There’s a single stereo phono input on the subwoofer, although a 1.3m phono to 3.5mm cable is included for connecting the speakers to the soundcard on your PC. If you want to attach a games console or other device you’ll have to swap over the cables. Without a headphone socket, there’s no easy option for more private listening either. The left and right speakers have captive phono cables that connect to the subwoofer, although you might be limited as to where you can place them by the 1.3m cable lengths.

We weren’t expecting to be blown away by the sound quality, but we were still slightly disappointed during our initial music test. Classical and acoustic tracks sounded muddy until we turned the treble up to its maximum setting, and even then some of the high-end detail was missing. We had to tweak the tone controls for different genres of music, which became irritating. Mid-range notes were mostly clear and the amount of bass was reasonable at its higher settings. The subwoofer coped well with heavier rock tracks, which while not exactly room-shaking still added depth that cheaper 2.1 sets lacked. Volume was also reasonable, filling our living room-sized test room with sound.

At £62, the X-Plosion is expensive for a basic 2.1 set and very closely priced to some 5.1 speakers. For the price, we were disappointed to find the controls in such an awkward position. We could forgive this and the questionable boy-racer styling if audio quality was truly impressive, but it’s difficult when the Trust Wave 2.1set sounds better and costs half the price.

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