These PC speakers may be cheap, but their poor build quality, annoying remote control and limited volume make them a poor choice.
Trust’s Soundforce Presto 5.1 are very much a budget option for surround sound.
They look and feel cheap, are extremely lightweight – which makes them easy to knock over – and they can’t be wall-mounted. They can only handle analogue audio input from a PC via 3.5mm front, centre and surround connectors.
Trust has provided cables for this, but they measure just 1.3m long. Five speakers connect to the subwoofer using phono plugs on captive cables that measure just 1.5m for the front and centre satellites and 3m for the surround speakers. This was long enough to set the speakers up in our modestly sized test room, but you may need extension cables.
The tiny accompanying remote control has power, mute and volume controls, along with mode buttons that let you switch between stereo and 5.1 sound. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything without the remote control, which is so small that it’s easy to lose.
We were surprised by the speakers’ clarity, but they’re not very loud and mid-tones were rather muted. We turned everything up to a shade below full volume, where treble sounds started to distort, and film soundtracks were still drowned out by normal conversations.
Surround-sound quality from PC speakers is partly determined by the quality of your sound card and your software’s implementation and decoding of surround-sound tracks on DVD and Blu-ray discs. Using a standard Realtek HD onboard audio processor, such as you’ll find on most motherboards, we found that although directionality was well implemented, moving sounds were less accurate.
These speakers are at their best when clustered around a computer chair, rather than located at more widely spaced points around a room. Their low volume also means that this inexpensive speaker set will only really suffice if you want to watch movies on your own. Both the Logitech and Philips sets produce greater power and audio quality.
|RMS power output||80W|
|Power consumption standby||12W|
|Power consumption on||14W|
|Analogue inputs||3x 3.5mm stereo (5.1), 3.5mm stereo cable|
|Satellite cable lengths||1.5m left, right, centre, 3m rear|
|Controls located||infra-red remote|
|Tone controls||2.0/5.1, sub volume, centre volume, rear volume, treble|