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Philips SPA7650 review

Kat Orphanides
7 Jul 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
106
inc VAT

This attractive set of PC speakers is underpowered for use in larger rooms, although its sound quality and directional positioning are good.

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Philip's shiny SPA7650 speakers look a bit sleeker than most PC sets, with black and silver satellites and a compact but tough subwoofer.

The satellites aren't the heaviest we've seen, and their height makes them easier to knock over than we'd like, but they stand securely enough on a shelf or table. This is for the best, as they can't be wall-mounted. The speakers' captive cables are long enough to allow some flexibility in their positioning, with 2m for the front three speakers and 5m for the surrounds.

The satellite speakers all connect via captive phono leads to the subwoofer. A wired remote control also connects to the sub on the end of a 1.8m cable. It lets you control volume, as well as providing a 3.5mm line output and a matching headphone socket. There's no control over individual speakers' volume, so optimising your surround sound requires you to adjust your PC's output volumes for each channel.

The subwoofer also has three 3.5mm inputs. These allow you to connect the speakers to a standard PC sound card, which can handle all the decoding and audio processing for you.

The SPA7650 speakers are louder than some 5.1 PC speakers we've heard, but treble sounds from the left, right and centre speakers could become harsh and distorted at their highest volumes on our test system, which used a standard Realtek HD on-board sound device and CyberLink's PowerDVD for surround-sound decoding.

We were generally impressed by the speakers' audio quality, and the individual satellites had enough power to create accurate directional sound in our testing room. Even moving objects were accurately positioned. High-pitched sounds were sharp and clear, and we were pleasantly surprised by the power of the bass, particularly after we turned up the volume on the subwoofer. Fine details of background sound were audible, although we would have preferred louder mid-tones. They're reasonably good value, but not a truly adequate substitute for the real thing. Logitech's Z-5500 Digital set does a better job.

Specifications

Rating***
Speaker configuration5.1
RMS power output90W
Power consumption standby8W
Power consumption on9W
Analogue inputs3x 3.5 stereo cable (5.1)
Digital inputsN/A
Dock connectorN/A
Headphone output3.5mm
Satellite cable lengths2m right, 2m left, 2m centre, 5m rear
Cable typecaptive
Controls locatedwired remote
Digital processingnone
Tone controlsbass volume
Price£106
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.philips.co.uk

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