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Genius SW-N5.1 1000 review

Alan Lu
28 Feb 2010
Genius SW-N5.1 1000
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
35
inc VAT

Genius' SW-N5.1 1000 may be cheap but they're not cheerful.

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Specifications

Genius' SW-N5.1 1000 is incredibly cheap for a set of 5.1 speakers, costing just £35. The various ports for the input and satellite cables are colour coded and clearly labelled, so installation is painless.

The centre speaker has the same tall, vertical design as the other satellites, so you'll have to place it carefully to avoid having it spoil your view of your TV or monitor. The volume, bass and treble controls are located on the top of the subwoofer near the front edge so they're easy to reach and adjust. The subwoofer itself is compact, taking up very little space.

Unfortunately, the SW-N5.1 1000 struggled to produce good quality audio whether we were playing movies or music. Although the satellites have plenty of volume, dialogue in movies sounded muddy making some conversations difficult to follow.

More action packed scenes weren't very enjoyable either. The weak bass meant that explosions sounded flat and lifeless, lacking presence. The surround sound effect from the rear satellites wasn't very convincing – fireworks, explosions and gun battles sound like they are happening in front of us rather than all around us.

Music sounded uninspiring too. The lack of a thumping, thunderous bass makes listening to bass-heavy music an underwhelming experience. The muddy midrange means vocals sound muffled and difficult to hear clearly. Classical and jazz music lacked warmth and detail, sounding flat and cold instead. Distortion crept in at the high end which was especially noticeable in electronic music where some instruments and tones sound hissy and buzzy instead of clear and crisp.

Genius' SW-N5.1 1000 may be cheap, but its deeply flawed audio quality means that this is a false economy. Far better sounding surround sound speakers, such as Logitech's superior X-530, are available for only a little more money. There's therefore little reason to purchase the SW-N5.1 1000 instead unless you're on the tightest of budgets.

Specifications

Rating**
Speaker configuration5.1
RMS power output25W
Power consumption standby3W
Power consumption on7W
Analogue inputs3x stereo phono (5.1)
Digital inputsnone
Dock connectornone
Headphone outputnone
Satellite cable lengths3m left/right/centre, 8m rear
Cable typecaptive (phono)
Controls locatedsubwoofer
Digital processingnone
Tone controlsbass and treble
Price£35
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.geniusnet.co.uk

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