Loudness & Miscellaneous Measurements
Using a 100Hz tone and
various music selections, a total maximum output with the sub placed at the
intersection of two walls measured 104dB SPL at 0.5m. The satellites squawked
out 102dB SPL under the similar conditions before clipping (3% THD). Thus,
the total usable output from the entire system is 101dB. Why not at least
102dB, the max from the satellites? The answer isn't a weak amplifier. With
all three drivers going, the amp's power supply couldn't keep up and the total
Input sensitivity, the
amount of output from your soundcard needed to drive the X2's to full boom
levels was rated at a reasonable 130mV, which most sound cards can muster.
However, it measured 203mV, which immediately eliminates a significant percentage
of inexpensive cards. Even with the venerable SBLive!, I had to almost
crank the pre and total outputs up to their max positions.
Signal to noise, or the
amount of hiss heard was the lowest (meaning worst) ever measured at TargetPC.
Weighing in at 61.0dBC relative to full output, these units were noisy, even
with no input.
Input impedance was rated
at 10KOhms each channel and measured significantly better at 26.8KOhms each
channel. No sound card will "load down" or be stressed simply by
being plugged into the input of the SoundMan's.
Lastly, the crossover
frequency, the frequency at which the sub stops producing sound and the satellites
start was rated at 160Hz and measured as such.
Since I usually complete
the objective tests firsts, I already had serious reservations about the quality
of the X2's. Much of the time, objective measurements tell quite a bit even
before crankin' them up. My main reference computer speakers are the Altec
ACS-48's and I was able to perform back to back A-B comparisons to add weight
to long term opinions.
Within seconds, I knew
that these wouldn't last long. I expected more high frequencies from the small
mid drivers and I heard zippo above 10kHz. Were talking gone
folks. The very range that contains critical harmonics for cymbals, the human
voice (ch and sh sibilance) had the effect of changing those things into different
instruments altogether. For that matter, the mid range boost helped only to
make the dreaded AM radio effect even more pronounced. When browsing your
local computer store, push buttons to A-B these with better sounding units
and you will be amaze at just how colored these are.
Priced at the $100 level
and selling in the $71-82 range on the web, a 4" woofer doesn't cut it.
I'm sure the engineers maximized the efficiency of the diminutive driver,
but the port (horn) loaded model does only a moderate job of pushing out the
lows. The bass boost is noticeable although it's too low to affect the vocal
range. Deep male voices don't take on the awful one-note-boom sound. BUT,
the bass in general is too soft and sloppy. If you put your hand near the
port with bass-rich music, you almost get the impression that this hole could
be used and a hand dryer.
Despite the annoyances,
I listened to my normal wide variety of music including that which I personally
multitracked and mixed down myself. After about an hour, I could feel a headache
starting--something I haven't had happen in quite some time. With the combination
of rolled off highs, uneven midrange and artificially boosted lows, I had
to reassure myself that a hidden eq wasn't lurking underneath the table.
Neat design, lousy execution.
Somebody at Logitech had one hand tied behind their proverbial back when the
X2 debuted. Breaking with tradition in the power supply area will have serious
consequences as buyers either return their SoundMans or don't consider upgrading
to better Logitech brand speakers when they become available. Even though
I awarded these a 5/10 rating, they aren't worth half of the list price. It
pains me greatly to write a poor review of any product, but if I always said
everything sounded great, what would be the point of reading reviews? Send
Logitech a message: appreciate the effort, but please rethink the next set.