should mean higher sound quality and I'm sorry to report that I heard every
FR flaw in spades. In a nutshell, the Xtrusio's had a thin, screechy midrange
and a sloppy "high Q" bass. Let me address one at time...
sound arose from the weak midrange driver that was over-engineered to produce
frequencies above 10KHz. This fundamentally changes certain sibilant instruments
(like the female human voice) into something much smaller and more distorted.
Cymbals were reduced to sounding very over emphasized and bright. Even the
ubiquitous double barreled shotgun sound from Quake2 took on a tinkly character.
The harmonic distortion in the last hearable octave was completely unlistenable
on-axis, so they must be turned away from the listener for extended listening
midrange boost accentuated many typical reverb sounds, so the Xtrusio's appeared
to have its very own built in reverberator. This was a moderately cool effects
for about a minute. Massive reverb wears thin after a few minutes, let alone
a few hours.
is directly attributed to the woofer. I spied absolutely no internal damping
whatsoever, which can lead to a slight hollow bass feel as well as the awful
one note bass syndrome. Yes, the Xtrusio pumped out bass to a phenomenal extent,
but it was all quantity with little quality.
I did fiddle
briefly with the digital input. I used the digital out from the SBLive! and
a classic Rotel RCD-855 stand alone CD player. Both sounded slightly better
than the standard analog inputs.
At over the
$150 mark, I simply expected better results from a company that produces excellent
joysticks and mice. I know that their engineers can do more. While the Xtrusio's
are listenable for short periods of time, I couldn't wait to get back to my
ACS-48 reference set. With a power supply upgrade, a few tweeters or a redesigned
midrange and some damping in the oval sub housing, a much more competitive
product could emerge. Possibly even Dolby Pro Logic decoding might pop up.
As they stand, however, I cannot recommend the Xtrusio's at this time.