Articles

soundscience rockusآ™ 3D | 2.1 Speaker Review

Author:Earl Keim

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Thursday , February 10, 2011

Antec diversifies into audio with a new brand named "soundscience designed by Antec." Its first and currently only product is the rockus™ 3D | 2.1 speaker system. While the guys at soundscience aren't much on capitalization, let's see if they took the time to build a solid set of speakers for your PC.
continued...

Product Specifications

As you can see below, the one cable omitted with our retail review set was an optical cable. If we would be willing to pay $250 as consumers for a 2.1 speaker set, we would expect an optical cable included to complete the package. After a quick online price search at Amazon.com, we found that a six foot long optical cable costs less than $4.00 with free shipping. We feel one of these cables should be bundled with a premium priced speaker system. If optical is our connection method of choice, we do not want to get the speakers home and then have to go back to the store to buy the appropriate cable later.

We see 150 watts listed for the total measured power of the speakers and subwoofer. This figure is obtained by adding 100 watts from the subwoofer and 25 for each satellite speaker. The standard used in obtaining this power rating is the RMS method. Corsair used the newer FTC method to obtain its rating for its SP2500 speakers.

From what we have learned, many audiophiles are divided as to which standard is the best to use for such ratings. Some say the RMS method is an average power rating over a set period of time while the FTC method is continuous power available over a set period of time. We wish that Corsair and Antec had listed both standards on their respective product boxes. This would help consumers to base their buying decision on whichever method they were most familiar with. You can learn more about the differences in measurement in this Texas Instruments PDF.

Features

  • Anodized aluminum satellites that reduce vibration and minimize distortion,
  • Remote control pod for volume adjustment, 3D / music mode
  • Optical input for playback of digital audio from game consoles
  • Active subwoofer with passive radiator technology, delivering an expansive range of bass comparable to larger footprint subwoofers
  • When looking at the product specifications, it is great to see that these speakers can be used not only with PCs, but also with game consoles, DVD players, MP3 players, and anything else with similar connectivity. One important part of this feature is that a user's PC does not have to be turned on in order to use another device with these speakers.

    When reading the feature list, conscientious buyers should note that these are one of the few sets of speakers designed with PC and Mac users in mind that are not housed primarily in plastic.

    The subwoofer's passive radiator technology is not used for any type of cooling, like the radiator of a car. It is used for low frequency reproduction in a smaller enclosure than physically larger subwoofers of similar output capability. We are interested to see how this unusual, smaller design standard performs with our testing choices.

    From the product flyer, we read the following:

    "soundscience rockus 3D | 2.1 speaker system creates a personal home theater experience that brings the power and realism of 3D sound together with the clarity and accuracy of high-fidelity audio. 3Dsst, soundscience’s 3D technology, actively analyzes incoming stereo audio signals and intelligently places them into a 3D sound field. The results are a personal theater experience with realistic, immersive 3D soundscapes for your movies and games from 2.1 speakers - whether it’s the impact of an explosion, the snap of a baseball whizzing by a player’s face, or the thunder and fury of a videogame gunfight. The rockus also features a dedicated music mode optimized for superb stereo sound reproduction, letting you hear your music with deep, visceral sub-bass and spacious crisp, mids and highs. soundscience puts 3D cinematic sound and high-fidelity music in its place: Your room."

    We will be testing all of the dedicated listening modes of these speakers to see if they deliver everything outlined above. Whenever we read terms like "personal theater" and "3D cinematic sound," we hope that the product in question lives up to the marketing hype.