Sorry if I touch someone with the best feelings, but among the serious guys the Antec and Lian Li cases are considered to be really decent. Yes, there are many quite decent cases made by other companies. Especially when it comes to design - there is no companion to the taste and color, so perhaps you like completely different forms and battle colors. But when it comes to work silence, cooling efficiency and - especially - ease of assembly / disassembly, Antec and Lian Li ruthlessly bar all. He himself bought Lian Li B20 in his time, but it just so coincided - it was necessary to shove something as quiet as possible into the writing-room niche. But on the whole, I treat both companies with the same sympathy, and I will not risk calling an unequivocal leader.
As it is now fashionable, and Antec, and Lian Li do not only the body: they have in the range of power supplies, various functional decorations for the front panel, cooling system, plus Antec indulges in media centers, and Lian Li - NAS'ami. But all this is very "computer" devices, the situation is clear to them. But when Antec announced the release of Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers in September, I became alert and decided to definitely try them. And I tried it last week.
Immediately make a reservation - I got a very, very preliminary sample, packed in an ugly cardboard box. He came straight to Russia from Berlin, from the IFA exhibition, where the speakers were shown live for the first time. Whether the workers were too harsh, or the visitors too enthusiastic, but the subwoofer has a little torn fabric covering the front panel. This does not affect anything, but catches the eye.
As you have probably understood, the kit consists of a subwoofer and two satellites. That is no 5.1 and 7.1, the numerous speakers of which in a typical apartment are quickly assembled on a computer desk and are spread around the sides every six months, when especially important guests arrive. Meanwhile, a correctly made set 2.1 provides optimum sound quality at home, and if in 3D games there is not enough accuracy in calculating the enemy's location, you can put on headphones. I say this not from envy of the owners of multichannel systems and not from greed. No, I experimented with different sets of 5.1 / 7.1 for about five years, until I suddenly realized that I couldn’t arrange them according to my mind, and if I tense up and hang everything on the walls, another problem floats. I usually get to games closer to the night when the family is sleeping. To wake her with explosions and moans of defeated villains is dangerous to health, so you still have to wear headphones. And now, moving to a new apartment, I sold my set to one good person, and I took a couple of unpretentious, but surprisingly kosher, speakers and am still quite pleased with them. Honestly, I’m not so hot at all what an audiophile, and I don’t feel the difference in the sound transmitted over ordinary cables and in those using oxygen-free copper. But I think I distinguish bad from good.
The Antec satellites are small, but rather weighty - in the latest fashion, the body is made of anodized aluminum,
extinguishing the extra vibration is not worse than wood. Plus, there is no risk that kids at maximum volume will start jumping on the table. The design is both cute and neutral. Perhaps the best satellites will look next to the Antec Skeleton case, although the “incompatibility” in this case is reduced to zero - if you want to put it next to the “poppy”, and if you want it, attach it next to any competitor.
As for the subwoofer, it does not glitter with the design at all - the usual such box is radically black in color with a height of 25 centimeters. Apparently, it is assumed that it will be tucked deep under the table and will not be used as an object for admiring.
I was somewhat puzzled by the length of the cables connecting the subwoofer with the satellites, as well as their appearance. No, it is clear that the connectors are all standard, and if you prefer, you can easily find a better replacement. But from the set with the recommended price of $ 250 you expect more ... thoughtfulness. However, most likely, it is at the sample so, and in a beautiful box with the final version will put the option more decently.
It is proposed to control the loudness of the speaker system using a wired remote control device (well, the language doesn’t turn around to call this remote control). To him, too, leads a rather formidable cable, whose contacts lead us to recall the S-Video interface. Why such difficulties in this case - I will not put my mind to it. I want to believe that this part of the release will decorate and simplify a bit.
Turning up the volume is convenient, if necessary, the sound can be instantly muffled with one click, plus this round thing will show if you have connected acoustics to a PC with optics or turned on 3Dsst ™, about which just below.
Due to the lack of an optical cable at hand, I had to connect by analogy. However, the presence of a discrete sound card Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi as much as possible compensated for this limitation. Understandably, there is no reason to talk about any difficulties in connecting: I stuck it in and rushed.
Speaking about how the brainchild of Antec sounds, it is useful to recall the general shortcomings of computer acoustics in 2.1 sets.
1) Lack of medium frequencies, only low and high.
2) “Clogging” with satellite subwoofer
3) Weak stereo effect, regardless of the distance between the satellites
4) Disgusting sound (noise, distortion) when trying to set the volume over 65-70% of the stated potential.
So nothing like this in the case of Antec and does not smell like. The frequency pattern is very decent - the tops, middle and bottoms are clearly audible and neatly complement each other. The subwoofer behaves extremely intelligently, for a long time did not come across this, to be honest. It is heard very well, but, at the same time, neither in games, nor while listening to the most various musical works, he did not have to be pacified. In theory, there is a three-way switch at the back that allows you to control the behavior of the subwoofer, but I did not touch it either. I note that this “intelligence” of the bass may not be pleasant to some, many people love more aggressive. Therefore, if suddenly it comes to buying, be sure to pay attention to this nuance still in the store.
The stereo feels just great. I pulled away the satellites close to each other, about a meter and a half, but the result was very pleased. Right very much.
The Passport Capacity of the Rockus 3D 2.1 kit remains a mystery - not a word about it in the press release, but the instructions with the specifications in the box were not found - for obvious reasons. And yet it sounds very loud. It feels like there is an honest “forty-forty”, if not more (I emphasize, it’s about honest power, and not about various peaks, it’s not clear how and by whom it is intentional). It is especially pleasant, and at maximum volume the sound does not deteriorate - it just becomes LOUDER.
The only thing I cannot say anything good about is the 3D mode, the presence of which was even carried into the name of the kit. Always treated with great suspicion to such lotions, and this time did not change opinions. Maybe, of course, I somehow pressed the wrong button, but when switching to a so-called. 3D everything starts to play like speakers are in the bathroom. In such a large, stoned. The sound is, of course, funny, but no “three-dimensionality” was felt. Perhaps even budget sound cards allow you to emulate a volume more vigorously, not to mention SoundBlaster X-Fi. So thanks, of course, Antec for marketing fantasy, but somehow I can handle it myself.
And yet for the first experience the acoustics of Antec is just great. Yes, and for the second, perhaps, too. Confused by only two points.
First, the price. Most likely, in the good Russian tradition, the American $ 250 will turn into about 10,000 rubles, which is quite expensive. Business colleagues - Creative, Microlab, Sven, Gembird, Genius - for such a sum offer giant multi-channel kits with good performance, and for the buyer will have to oh how to fight.
Secondly, despite the well-deservedly good reputation of Antec in the market of cases and other computer components, all this, like any premium product, is sold in rather modest quantities. Especially against the background of InWin, Thermaltake, Super Power, and so on and so forth. Even if every buyer of the Antec case gets columns of the same breed (which, frankly, it is hard to believe), sales will still be small. And outside the narrow crowd of connoisseurs of computer beauty, the name Antec says nothing to anyone, and an attempt to sell a bundle for ten thousand rubles can be perceived only with bewilderment. Option two - or fiercely dumping, or invest in advertising. And both companies do not like passion.
One way or another, I congratulate Antec on their debut. Few who succeed in entering a completely unfamiliar field of activity for themselves, do not lose face. And if before the start of sales, expected in November-December, you can get rid of minor children's ills - you can talk seriously about Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1, even if only brand fans and collectors buy it.