on 17 March 2011
I have nothing but praise for these.
First off, if you're going to buy these, make sure you've got space for the subwoofer because it is the size of a microwave oven. The satellite speakers sit on the same level as my iMac and don't interfere with the screen at all, which I was initially worried about before buying them. I did do my calculations but I wasn't too sure that it would be okay once I angled them upwards towards me (mounts included).
I've put my favourite tunes through the system and they come through with a lot of punch and detail. I use the system in conjunction with a Fiio E9 and E7 and the music I use is of a high quality.
I must add that if your music is of poor quality than these speakers will quickly embarrass them.
I'm no audiophile but I do know what I like to hear, and it ain't distortion or washed out bass.
I've turned the volume to maximum, stood away from the pain and listened to what is a truly a wonderful system. No distortion, the bass was delivered clear and you could make out the difference in the levels in milliseconds.
I know this is named as a gaming system but forget about that, the music coming from this is sublime and Corsair shouldn't have aimed for a specific genre, as many people will not take a look at something with the tag gaming on it.
Consequently though, I am a gamer too but haven't tried this out on anything yet.
I don't really review but noticed that no-one else has done one or even given it a rating.
I did my research on this before parting with my cash and am truly satisfied. You could add £100 to this price and it would still be worth it.
on 19 December 2011
Cheaper (only £150.00) than the latest Zeppelin (which I also have £500.00) and a more real and accurate sound.
I love my Zeppelin, it sounds really sophisticated but the Corsair seperates the compoments of the music a lot better because it is intended to give gamers a real spacial awareness(in case an assassin is creeping above/below/behind!)
Gamers 2.1 speaker set!
Ha Ha I'm not even a gamer!
These are a real steal, what value for money.
Translate these abilities into a musical environment and sit down at my PC and listen to a wide range of music on my Corsair 2500 and I am full of admiration.
These things give me a lot of aural pleasure.
The quality and directional abilities of this set up is very very pleasing.
Point the speakers at your ears and prepare to be amazed.!!!!.
Hold the speakers in each hand to ensure that they are equidistant from your ears and use the pads (supplied) to aim the sound straight at your ears.
You will be well impressed.
on 3 November 2011
These speakers do an excellent job of improving my Samsung flat screen TV ouput, but only sound really good at highish volume levels. If you listen at medium/low levels you are probably better of looking elsewhere imo as they are not cheap . I bought a set of Acoustic Energy Aegos at the same time with the intention of using them for the TV and these for gaming but ended up reversing the decision in practice as the Aego's sounded as good/better for close up gaming speakers at moderate (not low) volumes, whilst the Corsairs did a MUCH better job with Movies in a standard size lounge.
on 10 July 2013
These speakers were first brought to my attention a while back on an audio forum where a few were praising their sound quality and value for money factor. So the seed had been firmly planted somewhere in the subconscious and naturally when it came time to build my pc/gaming room rig I thought no setup would be complete without some speakers to handle everything from simple web browsing and YouTube vids all the way up to lossless quality sound as found in Flac audio files or Bluray sources. PC speakers have a bad reputation for being cheap and nasty so I thought about bringing together a mini hifi system with standmount speakers but then the thought of all the additional components and cabling required simply put me off, so I reverted back to searching for a PC speaker system but with quality sound. So what were my intended use and key requirements? The limitations and acoustics of the room had to be considered first: a small 2.3x2x2.5m (HxWxL) rectangular shaped room. It is too small to accommodate large speakers, besides the bass would need to be controlled in a small room, so a small 2.1 system would be ideal allowing me to have independent control of bass levels. I would need something with good near-field monitoring performance since the speakers will sit on the desk and I will be sat within about a meter of the sweet spot. The system as a whole need to work seamlessly together in close proximity for extended sessions at moderate listening levels without inducing fatigue. I don't intend to bring the house down.
Setup: first and most importantly, this speaker system was designed as desktop speakers and such my review will concentrate on a typical pc/gaming orientated setup so if you have any other plans for them take heed, they're not intended to replace your home theatre speakers or a high end living room stereo system. If you do plan on putting them in a large room and sitting far away from them then I guess they'll work but only for casual background music so don't expect critical listening sessions. Now as far as connecting everything this was idiot proof with colour coded cables and proprietary terminals which I guess is necessary since Corsair have used active crossover design (so I'm told). However this also means you are stuck with whatever length they have provided unless one fancies going Macgyver style. Good sub/sat integration relies on finding a good spot for the sub to provide an even bass response. The cables themselves are too small (under 2 meters) to allow any meaningful flexibility in terms of sub placement so you will be restricted to how far you can place it from the desk. So it will go on either side of the desk or in the middle under your feet. In the middle location the port air kept flapping my trousers which quickly became annoying and since my desk is right up against the corner there was only one other place it could go which was against the wall in the middle of the room on the left side of the desk. Fortunately, because of the crossover and sub design, localisation is kept to a minimum although I would have preferred it if the remote control unit allowed independent adjustment of crossover rather than preset user modes for fine tuning. For the satellites I found they worked best when placed as wide apart as possible on the desk, slightly toed in and angled up toward the listener. Depending on how far you sit from the desk, you may need to pull them forward slightly to find the ideal sweet spot. The sats are powerful enough to resonate the desk so you may find it beneficial to build or buy small speaker isolation platforms. Luckily for me the fan covers removed from my fractal design R4 case that look like square shaped drink coasters with a thin (15mm) layer of foam underneath worked perfectly for this purpose.
Unboxing: It arrived in a large box with plenty of packaging to protect the contents. The satellites came out first and to be honest first impression was they were light, far too light compared to similar size Velodyne sats I have and that got me thinking immediately about what's inside and that I should be gentle with the packaging should they not live up to the hype. The sub however had a reassuring weight to it but again not as heavy as others I've had of similar size. The finish is a smooth matt black job but nothing to rave about, perfect for their intended use. The sub is big compared to other pc speaker systems but small if you come from a home theatre or hifi background.
Sound quality: The first thing I should mention is that any concerns I had about its weight and how this might relate to sound quality was instantly quashed. After experimenting with positioning the speakers and playing about with the preset modes I quickly settled on the default flat (reference) setting. This provided the best balanced sound which could be further tweaked by adjusting bass level to ones preference. As mentioned above the quality of the sound came as a bit of a surprise despite all the rave reviews I wasn't expecting them to sound so good. The sound isn't natural, it adds its own flavour but in a good way, a lively enjoyable sparkle without harshness, excellent vocals, imaging and then the deep extended low end were what immediately struck me. Always a good sign imo where you can play just about anything and enjoy it rather than sit there in an uber accurate system and moan about how it doesn't have the right timbre or that the recordings are flawed although of course this is just my opinion and your mileage may vary. So long as the system is played at moderate levels (60%+-10 depending on content) it remains wonderfully dynamic and composed. The sound is detailed and revealing, the soundstage and imaging are spot on. However push beyond moderate listening levels and the sound begins to harden, the drivers of the satellites strain as they enter the red zone. The tweeters no longer give out that sweet treble, instead its replaced by an uncomfortable edginess that just sound splashy and uncontrolled. It's clearly distortion, of the nasty digital sort. I suspect based on the sudden introduction of distortion, almost like it hit a brick wall, its the amp running out of steam rather than the satellite speakers. Strangely enough, the sub has no such issues with distortion, it seems able to keep going strong long after the sats have run out of puff. I've read one or two reviews before where people complained of a lack of bass from the sub, I guess they're just not used to clean bass because that's what the sub provides. In fact the entire frequency range is so clean and controlled that it's easy to pick out where this system lacks and that is in mid bass punch but given the budget and limitations of the components used that hardly comes as a surprise. I guess the designers could have compensated here by tuning the sub to higher crossover or at least allow user adjustability but for whatever reason (localisation?) they didn't.
At this point some people might be put off but don't be because that's missing the point. As a system and at its price point and for its intended use it is a tour de force of design achievement in what makes an excellent albeit restricted all in one system - so long as its used within its limits (that whole Apple philosophy seem to be catching!). At its core it seems the amplification and electronic circuitry have been designed and tweaked to a fine compromise balancing sound quality vs performance. They've done a fantastic job here of squeezing every last ounce of quality given the design limitations. I guess from all the user reviews and in so many words this is what people are trying to say and why it has impressed so many. That saying 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts' never rang so true as this system demonstrates with its unique selling point over the competition, it has what many audiophiles crave and spend thousands of pounds on. Of course I am referring to that all too elusive phenomenon called 'system synergy'. If your intended use is moderate listening in a pc/desktop environment there really isn't anything out there that compares for the money, the sound is refreshingly hifi, granted on a smaller scale but non the less it has the key ingredients. If you want a grand sound wihtout compromise there's nothing quite like the real thing, get bigger speakers, bigger amplification, in a bigger acoustically treated room. For £200 pc/gaming speakers these are quite an accomplishment, the folks at Corsair should tap themselves on the back for a job well done. As consumers I don't think we have ever had it so good, to get this level of performance at this price point.
You know that old saying when something seems to good to be true...? Well it seems although this speaker system sounds brilliant for its class it was not designed to last. Having had the system now for just over a year and half with hardly any mileage on the clock (used once a month probably), I tried turning it on the other night and no response whatsoever, the remote unit doesn't light up or respond. A quick search on the net show numerous examples of this being reported by users which points towards a product that has a few common faults. I'm rather surprised Corsair still continue sell this product knowing it is inherently faulty and that there hasn't been any recall. As such unfortunately I have had to score the product down to one star rating since I don't think it is fit for purpose. Now the fun begins with Corsair warranty department.
The Corsair SP2500 is just a superb set of 2.1 PC speakers, i can find very little fault with them. Here are my thoughts to date:
-Amazingly crisp & rich sound for varied purposes like music or gaming(Jessie J's Domino is amazing, my desk shakes with the bass turned up, it's like sitting front row at a concert).
-Using headphones i can hear things so clearly now that i never used too before (it's like im in the game).
-Great wired control pod with digital screen read out(easy to navigate the ample options available).
-Sleek no nonsense design.
-Piece of cake to set up, due to there only being a handfull of cables required you dont need to be a genius to setup.
-Good length cabling overall.
-Good build quality & sturdy thick cables.
-Some of the best packaging i've ever seen.
-Nice, brief, but easy to follow manual (in various EU languages).
-The power cable(kettle lead) is a bit shorter than i like, just about reaches for me.
-No jack for a mic(no deal breaker for me as i dont use it).
-Exposed cabling on the ends of the 4pin power speaker cables, not fully coverd for some reason(maybe i'm grabbing at straws for con's).
Delivery issue: I orderd from Amazon directly, i paid for guarenteed delivery on the 17th, which i waited in for all day as asked. The speakers never arrived untill the afternoon of the 18th. The speakers were bereft of packaging, apart from the Corsair box, which was disconcerting, as i saw the delivery man dropping it out the side of his van to the pavement. When i asked the driver why DPD hadnt deliverd it (which was the shipping & tracking company info. i was e-mailed), the delivery man just grunted without so much as a hello, thankyou or goodbye. Having now contacted Amazon about the issue, they have agreed to refund me the £8.99 delivery charge. I'm pleased with the outcome & Amazon's quick & understanding response in resolving this matter, thank you to them.
Overall despite delivery issue's, i am over the moon with the Corsair SP2500's. Combined with my Creative XtremeGamer soundcard (having a good sound card is reccomended by Corsair btw to get the most out of these) they are mind blowingly good. The price is expensive, so unfortunatley not everyone will be able to grab a set, but if you can rustle up the money or find a good deal, you cant go wrong with these. Highly reccomended.
on 25 May 2011
these are the rolls royce of pc speakers, the price is worth the quality. compared to the other gaming speakers on the markert i.e Razer Mako,Hercules XPS 101 and Sony SRS DB500, the corsair speakers exceed them and then some. i tested these bad boys and i was blown away, the sound was so crisp it felt as though my ears were being massaged, forget the whole you need a good sound card talk, anything will sound good on these speakers.
the only downside for me however is the packaging, its a bit much
on 21 January 2013
I just got these this morning. What a monster of a speaker set. The first song I put on was "Feed me - Strange behavior". I turned the program to dynamic pop and the eq to pop, I've got the sub up about half way and the volume on 4 and it's amazing! I'm a bit of a Corsair fan so I'm glad they were worth the money!
Still love this speaker set and blows away my mates £350 Bose set.
Nothing lasts for ever, and the control pods certainly do not!
I had a replacement control pod after 10 months.
The powerbutton went in and never came back out again.
My replacement has just done exactly the same.... I turn it on and off once a day... once a day and it's broken.
Corsair want £60 for a replacement. They can shove it.
on 28 December 2013
I bought these speakers because I thought that it was about time to retire my Logitech Z623 system as the sub makes a funny smell when the bass goes up high and the rubber surrounding has torn in one place, so air and sound leaks occasionally.
As it's Corsair I expected nothing but quality and perfection from this system. Even having such a high expectation from a speaker system has not led to disappointment; these speakers deliver. On arrival, I was shocked to find such a huge box... I was beginning to think I had to assemble the whole thing myself. I managed to get through the box without getting lost in paper and wrapping, the satellites themselves are nice and square/rectangular shaped with a small 10W tweeter on top and the main satellite driver underneath that which is generously sized. The quality of the speakers is instantaneously obvious when I have both my Logitech system and the Corsair system on at the same time. The Corsair system is so much clearer, cleaner and more dynamic than the Logitech ones. However, at the same volume it is not too obvious.
The main subwoofer container is the single biggest God damn container I've ever seen in my life; a literal metal container that is used to transport items on a ship is what you should bear in mind when buying this. I cannot comment on the subwoofer itself because it's enclosed within the container... It is apparently 10 Watts less powerful than my Logitech Z623's subwoofer, but an inch bigger; so it sort of levels the differences. I cannot yet comment on the bass because I am carefully and slowly taking the power up to max so I don't ruin it like I did my Logitech subwoofer. I have had it on over half way however and I can gladly say that it seems very powerful still and reproduces bass very well. I can't compare them both because I'm yet to turn the power up to max on the sub.
The wires for this speaker system are nice and long, the cables for the satellites are like 4-pin cables for the inside of your computer, just to give you an idea of what they look like. The ends of each are exposed a bit, purposefully not shoddy build quality, this improves flexibility of the wires which is a good idea. They are colour coded, so White and Red. White is left and Red if right. The control itself connects through a VGA type connector into the back of the sub container and screws in, this is the same as my Logitech system. The buttons are all very sturdy and have a very nice click to them. The volume knob... He he... is also nice and sturdy and spins forever, so it's not broke if you buy it; and if you push it in and hear a click, it also acts as a mute button.
On the top of the control there is a spade type adapter, this is for updates to the controller, nothing else. There is also an auxiliary port so you can connect your phone or iPod etc. and play it through that. You must change the input using the menu button in the middle of the three bottom buttons, and using the volume knob as the selector you can change it to aux2 which is the port in the controller. The button on the left is the one to take you to the volume menu to adjust the volume... Obviously. The button on the right is the button to take you to the subwoofer power menu, which you can adjust the output power of the subwoofer to your liking. You'll understand what I mean if and when you get this system, given you're reading this, which I hope you are otherwise it's a waste of my time. -_-
To sum up this long-winded review; I fully 100% with all of my heart recommend you buy this speaker system if you are looking for a new one because it's extremely powerful, the sound quality is incredible and because it's Corsair we're talking about here, the build quality is obviously going to be insane and I can safely say it will probably out-live me it's that well built. And although it's a tad bit expensive, I can say it is fully worth the money. I'd also like to say that you might want to be carefully buying it for a smaller room because the container for the sub is quite large. Also, if you are a bass nut like me, you might also want to have the subwoofer in a place where it isn't directly under you because my Logitech system has an omni-directional subwoofer which means that no matter where it is placed, the bass is always nice and audible to your ears. This system doesn't have that and because mine is under my desk where I sit, I can feel it, but I can only hear it at frequencies around 35-50Hz and then I can only feel it after that. But if hearing the bass is not relevant or important to you, then it really doesn't matter and I've completely wasted your time with this large paragraph of personal desires to hear bass. Sorry about that.
The only thing left to say is that, if you decide to put the power output of the subwoofer relatively high for the first month or something like that, you will smell a funny smell coming form the sub. It's not on fire or about to implode, it's just the glue etc. all settling in. But don't blast it on the first day because that's just mean.
I'll update you if I find anything new... Not that I expect to as I think I've fully covered everything. And by the time you actually finish reading this review the system might have been replaced with a newer model.
on 1 August 2013
I've been very picky looking around for a new 2.1 system to replace my old logitech, which seems reasonable at the price. Spending quite a while going through reviews and specs for various systems, I decided to buy this one (albeit at a local store rather than online).
Firstly, the box is big. Very big. 58 x 50 x 40.4 cm big. Still, it's not too difficult to carry, just takes a bit of space. The speakers themselves are very very well packaged in the Corsair box they come in. As many have said here, expect a large subwoofer, roughly the size of a microwave. Ideally, you want around 30-50cm of empty space in from of the subwoofer for better sound too. The subwoofer and satellites are made from some form of strong, rubber-like material (not actually rubber), that I wouldn't be worried about damaging. It seems pretty sturdy.
None of the cabling is permanently attached, at the back of the satellites you have these 4 pin plugs that you connect to the subwoofer with, cables are provided. Subwoofer has RCA style L & R plugs in the back, an AUX in (standard 3.5 stereo), two 4 pin plugs that connect to the satellites, a VGA-style plug you connect your remote into, and the 3 pin plug you plug your power in. The remote also has a microusb connector, I'm not sure what to do with yet, and a second AUX in connection.
The whole speaker is controlled by the remote. You have complete control, with the ability to independently adjust volume on the subwoofer, turn the subwoofer on/off, and adjust overall system volume. It's all very nicely balanced sound-wise, and the ability to turn the subwoofer off is brilliant when wanting to do anything later than when your neighbours are asleep and likely to moan. On top of this, the remote is backlit, the volume dial is very smooth and has a very nice feel to it, and there are various EQ presets if you feel you need them. It's not as easy as a few buttons, but it's brilliant if you want a little more control.
First of all, I of course gave this a go hooked up to the ps3, with a bit of call of duty. I went ahead and turned up the subwoofer a little bit (not crazily, just for a little feeling with sound, which was very easy). In a mission riding a horse while carrying a weapon, I could feel the horse's hooves in the controller's vibration, and on my bare feet on the wooden floor thanks to this new baby. If these satellites are well placed and angled, you can get a very nice 3D sound out of this, even just with the stereo AUX in. For perspective, trying a racing game next (Ridge Racers), overtaking several cars in the middle, few in the front, 2 on the sides, one on the back left, gave an incredible perspective on what was going on. I wasn't expecting this with a 2.1 system, not at this level.
Gaming aside, what people have said about the sound of this with music, is true. It is a gaming system, yes, and there is no reference in this being designed for use with music, yes, but this sounds as wonderful with gaming as it does with music. If something doesn't sound right, play with the orientation of the whole thing, place the subwoofer further away, with the opening facing a large space. Place the satellites further away, slightly angled towards ear-level. If needed, turn the subwoofer up or down (volume, not angle).
In short, if you're looking for something for gaming and films, and you want a decent 2.1 system - buy this one. If you're looking for something for music, films, and gaming - buy this one. I've seen too many reviews on other systems failing, buzzing, crackling, shorting, or missing whole frequency ranges in the sound they make; and the reviews here have been very promising. I hope I won't need to use the guarantee that came with it!
on 17 September 2015
This will be an extremely unpopular opinion I am sure. I don't really know what is going on as this speaker system seems to have received a lot of good reviews although I note you can find the odd professional review that is quite negative. I swear people must be reviewing a different system to what I have! I was expecting to be blown away but I was nothing of the sort.
Perhaps pro reviewers were influenced by Corsairs sales patter and tech jargon and now consumers are doing the whole "emperors new clothes" thing and feeling afraid to criticise for fear of looking silly and being out of tune with the echo chamber?
I come from having had the Logitech Z623's which I got from Amazon for £120 and the Z906's that I again got from Amazon for £220.
I mean when I went from cheap speakers to the Z623's I was blown away and amazed but going to the SP2500's was a non-event.
They aren't "bad" mind you, let's be clear on that. I mean they are as good as the Z623's for sure and anyone upgrading from cheap speakers will be amazed. I just think that the Z623's represent the point where the average consumer hits a brick wall of diminishing returns. Audiophiles can say whatever they like but I know the average consumer isn't going to be hear the difference.
Now these Corsairs I really cannot recommend versus those two Logitech options if you get them when the price is right (they fluctuate a lot).
At the £180 I paid, this system is too big and not that much better (if better at all) than the Z623's to justify the cost. So I'd rather buy the Logitech's 2.1's or better still spend the extra £40 for the Z906's which give a far better experience if your soundcard supports 5.1.
Failing that, for a PC gamer you might be better off buying some Astro A40's which again sound superb when connected to a true 5.1 source.
So yeah...regretting the purchase. I guess a lot of people giving glowing reviews upgraded from built in speakers or a cheapy set but aren't really comparing the SP2500's to slightly cheaper and more practical alternatives. I still say if you have the space get Z906's as you get so much better an experience.
If you don't have the space then weigh up the merits of a 2.1 system versus a decent gaming headset. Due to space issues I have now reverted to some Creative Gigaworks T40's for casual listening (Youtube etc) and then Astro A40's for gaming or when I really want to immerse in a movie.