Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Andrew Yang
- Published on 29 October 2009
As the RC-Micro is positioned as a home theater speaker package, my auditioning of the speakers predominantly used action movies for the source material.
Senseless violence or socio-political commentary? Either way,the film provides numerous scenes to test out a surround system. As one might expect, in the latest entry in the Rambo series, there are numerous gunfights, and explosions throughout the movie that make excellent use of the surrounds and the subwoofer.
A rather disparate cast (McAvoy, Freeman and Jolie), and aspiring director (Bekmambetov) bring a relatively unknown comic series to the screen. As is requisite for an action movie these days, heavy CGI, and special effects fill the entirety of the film. The action sequences are smaller scale than those in Rambo, but still provide great material to test a surround system. In particular the car chase sequence near the beginning of the film, and the shootout at the factory make good use of the surround channels.
The RC-Micro's provided very crisp imaging of the soundstage, this is expected of satellite speakers. What sets the RC-Micro apart from other offerings is both the clarity of the presentation, and the width of the soundstage. The presentation was quite consistent between seating positions, and the speakers did a good job of recreating the scenes in the movies. The subwoofer does a decent job of making its presence felt, but falls short of truly reproducing the lowest octaves. Not unexpected at this price or size.
The downside in having such small speakers, however, is the crossover point between the speakers and the subwoofer. Generally, 100 Hz or lower is a recommended crossover point between the speakers and the subwoofer, with 80 Hz being the recommendation from THX. Part of the rationale behind the recommendation is to reduce the localization of the subwoofer. This leaves a choice between a gap in the lower mid-octaves, and non-localized bass, or a fuller sound with the subwoofer readily localized. Testing out both scenarios left me preferring the second situation. Using a crossover point low enough to make the subwoofer difficult to localize resulted in a very thin presentation. Raising the crossover point to fill out the sound meant I was keenly aware of where all the mid to low frequencies were coming from, but at least the presentation was more complete.