Auditek KMEPC SN-8520 7.1 Home Theatre System
- Incredibly cheap. Incredibly cheap. Incredibly cheap.
- Lack of remote, not enough controls, sound quality not the greatest
A cheap set of speakers that are still good value for money despite their average sound
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Overall the Auditek speakers are at best average, which usually wouldn't warrant our recommendation. As it is though, these speakers represent possibly the lowest priced 7.1 system on the market, and for such little cost they're a bargain.
The cost of surround sound speakers seems to be plummeting. We were recently impressed by Laser's cut price offering, the 5.1 Home Theatre Speakers. Auditek has now raised the stakes again, with their 7.1 speakers coming in at $50 less than Laser's 5.1 system. 7.1 speakers for less than $100 sounds too good to be true, and in some ways it is, though the KMEPC system still manages to hold its own.
Setting up the speakers was made far more difficult than it needed to be. With so many wires trailing around it would have been really helpful to include some kind of colour coding or labelling system. As it is, there are four identical green wires and eight identical black ones. Working out which one goes where takes a little longer than usual for a speaker system. The eight speakers include a subwoofer, central speaker and six satellites, though the difference between the central speaker and the satellites is purely cosmetic. These are all in turn connected to a control box, which includes a master volume and separate volume controls for each pair of speakers and the subwoofer.
Though it's convenient to have the inputs and volume dials in a separate control, the largely plastic finish may not mesh well with your sleek, metallic devices. As there is no remote control, this means the control box has to be kept within reach at all times. A second problem with the control box is the lack of equalisation options, with only bass adjustable. The addition of a treble control at the very least would have been useful. In contrast to the control box, the satellite speakers look fairly smart, but the same plastic design is carried over to the subwoofer, which won't be to everyone's tastes.
The speakers are primarily designed to be linked to a PC's 7.1 surround sound card, with four 3.5mm jacks used as the primary connection. They could also be connected to a home theatre system, provided it uses standard RCA connectors. If it instead uses clips you can always cut the speaker cables and expose the wires. We found it slightly irksome that when connecting the speakers to a regular stereo connection there was no option to play the audio from all seven satellites. Instead, only the front and left speakers in conjunction with the subwoofer are used. Each of the satellites also comes with a useful stand that rotates 270 degrees, enabling the speakers to be angled up and down or attached to the wall using the supplied screws.
For a 7.1 system the speakers sound about average. The whole frequency range feels a bit muffled, with no clear distinction between low- and mid-range sound. The subwoofer also produces rather muddy bass, though it is at least powerful for its size. In fact the whole system's rather small stature belies the high volume it can produce. When testing our favourite scenes from The Incredibles, we weren't blown away by the sweeping effects as we usually are. Though the directional qualities of the setup were good, the acoustics were less so. When listening to music such as The Killers things were also average, with the clarity of vocals less pronounced than we would like. Having said that, the sound is still decent enough to gain enjoyment from listening to both movies and music.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- FSP's wild new power supply is liquid-cooled and built for silence
- Some Radeon RX Vega graphics cards will be faster than the Frontier Edition
- Nvidia quietly launches the GeForce GT 1030, a Radeon RX 550 rival with a modest price
- AMD's first Radeon Vega graphics card isn't for you, and gamers may be waiting a while
- AMD's Ryzen Mobile chips are ready for liftoff, with the new Ryzen Pro not far behind
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Asus launches laptops to start Computex 2017
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCSAP Deployment ConsultantNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- TPBI ConsultantNSW
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- FTCyber Security Technical WriterNSW
- CCMDM DesignerVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst, Wealth ManagementNSW
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksACT
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst - GROUP LIFE INSURANCENSW
- FTProject Manager Large ICT Enabled Business Change ProjectQLD
- TPSOE EngineerACT
- CCSenior DeveloperNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectWA
- TPSenior Web Developer/Consultant - ServiceNowNSW
- FTSenior IT Project ManagerSA
- CCIDAM ArchitectVIC
- TPICT Customer Support Officer - ForsterNSW
- TPFront End .NET DeveloperQLD
- FTP3O SpecialistACT
- TPArcGIS DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior SQL Database SpecialistACT
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD