Laser 5.1 Home Theatre Speakers
- Cheap, simple to use, decent sound
- Bass a bit muddy, not that attractive
For the home theatre enthusiast on a very tight budget, these speakers from Laser will do the trick nicely.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
At the GoodGearGuide, we've recently had a whole raft of expensive home theatre systems in the office. They may be very nice, though not everyone can afford, nor wants to splash out $2000 on a set of speakers and a DVD player. If you want the thrills of surround sound without having to empty your bank account then perhaps Laser can help with their 5.1 Home Theatre Speakers. It may not be a complete home theatre system (only speakers are included) but it's a bargain nonetheless.
Having learned how much the speakers cost, we weren't expecting a great deal from the Laser system. Typically, if speakers are cheap there's a good reason why. So it was a pleasant surprise to find that these particular speakers have performance, if not styling, beyond their price tag. We found the sound to be powerful and crisp, though the bass did tend to sound a little muffled. While the lower frequency sound doesn't sound incredible, the Laser speakers avoid the pitfall of most cheap subwoofers in that the bass retains its power. All aspects of the sound are adjustable with the convenient remote including treble, bass, mid-range and overall volume. What is less convenient is that to adjust the volume it's necessary to have a direct line-of-sight with the subwoofer, where the infrared receiver is located. While this isn't a major issue, it does mean you can't hide it away. Big black boxes don't always look good against the wallpaper.
There are a couple of other ways in which costs have been cut to produce decent speakers at a bargain price. Each of the five speakers is identical, meaning that the centre speaker has to be laid on its side in an ugly plastic trough. The speakers themselves are also not the most attractive things we've ever seen, though they'll sit fairly comfortably in the average living room. Instead of using a display to control the volume, a set of four small LEDs on the front of the subwoofer lights up to show what level the sound is on. This can make it difficult to adjust the volume in small increments.
For the most part though, the speakers disguise their cut price nature. Each comprises of three separate cones in rotating segments, meaning that the sound can be angled wherever you desire. The advantages of doing this are probably fairly slim but it's a nice touch anyway. Setting up the speakers is also made easy by colour coded wires and labels at each end of the cords. We had the system up and running in minutes, despite the fact that the only instructions included are printed on the box. The one main problem with the speakers is that they may not be compatible with your AV receiver in their present form. This is due to the composite sockets present on the end of the connecting wires. This shouldn't be a problem though, as they can always be cut off to expose the wires. Another useful feature that Laser has included is wires to make the speakers compatible with any device equipped with 3.5mm jacks, e.g. PCs and MP3 players.
Overall, Laser has managed to produce a simple and effective set of speakers for an impressively low price. If you search on the internet you can pick them up for half the RRP; an absolute bargain.
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