On the scale of sophistication most PC speaker systems are a boom-boxed Fiesta compared to the Sydney Opera houses of the hi-fi world. Even the few really good 5.1 kits out there are hampered by game effects that lurch from speaker to speaker, a lack of support for Dolby Digital and the fact that few PCs are in rooms appropriate for surround sound set-ups.
But Razer’s new Mako kit is promising to finally provide solace for audiophiles. It’s based on two new technologies from the sound supremos at THX – namely Ground Plane and Slot Speaker – which gives each satellite two downward facing, separately amplified drivers that bounce omnidirectional sound waves off the desktop with a force of 100W RMS per channel. If that’s not enough, there’s another 100W from the sub for good measure.
Best in class sound
The results are remarkable. Combined with a decent soundcard these will fill the room as well as, if not better than, most 5.1 kits.
It’s not just about that Spector-style wall of sound – the DSP circuitry does a phenomenal job, too. Tonal quality is crystal clear and sharper than Death’s own scythe. Although the quoted range of 40-1800Hz is lower than many cheaper sets, in reality you’ll hear sounds in the more delicate fidelities that lesser speakers muffle out.
In fact, despite nearly 10kgs of subwoofer, it’s at the other end that the Mako mildly disappoints. Music and movies sound amazing, but gamers may be so used to the aural assault of bass-heavy titles that they can sound a little light. Virtual war probably won’t be the Earth rumbling experience you’re expecting, but at least you’ll be able to distinguish in-game radio chatter over the violence.
Leaving aside a minor grumble about the touch-insensitive control pod, the only other issue the price. The Razer Makos are expensive, but they’re also without peer – only you can decide whether that means they’re value for money.