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Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview

Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview

Manufacturer: Antec

We recently dropped into Antec's offices to literally rattle some windows. The company's new Soundscience 3D 2.1 speaker set was sat in a small, glass-windowed room just outside the main office, where Antec let us loose with a selection of movies and music. Unfortunately, this is the only set in Antec's office right now, so we couldn't take it away to test it properly. As such, we're only serving up our initial impressions here.

Founded this year, Soundscience is a wholly-owned Antec subsidiary that makes audio and video 'lifestyle' products. The Rockus 3D is its first product to market; a 2.1 kit that features an optical connection, as well as stereo analogue inputs.

Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview
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2.1, you say? In a time when every motherboard is kitted with 7.1 channel surround sound, why would you prefer a 2.1 speaker set? The answer is simple - space. People rarely have the space around their PC to position six speakers on stands in the right places, let alone eight. Nevertheless, at £170 the Rockus 3D is an expensive investment. Remember how that jump turned out for Razer and its Makos?

By now, you've probably also noticed the '3D' buzzword in this kit's moniker too. We appreciate that this immediately makes it look gimmicky, but bear with us. In this case, the 3D aspect comes from a built-in DSP that morphs the stereo signal into simulated surround sound. You just push the 3D button on the remote control, and flick it back to the Music setting if you want plain stereo sound.

Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview
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Both settings actually work very well for their intended purposes. The 3D mode definitely adds depth to movies, while the Music setting provides the right feel for stereo music playback. It's also worth noting that the optical input can only handle a PCM signal, and there's no AC3 decoder, although this shouldn't be a worry with a 2.1 speaker set anyway.

The remote itself is a lovely piece of design; you rotate the whole top of the unit to smoothly change the volume, and push it down to mute the sound. That said, it's constructed from plastic, and an aluminium top would have made it look and feel better. The remote's only real downside is that the connection cable is only about 1m long, so the cable might not not reach your desk if you prefer to bury the sub out of the way. How about a Bluetooth version in the future, Antec?

Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview
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On to the speakers themselves, both the satellites are beautifully built, and while the shiny cone lips are made of plastic, the rest of the units are constructed from solid metal with superb build quality. The sub is also well built, although it looks a bit featureless in its black box. It comes with three bass pre-settings on the back from Light to Quite Deep, depending on your preference.

Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speakers preview
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So on to the big question - how do they sound? We'll be honest; this kit isn't going to cause the whole building to shake, but it will certainly to fill a room. In fact, the glass 'walls' surrounding our test room started to vibrate as we pushed up the volume.

As you'd expect from speakers in this price bracket, the fidelity and balance of sound between the satellites and sub was excellent across the range of media we listened to. They managed to retain a crisp sound all the way down to very low volumes, but low frequencies started to sound fuzzy at very high volumes, and this occurred using both the analogue and digital inputs, regardless of the media. However, at normal (tolerable) volumes, it's fine. Overall, we've still come away impressed by the Soundscience Rokus 3D 2.1.

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