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Advise Hercules XPS 5.100 Silver

Last response: in Components
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December 21, 2003 6:58:13 AM

Hi,

Could somebody help me and give me some advise about following speakers : Hercules XPS 5.100 Silver.
Are they playing good and worth the buy. I cant find any review because they are a new set from Hercules.

My soundcard : SoundBlaster Audigy 2.

Thanks in advance.
December 21, 2003 10:49:46 AM

Hello;

I haven't seen any reviews about those speakers either, but I can tell you a few things to make your choice easier:

1. The speaker sets from Hercules are usually in the "best buy" range, not "High End" nor "Dead Cheap" either, but somewhere in between.
2. I have a pair of Hercules speakers, the old XPS 210 range. They offer quite good quality: They are far better than the Labtec speakers which I also have, but not as good as my most expensive speakers, the Altec Lansing 621, which cost 3 times more. Anyway, My Hercules speakers are perfect for watching DVD, playing games and even listen to music.

3. There is 1 thing you should bear in mind: the sattelites of the XPS 5.100 use so-called neodymium drivers. These drivers are good enough for playing games or even watching DVDs, but for music, their sound is a little "thin".
Because of their small size, they cannot go low enough, so there will always be some kind of "hole" between the frequency range of the sattelites and the range of the subwoofer. This is the same for ALL speaker sets which use these tiny neodymium drivers, regardless of the brand name.

4. Finally, I have heard the XPS 5.100 in a store, playing a game. They sounded quite convincing and have more than enough power. But you can hear that they use neodymium drivers. There is a (small) hole in the frequency range of the "high bass", say at 150Hertz or so.

Conclusion: If you only want to use them for watching DVDs and playing games, then I would say "go for it". For this purpose, they are very good, although not as good as "high end" pc speaker sets, such as the Altec Lansing 651 which cost more.
If you want to listen to music, then I would recommend you NOT to buy speakers which use neodymium drivers for the sattelites, regardless of the brand name. For music, larger drivers in the sattelites are much better.

Don't hesitate to ask further questions.
Happy Christmas!
8088
December 26, 2003 4:04:18 PM

I'm very close to buy the 5100XPS Silver (90 W)...but first of all I want them for music ; Should I buy the Creative 5400(74W)?
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December 27, 2003 1:34:44 PM

Hello again;

As the Creative speakers have real membrane midrange speakers built into the satellites, they have a good chance of sounding better than the Hercules ones.
But I have not heard them though, so I can't speak out of experience.

If you mainly want them for music, rather than games or DVD, then I would definitely avoid speaker systems with the tiny neodymium drivers, regardless of the brand name.
Here are some points of advise:

1. If you can, try to find a store where you can listen to the speakers you are interested in, and take some of your CDs with you. After all, speakers are a very personal choice. Speakers which sound good to me, may sound horrible to you, or vice versa. So try to listen to speakers before buying them.

2. For music, I don't see the advantage of having a 5-speaker system.
2.1 systems of the same price will usually have a more natural sound reproduction than 5.1 systems of the same price.

3. I don't know what is important to you in music reproduction. If you are mainly interested in lots of dynamics, then of course any model with a big subwoofer will do. But is you want musicality, or faithful sound reproduction, then I would avoid neodymium drivers.

4. For faithful music reproduction, I can really advise you to check out Altec Lansing. That company originates from the world of HI-FI, so they know what they're doing.
I have their top-of-the-range 2.1 speaker system, model 621.
(200 Watts RMS) I can tell you that they sound better than any mass-market mini chain I have ever heard. They are expensive though. I paid them 124 Euros.
If you really want a 5.1 system, then I would recommend you to check out the Altec Lansing 651, that's the same as my 621 but with 5 satellites. But they cost even more, so I'm not sure if they are within the price range you are looking for.

Feel free to ask more questions!
Greetings;
8088
December 27, 2003 5:24:43 PM

Thanks 8088 ! My dilema is between 5100XPS Silver( with a FortissimoIII) and Creative 5400(for which I'd buy an Audigy2-not the "ZS" one).
Should I expect more from FortissimoIII than an Audigy1?
December 27, 2003 7:12:10 PM

OR if want REALLY good sound reproduction you could get a nice pair of headphones. While exspensive, the quality is much higher then speakers at the same price. I personally just got the Sennheiser HD590's, which easily beat out my friends Klipsch promedia speakers as far as quality and detail. I've even heard instruments I've never heard before in some songs!!!! Though if you were to decide to get headphones instead of speakers I would suggest finding a place that sells differant pairs of highend headphones and testing them out because when it comes to sound, it really is basedon preferance.

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