Hey folks, Valkor here. I always talk about the Val-cave and what it is i do here, and for the birthday piece I’m working on, I’m gonna go a bit more in-depth about what you can find inside the cave. For now just so you know, it’s a small office where I do all my testing, movie watching, and gaming. My nieces and nephews think it’s their personal playground, when in fact, it’s mine. LOL Since the Val-cave is such a small area, having surround sound speakers is not an option. But a great pair of 2.1 speakers can equal a 5.1 easily. Well the folks at Razer Mako, with the help of THX tech has answered my probing question, are their speakers good enough to equal a full set of surround sound speakers? And they have answered with the Razer Mako 2.1 speaker set. And I’m very, very impressed.
This wasn’t my first experience with the RM speakers; I was given that pleasure when I attended Showstoppers at CES 2008. The room was pretty spacious and surprisingly the speakers sounded great! With the package you have two spherical shaped speakers, and one HUGE subwoofer also like a sphere. The main speakers are not like standard speakers, where sound is projected outward. The RM speakers bounces sound off whatever surface it’s on, causing the sound to project around the room rather than in one direction. This works better than your standard speakers because now you’re encompassed in sound as if you had a full pair of surround sound speakers. Finally the RM speakers have a wired remote that’s touch based. It’s quite sensitive and controls spot on perfect. However it does take some time getting used the touch panel, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time flat. Because these are such interesting speakers, I put them through the full gamut of Val-cave hardware, starting with:
RM on Playstation 3
With the PS3 we have gaming, music, movies all under one box, with the PS3 running off Component cables rather than Composite, so everything should sound damn good, right? Damn right it does! Actually I was worried at first because when I initially started to play my first movie, the audio was too soft. It wasn’t anything like I heard in the open-spaced room of Showstoppers, it was far worse. But then I realize that the PS3 has a volume control of its own. (DOH!!) Once the volume was raised to an acceptable level I was back in business. The RM’s are damn strong, never in the Val-cave have I had speakers so powerful that they literally blow you away. For films I turn to my usual Polar Express, Batman Begins and new to the test set is Daredevil: Director’s Cut (Yes I admit it, I love this movie). First and foremost the RM does a great job in separating sound rather than having everything jumbled up. Voices are eerily clear… eerily! Watch Polar Express, watch the scene where they sing about “Hot Chocolate”. It's Eerie. If you close your eyes you'd think they were in the room! The bass is off the chain, plus you can adjust it via the remote. I love the bass more in Daredevil when Matt's dad is boxing, you can feel each punch! Sound effects are come out superbly crisp and clear. I especially found new love for Batman Begins Batmobile chase as sounds are seperated. cars crashing, helicopters flying, wheels screeching, you will not miss an effect! Gaming wise, I went with Devil May cry 4 and again I am impressed with how audio effects shine, totally immersing you in the game as if you had 5.1 speakers in your home. You can clearly hear bullets bounce off objects or Nero’s sound crunch into a beast. Oh and if his Devil Bringer is near a secret spot… NICE! Finally the RM handles CD audio superbly. Vocals and the music are each on their own plane. I popped in Green Day’s “Bullet in a Bible; you can close your eyes and make out each instrument while absorbing Dookie’s voice, it’s just… truly amazing. So for gaming purposes I highly recommend getting these speakers without hesitation.
RM on the Val PC
Here is where I Thought I ran into a snag. With CD audio and DVD movies, I got the same effect as I did with the PS3. And as well as they should, I’m packin a creative X-FI soundcard in the Val PC so they should sound awesome. But then I started playing some MP3s. First I tried a 128kp song, but I received this noticeable distortion. I thought maybe it was due to the low quality, or the compression of the MP3. But playing higher quality MP3s, I received the same results. Further more the same distortion exists in Divx films as well. Now, I thought this issue was confined only to my PC, so I switched back to the PS3 and was met with the same distortion. HOWEVER I realized that the volume in the PS3 was pumped to the max and in lowering the volume in the machine, the distortion was gone. Repeating the same process on the PC met with the same results, MP3’s sound great! The RM speakers simply don’t feed good sounding music back to you; it separates vocals from instruments, giving you a totally new experience. I went through most of my MP3 collection and it was like an all new experience hearing them again through this new outlet. Gaming on the PC, I chose World Of Warcraft and again i was impressed at how the RM speakers handles sound. I love it when I enter a town, the music kicks in and it just fills the room. And don't get me started with the other effects. My favorite effect goes out to my retalliation, I can't describe the sound but its like swords clanging, but not so much. Forget it, it just sounds good. lol
RM on the PSP
There’s is a lineout port on the RM remote and on the subwoofer that you can hook up a portable device. I chose the PSP with Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance. I didn’t expect too much and really there wasn’t much in terms of big sounds. Yea the game sounded good, voices popped and the sound effects came through nicely, but in game music was a bit muted. But over on the music side, MP3s sound pretty sweet. Nothing compared to the PC or the PS3, but I didn’t expect it would.
Man I gotta say it, but the Razer Mako speakers kick a lotta ass, but huge thanks go to THX for supplying the tech that make it sound so great. If you want big sound pumpin in your small space then this is a definite pick up. They’re strong on gaming, music and movies, you definitely can’t go wrong. It’s gonna be a bit pricey look to drop about 399.99 (Maybe less if you shop around) but for the sound you’ll get will be worth it. The Razer Mako 2.1 speakers gets 5 out of 5 stars, PERFECT! And it’s been Valkor tested and TOV approved!