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This TekSpek discusses 2.0 speakers, explains how they have grown in popularity and what the consumer’s choices are.
The array of speaker setups
Sound is an integral component for all computer enthusiasts. Be it for media, gaming or more productive needs, sound plays an important role in the modern PC experience.
Over the years, as the delivery of sound has become ever-more sophisticated, speaker manufacturers have tried to capitalise on the consumer’s desire for the best audio experience with the production of multiple-speaker systems.
Today, the most common speaker solution for PC users seems to be 2.1, that incorporates two speakers and an additional subwoofer.
The vastly-populated speaker market doesn’t stop at 2.1, however - PC users today can utilise an array of solutions ranging from 2.1, 5.1 and 7.1, the latter which involves no less than seven speakers and an additional subwoofer. The desired effect of such systems is to create a true ‘surround sound’ experience. Having followed a trend of more equals better for the past decade, are we now starting to see a shift in consumer preference? With improved speaker technology and a consumer desire for cleaner, clutter-free solutions - less complicated 2.0 speakers are now proving to be ever popular.
2.0 speakers are geared toward a unique market. Aimed at users who seek the best possible audio delivery in the least obstructive form-factor, 2.0 speakers are, for the most part, marketed at the space-conscious listener.
Following years of complicated speaker arrays that often resulted in lengthy cables being used across a room, a high-performance 2.0 system comes as a welcome solution to many users.
In the past, the lack of a dedicated subwoofer had resulted in 2.1 systems being the preferred alternative. However, today’s improved technology provides 2.0 speakers with bass reproduction that can match, if not surpass, that of a subwoofer-incorporating setup.
With the ability to provide high-quality audio in a small and tidy form-factor, 2.0 speakers are ideal for the discerning listener.
Manufacturers of 2.0 speakers aren’t in short supply. Becoming ever more aware of the consumer’s need for tidier high-quality speaker solutions, all the big names are lining up to offer what they claim to be the best 2.0 solution.
On the PC-specific front, the usual suspects, Creative and Logitech, are both at the forefront of 2.0 systems.
Creative has extended its high-end GigaWorks range with the introduction of no less than three 2.0 systems - the GigaWorks T20, GigaWorks T40 and GigaWorks HD50 - all of which utilise Creative’s BasXPort, aimed at enhancing lower mid-range tones and providing the punch usually associated with systems utilising an additional subwoofer.
From Logitech, the equally high-end Z10 Interactive 2.0 Speaker System provides back-lit, touch-sensitive multimedia controls to provide that extra touch of style.
Priced in the £50 - £100 range, solutions from Creative, Logitech and others provide an inexpensive solution for PC users seeking high-quality audio in small, compact systems.
At the more extreme end of the market, specialist audio equipment manufacturers such as Bose are also keen to lure the ever-growing 2.0 audience.
Available from Bose for a significant £279 is the new Computer MusicMonitor system. Dubbed as its smallest and best-amplified system, Bose’s Computer Music Monitor speakers measure just 12.2cm x 6.5cm x 12.3cm.
The 2.0 speaker market has grown significantly over the past few years. With the realisation that 2.1 systems can often result in poor sound quality as a result of an overbearing subwoofer, 2.0 speakers have now become renowned as an ideal all-round solution.
As users continue to search for sleek audio equipment to tie in with today’s uncluttered computer and notebook devices, 2.0 speakers are becoming ever popular.
Fortunately, speaker manufacturers have an abundance of 2.0 systems to choose from, and be the requirement a budget, mid-range or high-end system, a 2.0 solution exists.
Subwoofers in the home could soon become a dying breed as the preference for 2.0 has, for most, already begun.