Auditek KMEPC SN-8520 7.1 Home Theatre System
- Incredibly cheap. Incredibly cheap. Incredibly cheap.
- Lack of remote, not enough controls, sound quality not the greatest
A cheap set of speakers that are still good value for money despite their average sound
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Overall the Auditek speakers are at best average, which usually wouldn't warrant our recommendation. As it is though, these speakers represent possibly the lowest priced 7.1 system on the market, and for such little cost they're a bargain.
The cost of surround sound speakers seems to be plummeting. We were recently impressed by Laser's cut price offering, the 5.1 Home Theatre Speakers. Auditek has now raised the stakes again, with their 7.1 speakers coming in at $50 less than Laser's 5.1 system. 7.1 speakers for less than $100 sounds too good to be true, and in some ways it is, though the KMEPC system still manages to hold its own.
Setting up the speakers was made far more difficult than it needed to be. With so many wires trailing around it would have been really helpful to include some kind of colour coding or labelling system. As it is, there are four identical green wires and eight identical black ones. Working out which one goes where takes a little longer than usual for a speaker system. The eight speakers include a subwoofer, central speaker and six satellites, though the difference between the central speaker and the satellites is purely cosmetic. These are all in turn connected to a control box, which includes a master volume and separate volume controls for each pair of speakers and the subwoofer.
Though it's convenient to have the inputs and volume dials in a separate control, the largely plastic finish may not mesh well with your sleek, metallic devices. As there is no remote control, this means the control box has to be kept within reach at all times. A second problem with the control box is the lack of equalisation options, with only bass adjustable. The addition of a treble control at the very least would have been useful. In contrast to the control box, the satellite speakers look fairly smart, but the same plastic design is carried over to the subwoofer, which won't be to everyone's tastes.
The speakers are primarily designed to be linked to a PC's 7.1 surround sound card, with four 3.5mm jacks used as the primary connection. They could also be connected to a home theatre system, provided it uses standard RCA connectors. If it instead uses clips you can always cut the speaker cables and expose the wires. We found it slightly irksome that when connecting the speakers to a regular stereo connection there was no option to play the audio from all seven satellites. Instead, only the front and left speakers in conjunction with the subwoofer are used. Each of the satellites also comes with a useful stand that rotates 270 degrees, enabling the speakers to be angled up and down or attached to the wall using the supplied screws.
For a 7.1 system the speakers sound about average. The whole frequency range feels a bit muffled, with no clear distinction between low- and mid-range sound. The subwoofer also produces rather muddy bass, though it is at least powerful for its size. In fact the whole system's rather small stature belies the high volume it can produce. When testing our favourite scenes from The Incredibles, we weren't blown away by the sweeping effects as we usually are. Though the directional qualities of the setup were good, the acoustics were less so. When listening to music such as The Killers things were also average, with the clarity of vocals less pronounced than we would like. Having said that, the sound is still decent enough to gain enjoyment from listening to both movies and music.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- What the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition's specs and pricing mean for PC gamers
- AMD Threadripper exclusive: Only Alienware's Area-51 will have it in 2017
- Intel's revealed the Core i9 ship dates, but you won't like them
- Hands-on: Creative Labs' Sound BlasterX AE-5 ups the audio for gamers
- Logitech's Powerplay mousepad wirelessly charges your mouse while you use it
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTBusiness Systems AnalystOther
- FTTest Manager - Applications - NSW GovernmentOther
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- FTPlatform/DevOps EngineerOther
- FTSenior RF EngineerSA
- FTDigital BA | App Dev Environment | 6 month contract roleOther
- CCSenior Automation Test AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness Systems Analyst - SharepointOther
- FTIT Field Services ManagerOther
- CCSenior Project Manager - Activation and Assurance - TelcoVIC
- FTOrganizational Change ManagerACT
- FTProject SchedulerOther
- FTSenior Data ModellerOther
- CCMultiple Front End Developers - BRISBANE - Angular 2 | Bootstrap | jQueryVIC
- FTPerl DeveloperACT
- FTICT TrainerOther
- FTJunior Java developer. Work Location - CanberraOther
- FTPresales Solution Architect - NetworksNSW
- FTIntegration & BI Manager - C-levelNSW
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTSupport AnalystOther
- CCMigration Project ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW