A generic monitor not specifically designed for photography isn’t going to deliver the colour quality we seek. Processing images on the BenQ SW271 gives the user a stunningly vivid colour range.
Razer Mako 2.1 Speaker System
- Funky design, nice bass, good sound quality, immersive audio
- Expensive, wired remote that operates poorly
The Mako speaker package from Razer surprised us a little, providing excellent if slightly bass-heavy audio and a sleek design. However the price tag is quite high and the remote can be painful to use, both of which may turn off some users.
Price$ 599.95 (AUD)
It takes a special something to grab our attention these days in the PC speaker category. It may be incredible sound quality, or unique connectivity options or, in the case of the Razer Mako system, an interesting aesthetic. These 2.1 speakers definitely stand out from the crowd with a black, circular design that looks pretty suave. The audio they produce is also quite reasonable, but the price tag is extremely hefty and the remote control system is clunky.
Not all users will appreciate the speakers' design. The system is made up of a single large subwoofer and two small tweeters. All are circular in design, looking more like miniature UFOs than audio components. They have been built so the speaker grill runs around the entire circumference of the units, rather than facing entirely forwards. We thought this might negatively impact the sound quality, but it didn't prove to be a problem.
On the whole the sound was quite bass-heavy. The subwoofer is hefty to say the least and it creates some impressive low-register notes. Unlike some other woofers we've heard recently, this one doesn't bloat the bass too much and keeps it well controlled. It extended deeply without distorting or dominating the other elements of the music. It also doesn't linger too long and generally sounds tight and punchy.
The weakest area of performance was the mid-range. When we listened to some tunes featuring acoustic guitar, we noticed some notes were distorted and were too strongly emphasised. Strings also had a very gritty, slightly metallic tone and lacked the richness and detail we have heard from some other systems.
On the other hand treble notes were fairly pleasing. Our piano-based tunes had a nice ring to them, and while the highs weren't incredible they extended nicely and had a sweet, rich tone. Bass was definitely the dominant element in our tests but it was well balanced with the mid and treble ranges.
Separation was pretty good all up with a light, airy sound keeping all the instruments' sounds individual. We would have liked a little more detail overall as some quieter sounds were lost in the haze of complicated musical passages, but many users won't notice this. Fortunately, thanks to the multi-directional speaker design, the audio is extremely immersive regardless of where you're standing in the room.
Our main complaint with this system is its remote control. While it is billed as a touch-sensitive control mechanism, all it is really is a wired remote control. Taking the form of a small, round disc it offers volume, mute and bass controls as well as the ability to switch between inputs but the fact that it's weird really makes it inconvenient in most circumstances. We'd much rather a standard remote. Furthermore the touch sensitivity doesn't even work particularly well and precise volume adjustments can be difficult.
The subwoofer acts as the receiver for the package, with both speakers connecting to it via proprietary cables. There are two line-ins on the unit, an RCA connection and a regular stereo jack. A second stereo jack is also available on the remote along with a headphone port.
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