Post updated April 23rd, 2013 at 03:50 pm
EDIT: As pointed out in the comments, the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 Speakers are not the most powerful or only THX Certified 2.1’s in the market. Apologies for the confusion as we were working off an old press release!
Back in the early 2000’s the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 Speakers for desktop PC setup was one of big names in the market, desirable with pretty awesome sound for what it was, a simple 2.1 speaker setup. The problem with the old Promedia 2.1 setup was that the Amp was a little problematic and the speakers were a little “fragile”, not lasting for as long as they should. After a while, they just fizzled out in the Malaysian market, leaving people grasping at the hope for a saviour in either a successor or a refresh.
After a 10-year absence, Klipsch announced that the Promedia 2.1 would be coming back to the region. Since September last year, the forums were ablaze with talks of this cult classic making a resurgence in Malaysia. So have the refreshed Promedia 2.1’s given nostalgic audiophiles something to cheer about or was it just an example of whipping the crap out of a dead horse?
Review continues after the jump
First things first, a disclaimer that I’m not much of an audiophile so this review will very much be from the eyes of the layman music lover and gamer. Also the unit that we got for review were the 200watt wired speakers and not the wireless ones.
Out of the box, no surprises with the Promedia 2.1’s, you get 2 satellite speakers and a subwoofer with ample cables to stretch the speakers quite a way from your subwoofer. Klipsch has opted to keep the styling pretty much the same, omitting the popular central knob that lots of other manufacturers are favouring these days in favour of a standard 2 knob subwoofer and volume adjustment. On one of the speakers there is also a headphone jack as well as a miniplug input for you to play with. Each speaker has a standard removable mesh grill and comes with self supporting pedestals but wall brackets are also available from Klipsch as an optional extra.
Assembly of the setup was pretty simple even for a non-audiophile like me, dare I say even a technologically impaired person could assemble them with no problem. The cables are clearly marked at what goes where and we were up and running in minutes.
Just a little bit about the new Promedia 2.1 Speakers; The new Promedia 2.1 speakers are the most powerful computer audio speakers on the market as well as the first ever to be THX Certified. The 2 way Promedia speakers are driven by exclusive MicroTractrix Horns, a 3inch fibre-composite cone driver for smooth mid-bass reproduction as well as a high-output, low distortion subwoofer that is a bass-reflex type with a flared, tuned front port and a 6.5inch side-firing driver. The 200-watt, three channel digital linear hybrid amplifier is housed in the subwoofer enclosure. For the people whose eyes didn’t glaze over at this jargon, you’ll know way more than me at this stage!
Hooking the speakers up to my laptop, I fired up my music playlists to give the Promedia 2.1 a test and safe to say, I was stunned at what happened next. My first track of choice was the relatively new Ummet Ozcan and W&W – The Code. The initial part was reproduced pretty well to my ear, the sound was very full and incredibly immersive right up to the pre drop synth, I was taken back to listening to the UMF live set.
Everything changed when that darn drop hit. For those of you who don’t know when the drop is, head on over to 1:47 of the song on the Lowyat.FM player. The booming bass was absolutely mind jarring and I could feel every filling in my teeth being rattled. Even at a reasonable volume (maybe a quarter way up), the rest of the HQ looked up from their laptops and wondered why their tables were vibrating. The subwoofer wasn’t even put anywhere past the recommended point (slightly under a third). The bass on this monster was superb. I spend the next hour or so listening to the usual EDM songs that are on my playlist Nari & Milani – Atom, W&W – Lift Off and even Above & Beyond – Sun & Moon. I had to stop because the rest of the team doesn’t share my love for EDM.
Next I decided to try some more radio friendly tunes like Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition. Right from the opening riff, I was fully immersed in the song, ringing from around me instead of just at me. Dougy Mandagi’s voice was just as haunting as it was at Laneway or FMFA.
Of course one doesn’t just use the PC for listening to music. I transferred the cable to my gaming PC and fired up Bioshock Infinite (bloody good game mind you). It was the perfect speaker in terms of both reproducing the incredible ambient noise as well as soundtrack to the thematic game, but also making my heart race that much more with ever bullet fired or Devil’s Kiss thrown out. I’ll definitely go on record to say that I felt more into the game with the Promedia 2.1 speakers than any gaming headset I had ever used.
So what does this non-audiophile think of the NEW Klipsch Promedia 2.1 Speakers? I think I have found a set of speakers that I want to keep. The styling is as simple as I want it and while not as small as convenient for my desk, it is just manageable. I would have liked a separate control for volume, treble and bass but that would be more of a convenience thing and splitting hairs than anything. The ProMedia 2.1’s are a wonderful second coming to a much-loved cult classic. I was very impressed with the sound as well as the bass and how even at higher volumes, the speakers didn’t break the sound one bit. Kudos to Klipsch for taking what wasn’t really broken and making it into something that will undoubtedly be even a bigger hit than the 2002 ProMedias.
The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 PC Speakers are available in Singapore and Malaysia for a RRP of SGD349 (RM857 although forums have reported it to be as low as RM809 from Harvey Norman and up to RM899 at Epicentre) and is available at retailers nationwide.