Speedlink Vento 2.0 Speaker Set Review

Introduction

With speaker sets growing larger in the number of satellites up to five or even seven in some cases, transporting them is not an option. For those enthusiasts using netbooks or laptops for long periods of time, a decent set of 2.0 speakers are a must have. The trouble is that a quality set of 2.0’s are more expensive than most are willing to pay so Speedlink have come up with the Vento 2.0 Speaker Set which aims to combine great sound with an affordable price. Let’s see whether they can achieve just this…

Speedlink’s Take on the Vento 2.0

The Vento 2.0 speaker set is perfect for any desktop. Its compact size takes up little space and stands securely. The design is modern and will compliment any flat-screen monitor – it also produces great sound. Another great feature is the USB cable which powers the speakers. Along with a volume control with switching function, the Vento also has a 3.5mm jack. The special show-stopper: you can adjust the volume level of any set of headphones you connect using the speaker set’s volume control.

Features

  • 2W RMS output power
  • USB-powered – no AC adapter required
  • Slim line design: the perfect addition for flat-screen monitors
  • Volume control with practical switch function
  • Direct headphone volume control on speaker set
  • 3.5mm jack plug for connecting to a PC or MP3 player

Specifications

System RequirementsPC or Mac with Soundcard | mp3 player with 3.5mm stereo output
Package Contains2 x Speakers | Quick Installation Guide
Dimensions80 x 70 x 200m (W x H x D)
Cable Length1.5m
Frequency Response100Hz to 18kHz
Power Output2*0.6W RMS | Total 1.2W
Total Weight590g
Driver Size2.5″
Impedance4 Ohms

Contents & Packaging

The red and white style packaging is what we have come to expect from Speedlink merchandise. The box looks crisp and clean cut but you are safe in the knowledge that you are not paying extra just for some over-the-top packaging.

The front depicts the two satellites with some key features emphasised in red bubbles.

 

The back details the speakers in much more depth with numerous features, specifications and multilingual information.

 

One of the sides shows off an interested concept whereby the bases of the speakers can actually be removed so the speakers sit sideways. A small quick start manual is also included which tells the user how to plug in the speakers etc. – not that plugging in two cables is particularly hard.

Speedlink Vento 2.0

Despite appearing to be relatively plain, the speakers look nice enough with their matte black attire and shiny Speedlink logo at the top. In terms of construction, the speakers are made of hard plastic with a thin fabric-like coating over the actual speaker.

 

The volume control is again a rather simple affair but does the job. The black turn dial can also be used to adjust the volumes when a set of headphones are plugged into the 3.5mm port below which can be quite useful.

 

The backs of the 2.0 speakers have an imprinted Speedlink logo and, in white print, each speaker is denoted ‘left’ or ‘right’.

The cabling, emitted from the back, has a total length of 1.5m which should be long enough to reach the back of most cases. Instead of just a line in jack there is a USB connection too.

 

The underside is very plain but does have some small rubber pads to help stop sliding from occurring – good attention to detail.

 

As I briefly mentioned before, the bases can simply be pulled off the speakers allowing them to sit sideways which is especially useful if you have limited space on your desk so they can be located under a monitor as opposed to having to sit upright.

Testing

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz
MotherboardAsus P6T
Graphics CardXFX 1GB Radeon 4870
MemoryOCZ Gold Triple Channel Platinum-10666 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 3.0GB/s 7200.10 500GB,Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB
Power SupplyNOX Apex 700W
EnclosureAntec P183
OSWindows Vista 64-bit

Methodology

When testing speakers and headsets alike, without expensive equipment, it is difficult to test the frequency response and other such technical details. Instead, as reviewers, we aim to convey a good representation of the sound quality taking into account the bass and treble.

However, this does mean that the review will be quite subjective as the results will be swayed by the reviewer’s personal preferences.

Testing theses speakers will involve using them for sustained periods of time whilst gaming, watching movies and listening to music in order to see what it can do.

Results

Games

Call of Duty World at WarCall of Duty World at War or Call of Duty 5 is Treyarch’s World War II first person shooter that uses an improved version of the Call of Duty 4 engine developed by Infinity Ward and features a myriad of bangs, booms and explosions perfect for putting these speakers through their paces.

I decided to jump into the multiplayer action selecting the ‘War’ game mode. Initially the sound was very clear and the explosions felt almost real. For a fully immersive experience though I decided to whack the volume right up though.

To my surprise, the speakers coped very well and although a little distortion crept in they were able to convey good quality sound for the most part.

MusicWhen testing speakers, I like to play a diverse and varied selection of music to see which genres work well and which ones are not so good.

To start off I choose some relaxing tunes by Jack Johnson and there were absolutely no problems here with some lovely sound quality. However, once I moved on to some heavy bass, the Vento speakers went downhill. To really do justice to any songs with much bass in them, a subwoofer is a necessary purchase and unfortunately, the Vento’s just weren’t up to the job here.

Asides from the poor performance due to heavy bass, the speakers did a pretty good job – the treble was fine at all times but it would have been nice to see a couple more dials on the speakers to adjust the bass and treble accordingly.

CostHowever, for just £9, these speakers are really a revelation and well worth the money.

Conclusion

Whilst I can’t sit here and preach about sublime sound quality, the Vento’s did a fine job considering the £9 price tag. Of course, the sound quality isn’t going to match a decent set of 2.1 or more expensive speakers but it’s really not bad.

Little touches make this product even better though: the small size of the speakers make them easy to transport for use with a laptop; the volume switch can be used with a set of headphones and; the bases can be removed allowing the speakers to sit sideways giving them a much lower profile.

To sum it up, if you want a decent set of very affordable speakers, the Speedlink Vento’s would not be a bad choice.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Great price point
  • Reasonable sound quality
  • Removable bases

Cons

  • Does not convey bass well
  • A little distortion at higher volumes

80

Thanks go to Meroncourt for providing the speakers for review.

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