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Features & Specifications
The Razer Mako speakers are THX-certified for quality and performance and use ClassHD digital amp technology with digital DSP control. Razer used patented THX Ground Plane and THX Slot Speaker technologies in the Mako. This technology makes for a downward firing design that uses the desktop to enlarge the soundstage. The system is controlled by an all-in-one touch sensitive control with an LED dial. The front of the control pod has a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The subwoofer has all the jacks for connecting the Mako to your computer and features secondary RCA inputs for connecting to a home theater system as the same time. Total system power is 300W RMS and the response limits are 40~18,000Hz +- 2dB. The satellite speakers are bi-amplified with 50W each of power
The most unique feature of the Razer Mako speakers is the Omni Directional soundstage with THX technologies. Typical speakers only fire in one direction meaning you have to be directly in front of them to get the full sound range. The Razer Mako speakers fire equally in all directions. This allows you to be able to enjoy the same rich sound quality in any position of the room. You can tell readily if you use your computer for watching movies with more than one person in the room. Everyone gets the same sound quality.
The expanded soundstage is also apparent when you listen to music on the Razer Mako speakers. You can turn on your favorite tunes and move around the room without losing the sound quality as you would with normal front firing speakers.
When I played the music I normally listen to, Breaking Benjamin and Flyleaf, on my old speakers via Rhapsody on the Razer Mako speakers I could immediately tell a difference. The music is much richer in sound quality. I can hear things in the music that I missed before like the sound of the guitarist’s fingers sliding on the strings in acoustic tracks and the little gasps as the vocalists takes in a breath. It was almost like listening to a different band.
Razer was very specific at CES 2007 in that they weren’t really aiming these speakers at gamers. Razer feels hardcore gamers will still prefer headphones. I’m not that hard core a gamer, but I play several hours of games each week. I find using speakers more comfortable than headphones. The Razer Mako speakers are fantastic for gaming. The levels of bass from the subwoofer when you crank it up are very impressive. Explosions are heard and felt, a fantastic thing in my book. The bass never overwhelms the other sounds in game that are so important. I would absolutely love to see Razer add rear channel speakers to the Mako; it would be one of the best surround sound systems around.
I fired up a DVD copy of Underworld Evolution to see how well the Razer Mako speakers performed for movie watching. This may be one of the best uses for these speakers around. Levels of bass are again fabulous. If you have a THX certified sound card or DVD player you will be treated to one of the best cinematic listening experiences this side of the theater.
The controls for the Razer Mako speakers are the weakest point on the whole system. Touch controls are cool and all the rage right now. However, the control pod for the Mako suffers from the same shortcoming of other touch sensitive devices, namely no tactile feedback. To turn the speakers on you hold your finger on the blue Razer logo on the control pod. Once on, all the controls are touch sensitive and you press them to mute, adjust volume and bass for the system. Controls for both inputs are on the pod as well.
The biggest issue I had with the controls was that the slider used to adjust the volume and bass is slow to respond. It is also hard to get the exact volume level that you want, especially if you are trying to get the volume low for background music. I found it very difficult to get one or two bars of volume. I also noticed that if you try and get a specific volume level when you remove your finger once you set the volume tends to go up or down inadvertently. I also had a difficult time getting the volume to adjust at times. I accidentally moved the volume to max, while my wife was sleeping, during a particularly thunderous track while attempting to plug in a set of headphones. I ended up having to hit mute because I couldn’t get the volume slider to respond with ten or so seconds of fiddling about with it.
The front headphone jack automatically mutes the sound output from the speakers when you connect the headphones. Next to the headphone jack is an input for auxiliary devices like your iPod or other MP3 player.
After all the waiting form CES last year I remember why I was so impressed with the Razer Mako speakers. This is the best set of 2.1 speakers around for PC duty. Fantastic bass, great mids and highs, and a huge soundstage are the Mako hallmarks. The sluggish controls are the only mar to the perfection, but I can live with that for exceptional sound.
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