The plain-Jane looks of Corsair’s SP2500 masks a monster sound system.
There is absolutely nothing subtle about Corsair’s SP2500 Gaming Audio Speakers: This monstrous 2.1-channel system could start a riot. After just a few minutes listening to Les Claypool shred his stand-up acoustic bass on the Primus classic “Mr. Krinkle,” with the amp cranked way beyond sensible, we felt an overwhelming urge to start breaking furniture. So we turned the volume down and started hacking zombies in Left4Dead 2, instead.
The SP2500 is an interesting mélange of strength and refinement. The subwoofer and speaker cabinets are brutishly powerful and unapologetically plain to behold, but the system delivers more features than we could ask for, it sounds amazing, and it’s very reasonably priced. The satellite cabinets are fabricated from ABS plastic, for example, but the drivers inside are bi-amplified by four discrete Class D amplifiers inside the subwoofer cabinet.
The 1-inch silk dome, ferrofluid-cooled tweeters each receive 16 watts, while the 3-inch treated-paper midranges get 40 watts each. The hulking subwoofer consists of an 8-inch long-throw paper driver housed in an MDF cabinet. The sub’s large size is dictated by Corsair’s decision to build a fourth-order band-pass design: The bass driver, which is powered by two bridged 60-watt Class D amps, is enclosed in a sealed chamber and fires into a separate chamber containing a fluted port. This subwoofer produced deliciously tight, well-defined bass whether we were rocking out with Van Halen or firing rockets in Call of Duty. Yowza! The sub’s relatively thin walls, however, make us wonder how long the fun will last.
Corsair unconventionally uses four-pin ATX power-supply plugs to connect the satellites to the speakers, so it should be easy enough to make your own cables if these aren’t long enough. Corsair also provides a set of stands that angle the satellites up toward your ears when they’re placed on your desk, or you can put them in the back of the cabinets to angle the speakers down if they’re sitting on a bookshelf above you. Source inputs are in the form of stereo RCA plugs on the sub. There’s also a 1/8-inch aux input on the sub and a second 1/8-inch aux input on the tethered remote control (which also has a 1/8-inch headphone output and a USB port, just in case Corsair ever decides to release new firmware for the system’s integrated DSP).
The S2500’s remote is so cool you won’t mind that it’s hardwired to the sub. It boasts a 1.8-inch color LCD, independent volume control for the satellites and the subwoofer, and easy-to-navigate menus. Corsair provides a range of EQ profiles and DSP programs (Club, Stadium, Concert Hall, etc.) that you’ll probably never use, but the Late Night program highlights another of the SP2500’s cool features: active digital crossovers. Engage the Late Night DSP program, and the amplifier will shunt bass frequencies away from the sub and into the satellite’s midranges so you don’t bug your significant other—or your neighbors.
We still prefer B&W’s MM-1 or the combination of Audioengine’s N22 amp and P4 speakers for critical listening, but each of those systems cost twice as much as the P2500, and neither will fill as large a room.