Antec plans to get into the audio business

Enthusiasts may associate the Antec name with power supplies, enclosures, fans, and those neat noise-dampening panels on P-series cases. But high-end computer speaker setups? Believe it or not, the Californian company plans to introduce just such a product through its subsidiary brand Sound Science. We got to try out the speaker system at Computex last week.

Antec told us it's still in the process of tweaking the product, but it aims to produce a "balanced" sound via a big subwoofer and two aluminum-clad satellites. Inputs include optical, RCA, and 3.5 mm jacks; for our test, the speakers were connected via a 3.5-mm jack to a laptop's integrated audio. We got to switch back and forth between regular audio output and a 3D mode, which simulates a more voluminous sound stage while still using just two satellite speakers.

Although Antec provided only a limited number of audio and movie clips for us to sample, we've gotta say, these things don't sound half bad. We noticed some distortion in one of the clips (which may well have been part of the audio track itself), but highs were crisp, mids were ample, and the subwoofer did its job well. The 3D mode worked, too, almost replicating the sound of a movie theater—albeit perhaps with a tad too much crispness. Switching the 3D mode on and off can be done by pressing a button below the volume knob.

Antec aims the Sound Science speakers at younger users who live at home or in a college dorm room and consume all their entertainment—be it games, music, or movies—on their PC. The $200-250 price tag might sound a little high for cash-strapped students, but as Antec points out, that same demographic doesn't shy away from pricey graphics upgrades.

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