iDome DS500 speakers
The first element in Abit's iDome equation is the DS500 speaker set. This two-channel setup combines 4" satellites with 13mm tweeters and is rated for 25W RMS per channel. Abit claims a frequency response of between 20 and 300kHz and a signal-to-noise ratio of 86dB, and says the speakers can sample at up to 24 bits and 192kHz. So we're off to a good start, then.
These iDomes are a little larger than typical PC speakers; each measures 186mm deep, 135mm wide, and 250mm tall. That's 7.3" deep, 5.3" wide, and 9.8" tall if you're partial to fractions of the king's forearm. The speakers aren't that heavy, though. The right channel, which integrates all sorts of extra hardware, weighs just 2.5kg, while the left channel tips the scales at only 1.9kg.
Things get even better on the aesthetic front, at least if you're a fan of glossy, piano black. The front face of each speaker is polished to a near-mirror finish that exudes class, at least until your greasy mitts leave smudged fingerprints all over it. You can't get away with not touching the iDomes, either. They don't come with a remote, so adjusting the volume, bass, treble, and SFX modes is done with knobs located along the bottom of the right-channel speaker. You'll also find the power button along the bottom of the right-channel speaker, just above the requisite blue LED that lets you know the speakers are actually on.
Blue LEDs are a little passÃ© for those looking for bling, but the iDomes do include an additional red LED that backlights the translucent panel at the bottom of the right-channel speaker. The red is a little much for my tastes, but Abit lets you turn it off with a switch at the back of the speaker.
Joining the red LED switch at the rear of the right-channel speaker are TOS-Link digital S/PDIF input and output ports, RCA analog input and output ports, and a little switch that toggles between them. Despite being designed primarily for digital input, the iDomes can accept an analog signal. The digital and analog outputs are there to connect to the iDome SW510 subwoofer—or any other subwoofer, for that matter.
With the iDomes so focused on digital input, it's a little disappointing Abit doesn't also include coaxial S/PDIF ports. We've seen a lot of motherboards sporting coaxial rather than TOS-Link S/PDIF outputs, and while you can get an adapter that converts between the two, it would have been nice to have coaxial ports out-of-the-box.
Digging through the DS500 box does produce analog and optical cables, though. You also get a 2m length of speaker wire to connect the left speaker.