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Antec Soundscience Rockus 3D 2.1 Speaker System First Look

Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 Speaker System

Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 Speaker System


  • Product Name: Soundscience Rockus 3D
  • Manufacturer: Antec
  • Review Date: February 20, 2011 22:05
  • MSRP: $249.99
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting
  • Anodized aluminum satellites that reduce vibration and minimize distortion, resulting in clear mid and sparkling high-range sound
  • Total output of speakers is 150W, with each satellite delivering 25W and the subwoofer producing 100W, comparable to larger footprint subwoofers
  • 3D-tuned drivers to deliver audio optimized for soundscience’s 3Dsst technology
  • Dual-mode operation: 3D mode for enveloping games and movies, and music mode for faithful stereo music playback
  • Optical input for playback of digital audio from game consoles (Xbox 360, PS3,) and other, similarly equipped devices
  • Remote control pod for volume adjustment, 3D/music mode selection, muting and digital/analog input selection
  • Frequency response is 10Hz to 20kHz

Any audioholic worth their salt wishes they could have huge, full range speakers for every application. They wish they were in their home theater, offices, and, if physically possible, in their cars. A true audioholic would probably figure out a way to attach said full range speaker to the corners of their bumpers with one laying across the hood. While certainly cause for more than one traffic ticket, it may well be worth it to finally have good fidelity. Of course, they'd only really sound good with the top down and no windshield and while the engine was off so maybe it isn't such a good idea.

But we can't have full range speakers for every application. The car idea aside (we're still thinking about how we can make that work) it just isn't finacially viable for most of us. Not to mention that our offices are often way too small. If we had money for bigger offices, maybe we'd have money for bigger speakers. But we don't, so we don't. Even some of the studio monitors are too big and often come with full sized subs. Instead, we are often looking for some sort of budget offering. Something small but well built. Something that will give us "good enough" sound while not demanding too much space.

Antec believes they have that solution with their new soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 Speaker System. Now, if you are like me, you saw the "3D" buzzword tagged on there and felt like stomping on it like that fax machine in Office Space (link NSFW) but let's take a closer look. First of all, like most office solutions, the soundscience rockus (not sure why they don't want you to capitalize any of that) is 3D in that it has built in pseudo-surround DSPs. So it is, in a way, 3D (other than the way in that it is NOT flat like paper). The 3Dsst is a suite of DSP algorithms that creates a virtual surround sound experience from 2.1 stereo speakers. 3Dsst actively analyzes incoming stereo audio signals and intelligently places them into a 3D sound field, resulting in immersive 3D sound for your movies and games from 2.1 speakers.

But if that was all they did, I wouldn't consider defending them in any way. But the DSP is defeatable and you can listen in a dedicated music mode. In fact, one thing that impressed me about the Antec material is that they specifically mention that the 3D is for movies and games and not really for music (though I'm sure you can use it however you want). Now, I'd take some of their specifications with an Everest sized grain of salt. Especially their frequency response of 10Hz to 20kHz. If a $250 system could put out audible (in this case tactile) bass down to 10Hz, it'd be all over the news (well, audio news). When you see a spec like that, the question you should ask is, "At what volume?" Cause you can bet, while it can be measured, you'll never hear/feel it. Plus, there isn't the +/- dB qualification so you can pretty much round-file that one. Most of these systems are lucky to get down to 40Hz and we're betting the Antec soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speaker system is no different.

Now, if you are like me you're thinking that no amount of DSP is going to fix the sound coming out of a couple of plastic speakers. Think again. The soundscience rockus 3D 2.1 speaker system’s satellites are made entirely from anodized aluminum which reduces distortion caused by enclosure vibration and rattling that plagues traditional PC speakers. Additionally, its subwoofer utilizes passive radiator technology to deliver, according to Antec, an expansive range of bass comparable to larger footprint subwoofers.

On the back of the sub you can connect you computer via 3.5mm cable (most common) and with many solution, this would be it. Antec has included not only analogue audio inputs (2 RCA inputs) but also digital optical. This gives you much more flexibility with what you conned. You could even connect a CD or DVD player if you wanted (which makes sense in a kids room. The soundscience rockus 3D has a cabled "remote" which can control the volume, 3D/music mode selection, muting and digital/analog input selection .


Antec’s Quality 2-Year (AQ2) Limited Warranty on parts and labor and the low sticker price of $250 should make this an interesting solution. So do we think you'll agree with all of their adjectives (clear mid and sparkling high-range sound) about how the speakers sound or their frequency response claims? No. But for the price we see it as a very attractive solution for your kid's computer/TV.

For more information, please visit www.soundscienceaudio.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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