By Kenny Yeo
In history, Xanadu was the fabled summer capital of Kublai Khan. It is said that while the Khan was there every summer, he lived in unmatched opulence. Since then, Xanadu has become associated with splendor and magnificence. Hence, SonicGear's new Xanadu X2 speakers have much to live up to, if they are to prove themselves worthy of the name.
Simple Does it
To begin, the Xanadu X2 is SonicGear's flagship 2.0 speaker system. In terms of the appearance, the Xanadu is not going to blow anyone away, being rectangular and black like most other speakers. A nice touch is that the speakers are propped up on stands and are nicely angled towards the listener. They are rather bulky too, so much so that you'd almost definitely need to re-arrange your desk to make space for them.
The Xanadu X2 has touch-sensitive volume controls which glow in the dark. While this definitely ups the Xanadu X2's cool factor, there are those who prefer traditional dials instead, since the latter offers better precision and control.
If you're wondering, setting up the Xanadu X2 is a straightforward affair. Plug in the power and connect the speakers to your computer's 3.5mm input jack, and you're good to go. Speaking of jacks, we noticed that the Xanadu X2 is lacking auxiliary jacks for headphones, which is a bit of a damper for us.
In terms of its audio capabilities, we were looking forward to the performance of the Xanadu X2's specially-designed Xanadu drivers and silk-molded tweeters. Putting on Hotel California by the Eagles (one of our favorite test tracks), we were pleasantly surprised by what we heard. The Xanadu X2 sounded exceptionally full-bodied and has a strong and tight bass response, almost as if there were an additional subwoofer hiding somewhere. The soundstage was also ample, and we could easily make out the positions of the instruments played.
Next, we sampled a variety of tracks ranging from jazz to hip-hop, pop to dance, on the Xanadu X2, and were delighted to find that it performed competently, displaying the same qualities that allowed it to shine when we played Hotel California. It sounded extremely full-bodied, as if the sound was coming from speakers with a much larger footprint. The SonicGear Xanadu handled the highs with great precision, never once sounding shrill or wild; mids were honey-smooth; and bass were well-controlled, sufficient and punchy.
The Xanadu X2 performed great when playing movies and games too. Dialogue was crystal clear and its big sounded lent games and movies a cinematic feel.
All in all, we were thoroughly impressed with SonicGear's Xanadu X2. It might seem like a simple no-frills 2.0 audio system, but its sound was anything but. However, the real surprise of the Xanadu X2 was its price. At a mere S$69.90, the Xanadu X2 represents tremendous value for money as its sonic abilities can easily rival that of competitive 2.0 audio systems costing more. If you are on a tight budget, you cannot go wrong with the Xanadu X2.