by Sergey Samarin
12/22/2006 | 03:33 PM
Almost all of us are used to knowing Abit as one of the largest mainboard manufacturers. However, the company has recently decided to try themselves in the digital multimedia acoustics field having launched three products: iDome DS 500 stereo speakers, iDome SW 510 subwoofer and AirPace wireless access point.
Today I am going to take a first glance at the iDome DS 500 speaker system that we received from Abit for review.
At first, let’s take a closer look at the technical specifications of the newcomer.
iDome DS 500
Speaker system without the subwoofer
Supported frequency range
50W RMS (25W per channel)
4" – midwoofer. 1" – tweeter
Output resistance (impedance)
SPDIF and RCA (In/Out)
Here are some features of the system:
So, iDome DS 500 is an acoustic stereo system that consists of two fine-looking satellites. The satellite casings are made of hard plastic and sit on transparent decorative stands at the bottom. Note that the stand of the right satellite is highlighted with a red LED, which can be turned on/off at the back of the satellite. I have to say, however, that it looks very cool in a dark room.
The satellites feature phase-inverter acoustic design with a port on the front panel. Each speaker is equipped with a 4-inch mid-frequency diffuser and a 1-inch tweeter. Inside the casings are stuffed with synthetic cotton. The claimed output power of 25W per channel is quite sufficient to ensure comfortable musical or gaming experience.
If you feel that this system lacks some bass, you can always acquire an additional Abit iDome SW510 subwoofer that has been specifically designed for work with this speaker system, but will also fit for any other one. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to estimate the depth and basis of the bass generated by this subwoofer this time).
The satellites feature special clamps for the cable connecting the right and left speaker. The bundle includes a special 2-meter long cable, which should be quite enough for setting up panoramic sound system.
At the front panel of the right satellite there is a Power On button with a LED indicator beneath it. Then comes the SFX MODE equalizer switch, two rotating handles for BASS and TREBLE adjustment and the Volume control. The three rotating handles feature medium position that can be found by touch.
As we see, besides the common two handles for the BASS and TREBLE, iDome DS 500 also has a switch for the SFX MODE equalizer settings. There is a special microchip aka “uGuru chip” that is responsible for storing the presets. The user can select one of the following modes: Normal, Game, Music, Movie, Rock and Jazz. No user presets can be created. By the way, some Abit mainboards also have a uGuru controller onboard. You can read more about its features in our Mainboard section or on Abit’s official website.
All the electronics, including the power supply unit, is inside the right satellite casing. The rear panel of the right satellite carries all connectors and some controls. There are analogue ins and outs in RCA form-factor (they are covered with rubber caps during transportation), digital optical in and out and a three-pin power connector typical of computer hardware. As you may have already guessed, the output connectors are designed for the subwoofer and the connection schematics is described in detail in the user manual as well as on Abit web-site.
All in all, iDome DS 500 left a very favorable impression. During work the system reveals crystal-clear high frequencies, excellent timbre balance and sharp stereo-panoramic effects. The system is powerful enough for comfortable and enjoyable listening to music from a “short distance”, i.e. if you are sitting at your desk. You can adjust the BASS and TREBLE settings or equalizer settings to make up for the lack of bass. However, if you are looking for deeper lows, then you should add a subwoofer to this system.
iDome DS 500 has great audio connectivity thanks to the presence of analogue as well as digital input ports. The speakers design and ergonomics are also terrific.
All would be great, if it hadn’t been for one thing… the price. iDome DS 500 should sell for about $160, and the iDome SW 510 subwoofer – for $110. I have to admit that I was shocked, because I could easily get a professional stereo set for this money! I have no idea what the Abit marketing people were thinking, but iDome DS 500 is very unlikely to find a lot of response among reasonable users if the price remains the same.
In conclusion I would like to say that it is expected to start selling any time now, and as we all know Christmas weeks is the time of not always reasonable expenses.