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As a music system: Digital sound output can be used, but the cost of this is that the
system will only be playing as a 2.1 system as the stereo sound can’t be
“upmixed” onto the rear speakers on digital mode. (The Creative Labs CSW
DTT 3500 apparently has the ability to do this). The sound also seemed
to have a slightly different characteristic in digital mode; it had a noticeably
clearer but also a slightly overall higher pitch – as if there was
a slightly exaggerated treble.
Update: 3D SoundSurge sent me a comment about this matter, that after detailed testing they found that the digital and analog output of the speakers themselves were pretty much the same, but that it was most likely a sound card related issue.
The impressions of the speaker for music
playback are also dependant on the type of music you are interested in.
For rock music a slight lacking in the lower-midrange performance as well
as a restriction to the ability to significantly exaggerate the bass may
put off several listeners. For music such as pop, classical or dance/trance,
which focus more in the mid-upper range, sound reproduction is extremely
crisp and clear. What i'm mainly referring to in the lower-midrange for rock is lower guitar notes which tend to be more prominant than for example, pop and therefore were affected more. Also for classical music my sample range tended to focus on violins which were generally above the lower midrange.
The overall blending in of the whole frequency spectrum
did lack a bit of richness and warmth, possibly due to the SST technology
not being able to reproduce an overall deeper sound than normal speakers.
As a Gaming System: Overall games do not require as much of a blending in of the frequency
spectrum all at once, but rather more specific sound or vocal effects,
and therefore the speakers performed very well as a gaming system.
The low frequency was extremely effective in Q3A, along with a satisfying
range of sound effect reproduction such as the thunderous effects of rockets
firing or shotgun blasts. In EAX enabled games such as counterstrike the
sources of the sound effects, while not too precise were still discerned
accurately enough to pinpoint the location of enemy gunfire or doors opening.
In RPG and RTS games where there is a great deal of character interaction
and sound effects the system again performs well with its excellent vocal
reproduction and overall audio clarity for effects such as cannon or machine
As a Dolby Digital 5.1 System. The first thing to consider is that the system is physically a 4.1
system, with a “virtualized” center channel. I was quite impressed with
the performance of this, especially in the AC3 sound test where the center
channel sounded quite distinctly to be right in front of me.
The BA7500’s truly excel as a DD audio system, with astounding 5.1 audio performance.
Sound effects were seamlessly transited from one speaker to another,
seeming to go straight through or across myself. All the sound effects
were audible with a crisp, clear sound of bullets firing, or footsteps
on the floor, and the voices were crystal clear. The surround volume and
balance adjustor on the control panel are particularly useful if you don’t
happen to be able to get into a position where you are all exactly the
same distance away from each satellite.
Conclusion: Overall the system provides amazingly clear, crisp audio with a reasonable reproduction
and blending in of the frequency range. It excels with astounding clarity and detailed
reproduction of sound effects and vocals.
It does feature a “complete” audio
experience with the compatibility as a Dolby Digital 5.1 system, 4 speaker
gaming, and multimedia audio system, as well as featuring flexible mounting options.
The rear tower stands, while not of the best quality are certainly a welcome
and useful addition. The price range is in the high end and someone only
looking for a specific aspect like just music playback or gaming might
find the price a bit high. The music performance is also slightly below
par for a system in this price range. For anyone looking for excellent
DVD audio in a desktop theatre environment, with the added hardware decoding, or for the versatility and
superior overall quality the BA7500s are a great option and provide good value for money.