SonicGear Spectra 300 Review
Iâ€™ve been seeing these Sonic Gear Spectra 300 speakers from various stores in the past while I was in search for a decent set of speakers with an affordable price tag but never really got a chance to test it myself. Recently, a local distributor sent us a sample unit and we took it for a spin to see what it’s capable of.
Just a bit of a background about the manufacturer, SonicGear Lab., a Singapore-based company, began their journey as an audio system distributor under the name Leapfroglobal back in 1999. After 2 years of understanding the ins and outs of the industry they envisioned to manufacture products that can compete with well-known brands in terms of performance while keeping the price affordable.
They started off manufacturing speakers and eventually other audio equipment. I donâ€™t know much about the men and women behind this company. May be it’s just me, but one thing I noticed was people with authority in this company hates space on their brand and product name (Leapfroglobal, SonicGear, XonicGear, ApocalypX, etc.).
Going back to the Spectra 300, the 2.1 speaker comes in a medium size box and the usual Styrofoam protection along the sides to keep the goods a bit secured. Besides the 3.5mm male-to-male cable and a user manual which was written in different language, youâ€™d basically get what you paid for, a set of speakers.
In terms of design, Iâ€™d give the Spectra 300 a thumbs-up for keeping it simple with a bit of an accent here and there to add a bit of flavor. The speaker comes in 5 different colors (Yellow, Blue, Red, White/Silver and Green), the one that we have is Blue. Other than the lining on the two satellite speakers and the accent on the volume knob and power button of the woofer, the Spectra 300 mostly painted black.
The woofer, which is almost entirely made of wood, is also a plus factor for me as well as it not only gives it a sturdy body but also aids it in producing deep bass. In addition to the aforementioned volume knob and power button, the woofer also has an additional knob for bass at the back along with 3.5mm input and output ports. All these knobs are made of plastic by the way.
The product’s logo along with the knob labels is printed on a glossy plastic at the front of the woofer.
The two 2.25â€ satellite speakersâ€™ design closely resembles that of the Moai statues of Easter Island. But unlike the solidly built statues, the two speakersâ€™ plastic body and removable foam screen doesnâ€™t offer much rigidity. Due to its head-like design with its not so wide base, the speaker has a tendency to fall on its sides and on its front. IMO, a wider base shouldâ€™ve given it more stability while standing upright.
In terms of sound quality, the Spectra 300’s was able to deliver a pretty decent sound output in some areas. The reason why I said that the sound quality is good in some areas is because the speaker sounds great at low to mid-level volume. Sound problems starts to arise beyond the mid-level volume as the highs get sibilant and bass starts rumbling. This is where the bass knob comes really helpful as users can control how much bass the woofer produces especially when it sounds a little bit distorted. I just wished that there’s a knob for treble too so users can do the same for the mids and highs. Because of this limitation, we canâ€™t crank the volume up without compromising the sound quality. But even at its loudest, it really isnâ€™t that loud but should be enough to fill a small to medium sized house.
The Spectra 300 doesnâ€™t offer much of a soundstage as compared to other pricey sound system. It can be really difficult pick out each instrument in a song without actually lowering the bass down. But even after doing so, it still kinda tricky to identify every instrument. This can only be a very big deal if youâ€™re into jazz or orchestral music, but for most cases the 2.1 speakers should suffice for casual listeners. Another thing I noticed was that the voice of the singer in each song that I tested tends to over-power the rest of the instruments, but nothing a little bit of tweak in the equalizer settings canâ€™t fix. Speech and sound effects in a movie is decent as well. The speech is audible but can get a little bit hissy when the volume is set too loud and other sound effects are reproduced quite decently for the most part.
Here’s the specs of the Spectra 300:
Satellites (RMS): 3W x 5
Woofer (RMS): 13W
3″ Full Range Drivers and 4″ Bass Driver (enclosed)
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20 KHz
S/N Ratio: 60dB
Distortion: < 2% (1mV) Sensitivity Input: 400mV Separation: >= 40 dB
Power Supply: 220V 50Hz
Depending on how you plan to use it and where you plan to place it, the SonicGear Spectra 300 should provide you a rather pleasant listening experience on ideal situations. When we say ideal situations we meant listening in optimal volume of up to its mid-level, tinkering in the equalizer settings of the sound source a bit and having just the right size room. We donâ€™t really suggest cranking up the volume on this one as the sound quality (especially for non-FLAC and non-ALAC tracks) gets poorer as the volume went higher (beyond the mid point).
Thus, we think that these set of speakers are a ideal for small rooms and should work nicely as a desktop computer speaker as users will not need much of volume in order to have a decent listening experience. Aesthetic wise, I think that SonicGear really did a great job on the Spectra 300’s design. I only wish that theyâ€™d put the same amount of effort and thought on the construction of the satellite speakers to give a little bit of sturdiness. But for a Php790 2.1 speakers, we think that consumers can live with the lack of rigidity on the satellite speakers so long as they donâ€™t plan on throwing it around or at someone.