gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Saitek 3D 210 Desktop Speakers

At last I’m back in touch with my old friends Saitek, albeit through yet another new point of contact who have made available the Saitek 3D 210 speakers for my perusal.

The last speakers I remember looking at from Saitek were the hammerhead-shark reminiscent Saitek A250 wireless speakers which were pretty good at what they do, if a touch on the pricey side at the time.

The Saitek 3D 210 are a continuation of Saitek’s branching into the audio market and represent the lowest of the low end that Saitek have to offer, coming in at a lightweight £20.

That’s not so say that the 3D 210 are rubbish, however, as an avid user of fairly high quality audio products from the likes of Roland, Denon and Sennheiser I found the performance of the 3D 210 to be excellent at their price point.

They look good, too, which is fairly important in a speaker which can be as much a piece of furniture as it can a listening device. Saitek’s token black and silver colour scheme makes an attractive re-appearance and these discrete little speakers can be stood upright or laid flat depending on preference or placement.

As they’re not an audiophile product I didn’t place a particular amount of emphasis on testing the 3D 210s to destruction, however I did use them in a wide range of scenarios that included hooking them up to a Synthesizer, using them with Reason on my laptop, using them when watching Sky+ in SlingPlayer and, of course, hooking them up to my MP3 player.

It’s safe to say that the 3D 210s didn’t let me down once, for a paltry £20 they’re a great portable pair of speakers that can be used with a wide array of audio-outputting devices in a wide range of places from kitchen to living room, bedroom or desktop. During their use with SlingPlayer they demonstrated an excellent room-filling capacity and, unless you’re dead set on surround sound, you couldn’t ask for much more.

Feature wise the 3D 210s are minimal, they include one of my biggest peeves; a volume control that doubles as an off switch. This means when you turn them off you’re turning them down and then have to re-set your preferred volume level when you turn them on again. Arguably this prevents you accidentally turning on the speakers with the volume set too high so it’s more a matter of preference than a real problem with the set.

In addition to the volume control there is a bass adjustment knob which, surprisingly enough, adjusts the bass. These things can output a fairly impressive level of bass but they lack the discrete subwoofer of their bigger brothers and thus wouldn’t be recommended for avid movie watching or twitch gaming.

The verdict? Buy the Saitek 3D 210s if you like the look of them and if you want to get 10 watts of reasonably decent sound out of something without deafening yourself or irritating your neighbours. Buy them for the kitchen or buy them as a cheap alternative to an iPod dock. Either way you’re not going to be let down by the sound quality at this price point, and even if you are somewhat of an audiophile it’s handy to have a pair of quick-to-set-up speakers you can use with your laptop or mp3 player for some casual listening away from your hi-fi.

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008, Computer Gaming, Home Entertainment, Personal Audio.