SpeedLink Jugger 2.1 Subwoofer Speaker System Review
This is the third review for SpeedLink we’ve done here at pcGameware in almost as many weeks! We’ve covered a keyboard and a mouse from the company already, and so it seems quite natural to move over and now look at a set of speakers, the SpeedLink Jugger 2.1 Subwoofer Speaker System. So far we’ve been delighted with the products, they have however had a few small niggles. Will the Jugger 2.1 Subwoofer Speaker System be any different? Today we’ll find out. Kicking off with the exterior a sense of deja vu is present as the product design is styled to match the Parthica and Decus we looked at recently.
Starting at the top left of the box we see compatibility with TV, PC, PS3 and XBOX 360. This is becoming increasingly key to the consumer now. It’s not just PC Gamers that want a nice looking and performing sound system, console gamers want more for their setups too. You could of course fill your room with a 5.1 speaker setup for a home theatre, but the desire for something more discrete is ever rising. A room full of speakers isn’t as appealing as it once was. Offering compatibly with multiple products is great start for the Jugger. How well this all works we’ll examine in more detail soon…
Looking at the centre of the box we find the Jugger 2.1 product itself. The products main features are listed as:
- Dominant Bass (70 Watts)
- Bass and Volume control
- Remote Control
- Audio Inputs
- Headset Ports
On the reverse we find the main Speaker specifications which again we’ll cover below in more detail.
The sides are essentially the same as the front with the exception of some additional information about the bass:
“The impressive bass-reflex subwoofer with opulent driver unit housed in as robust wooden cabinet will impress you with its extreme gutsy bass that guarantees outstanding fidelity and maximum volume-ideal for long gaming sessions as well as for enjoying multimedia entertainment”
It’s time to open the box and explore the contents, I must state the access is well thought out and the box has more than adequate internal packaging, keeping the product in good shape during shipping.
Inside we have:
- 1x Subwoofer
- 2x Satellite speakers
- 1x Remote
- 1x 3.5mm [female] to 2 Phono [female] extension kit
- 1x 3.5 to 2 phono cable
- 1x Manual
At the time of review the SpeedLink Jugger 2.1 Subwoofer Speaker System is retailing for approximately £40.00 and comes with a 1 year warranty.
courtesy of Speedlink
- Active 2.1 speaker system
- 35 Watt RMS output power, 70 Watt peak power*
- powerful subwoofer with a wooden housing and high volume for extreme bass
- satellite speakers angled for optimal audio projection and with metal grill protectors
- separate practical volume and bass controls on the subwoofer
- on/off switch and auto power-saving mode for zero power wastage
- practical desktop remote with connectors for rapid switching between additional audio sources, a microphone or a set of headphones
- impressive symphony of sound for games – perfect for multimedia use
- easy installation
- rubber feet for acoustic decoupling
- audio adapter cable (1m) for connecting to a PS3, Xbox 360 or TV
- dimensions: subwoofer: 190 × 210 × 210mm (W × D × H), satellites: 130 × 105 × 130mm (W × D × H) x 2
At this point I’m extremely happy with the box, the amount of detail and packaging method. With the unit removed it’s time to take our first look at the Jugger.
Starting with the satellites first, themed in red and black, the smooth rounded edges and glossy finish coupled with embossed grilles do look fantastic. When I picked them up for the first time the weight, the rather cheap plastic used did change my opinion a little. They seem cheap, first impressions count and it’s not such a good start for the Jugger. Due to the slightly upward angle on the feet the speakers don’t sit flat. In my setup where my speakers are way below me, this should be a benefit. On the underside we find a rubber strip to help eliminate vibration.
The grille design is carried over and mirrored on the subwoofer, a nice touch. The overall dimesions of the sub is 190mm × 210mm so it’s by no means discrete. On the underside we find rubber feet, I have to say the material is so thin and flimsy I don’t see it having much of a positive effect. Quality and finish, aside from what I’ve just mentioned, is fair but by no means premium (ED: but bear in mind this is not a premium product).
At the rear (or not!), we have the input and output connectivity panel, main On/Off and a standby button, master volume and bass are handled with a dial switch. Cable lengths for the mains power is more than adequate. I do have concerns with the placement of the sub though, due the placement of the panel; depending on how/where you sit you’re likely to see a ton of cables coming out of the unit, or have to make the sacrifice of neatness and point the speaker the wrong way in order to hide the cable mess…
We’ll only be demonstrating the setup method for PC only, connectivity to TV, XBOX and PS3 is extremely similar and very well documented in the install guide.
The two included satellite speakers [pre wired] connect directly to the Subwoofers output ports.
The included 2xPhono to 3.5mm cable can be used in two different ways:
1. Direct connection from the Sub to PC using the 2xPhono to 3.5mm cable into the audio out jack of a PC (or any other output device for that matter!).
2. Use the same cable to connect the remote control, then: The remote control has 2x 3.5mm cables pre-wired, these connect to Audio Out and MIC In of the PC. Depending on your usage you may not wish to add the remote control. It does however add a nice bonus of including a microphone port and quick access to volume control.
As I said connectivity for other devices is much the same.
The following games were used during testing (in addition various Movies & Songs):
- Call Of Duty Ghosts
- BattleField 4
Results were somewhat surprising despite my concerns about the build quality, the satellite did produce some pretty good audio. At low range and average volume levels the quality was frankly superb! I spent some time switching between games, movies and music. Once you crank the dials above 50% or so getting closer to maximum, the Jugger was not able to keep up. The power (I guess!?) just isn’t there. Mixed feelings at this point…
Let me just start by stating I was really not ready for what the Jugger was capable of producing, in terms of bass. Before I had even started to use the system, I had accidentally set the bass to maximum! 😮 At full volume the bass really hits the mark in terms of sound depth. Sadly the balance between the sub and speakers feels disproportional. Anything above say 75% bass level will drown out anything the speakers pump out! Rendering them somewhat useless at this level. Above 75% the clarity is gone, and a headache is also invertible! I can’t fault the actual Sub but the bundled speakers are not right and almost hold the system as a whole back…
Well it’s time to wrap up our findings and deliver a verdict on what I thought of the SpeedLink Jugger 2.1 Subwoofer Speaker System. Backtracking to where we started, from the box to the actual product. The Jugger really looks like a solid little sound system, the colours and overall styling I really liked. But once you take a closer look things are less impressive. The plastic used on the Satellites is really below average and feels like a bit of a let-down. The subwoofer again it looks great, really it does, but it’s let down by a silly design flaw. The input and out panel is on the wrong section of the sub. I don’t know how they’ve let it slip through to be honest. For some it just won’t matter I guess, the Jugger could tuck away down the side of your desk out of sight. For others me included I don’t want clutter, cables etc strewn across my desk.
At average volumes the overall performance is good, bring in the sub though and things change. The subwoofer is overpowered (READ: Awesome!) and drowns out the satellites, they don’t complement each other very well, and overall it just doesn’t work well as system. The satellites need to be improved or bass needs reduced (although there is a bass volume control of course!). For the most parts the kit is OK, A fair effort from SpeedLink but it needs some additional work…
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Many thanks to SpeedLink for providing this sample for review