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Genius SP-HF1800A Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Genius SP-HF1800A Review

Image courtesy of Genius

The Genius SP-HF1800A speaker system consists of two tall, hefty “three-way” speakers with no subwoofer. This makes them a 2.0 system, which may appeal to those who don’t want a bulky subwoofer getting in the way -- although, of course, this means that you’re sacrificing some bass. For the price tag (they can be purchased on Amazon for $67), the system is impressive looking and not too shabby sounding.

At a Glance

The Good: Warm sound, no distortion at high levels

The Bad: Not very loud

Specs

  • Output power: 50 watts
  • S/N ratio: 85dB
  • Drivers: one 1-inch, 4-ohm tweeter; two 4-inch, 8-ohm tweeters
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Line in and headphone jack

Design

Unlike many of the systems reviewed on this site, the SP-H1800A speakers are tall and heavy, measuring 15 inches by 6.25 inches by 5.75 inches. That's on the larger side for computer speakers, and unfortunately the power cord was a bit short for a system of this size. I needed an extension cord while testing them -- something I haven't needed with other systems. These are most definitely not for those who have desktop space concerns, although they're pretty serious-looking speakers for your average desk jockey.

The tweeters and woofers are exposed, which is always kind of cool if you like to watch them shake when you turn up the bass. The lack of a grille can also prevent any sound interference, although you'll need to be extra careful since there's no protection from debris and damage.

Performance

As we've said in the past, it's not just about how loud the speakers can go -- it's how they sound once you turn them up. An insanely loud system is useless if it's filled with nothing but fuzz and distortion when you crank it up. The SP-HF1800A knows its limitations. The speakers didn't really impress on their volume capacity, but they did not distort at full capacity, and they barely boomed when both bass and volume were at 100 percent. (Although you may like a bit of boominess for your bass thumping.)

The sound was warm and even for both music and movies. Highs were crisp, and lows only became a bit muddy when the bass was at full capacity. Overall, this doesn't seem to be a system that overreaches in its expectation, and as a result you're getting a solidly satisfying system.

Bottom Line

The speakers would be powerful in a small office or bedroom for personal use, but they wouldn't exactly knock your socks off if you're hosting screening party for friends. They are fairly priced, but you should also check out Logitech's Z323 system, which have smaller drivers but add a subwoofer.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Decent Speakers for Small Room, Member vadertime

Let me preface this review by saying that I've been a Hi-fi/Stereo equipment aficionado for over 35 years. At one time I had over 4000.00 invested in my stereo system. I've owned speakers made by B&W, Polk, Klipsch, Dahlquist, JBL, Boston Acoustics and more. I know a little bit about speakers, acoustics and electronic sound reproduction. I also love music and span across many genres such as classical, jazz, rock, pop, fusion, opera, swing and more. So, let's talk about these speakers. First of all, I knew from the reviews that this was lacking in lower bass and that was okay. I have an older Sony, powered, active-subwoofer that can crank out rib-cage rattling 85 watts RMS of bass from about 150hz down to about 30hz. I needed mid-bass, mid-range and the upper frequencies. These speakers fit the bill, but I had to do a heck of a lot of equalization. When I first hooked the speakers up, I turned the volume all the way up, but kept the bass and treble controls neutral. My laptop, via the Windows Media Player (Windows 7), would control the volume - the subwoofer is turned all the way up too. I use a wireless keyboard so that I can sit back on the couch and control everything. The first song, jazzy big-band tune, I played indicated that these speakers are way too boomy (mid-bass concentration) without equalization. I turned the bass to min and treble tp max on the speaker controls and then I spent the next 3 hours going through various favorite songs across all genres as I tweaked the custom, graphic equalizer on Media Player. I also reduced ""tru-bass"" to minimum on the SRS WOW effects. At the end of the night, my music was finally sounding good. For the 70.00 I paid for these, they can't be beat. They are replacing a pair of 15 year old, Yamaha desktop, PC speakers that were missing a lot of range. You can see them in the photo sitting next to the Genius speakers - the Yamahas are tiny by comparison. These Genius speakers are loud enough for a small room, like my ""Man-cave"" (enclosed patio). They will work well in a den, office or small bedroom too. Probably not so well in a living room or family room. I have the JBLs powered by a 100 watt RMS Sony reciever as well as a 100 watt powered Infinity subwoofer in the living room. I almost never use that setup - too loud says my lovely wife. These are worth the money, but keep your expectations realistic. Enjoy.

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