Sony has always been synonymous with both quality and innovation in the audio market, its latest set of 2.1 speakers certainly scores highly on the design front.
It’s a beautiful looking setup, highlighted by a cylindrical 25W subwoofer finished in an attractive stainless steel design that’s carried over to the twin 6W terminals.
It’s marketed primarily at multimedia users but looks good enough to sit alongside any home cinema setup as well.
The obvious restrictions of 2.1 audio mean its better suited to casual users or those who just want a small improvement over their TV’s built-in speakers. The subwoofer includes an attractive luminous blue light, which can be switched off in dark environments.
There’s also a separate control box with volume and bass, a headphones socket and two line-in ports for audio sources. This is a nice touch, since you can hardwire your main source into one and use the other for an additional device such as an MP3 player.
In terms of quality, something we had high hopes for from the technology giant, we were a little let down. Obvious restrictions of a 2.1 design means you’re not going to get a full sound environment but even taking this into account we were a little disappointed with the frequency separation. Particularly evident at higher volumes or when you jack the bass up, mid-tones tend to get a little lost and sound appears rather convoluted.
This can be improved if you’re in a position to use a separate graphics equaliser or environment presets on the source device to tweak the sound, but the DZ10’s would have benefited from at least a separate treble control or loudness setting built in.
In testing the speakers through a range of different environments, music playback was good, but both movies and games were a little below par, mainly because of the issues highlighted above.
Casual users will undoubtedly be content enough and the excellent styling carries a certain impact by itself, but audio aficionados will be aware that there are other 2.1 solutions available at a similar price that offer better overall sound. If you’re looking to beef up your home computer or say a secondary television in relatively compact surroundings you won’t notice the drawbacks of the speakers as much, but those who place quality at a premium and aren’t swayed by the styling may find better solutions elsewhere.
We liked the DZ10’s but must admit to being seduced somewhat by the svelte lines and shiny silver exterior.
If you’re able to adjust the audio through a separate equalizer on the source device you can improve things quite a bit, but those who appreciate the nuances of a well balanced audio system may be disappointed.