TV & Home Cinema

By January 11, 2008 Read More →

Logic3 SoundStage 5.1 speaker system review

Logic3 TX101B – SoundStage 5.1 Speaker System

INTRODUCTION

Logic3 Plc was founded in 1977. In 1983 it began distribution of Video Game and PC Controllers and Accessories. In 1998, the company was incorporated as SpectraVideo plc. Today, Logic3 plc is firmly established as one of the worlds largest Video Game Accessory companies, with sales of exclusive brands such as Logic 3, ScreenBeat and TopDrive, into over 30 countries, including Europe, USA, Australia and the Far East. Within these brands they sell everything from HDMI cables to speakers for your iPod. They have now branched into the world surround sound, but have they cracked it?

Logic3 SoundStage 5.1

WHATS IN THE BOX?

  • 5.1 Speaker system
  • Remote Control
  • Manual
  • FM Aerial
  • Coaxial Cable
  • Optical Cables
  • 2 x Wall mounting brackets (finally, wall mounts that are included)

GENERAL

The most important thing to remember is that this is not your normal 5.1 surround sound system. All the sound comes from the one box so you will never get the true feeling of the footsteps approaching from behind or the bullets zooming over your head. This box is designed to hang on your wall under your plasma or LCD screen with your wires hidden and to still blow your socks off.

The Soundstage system is quite large, just over 100cm and cased in a very neat and well made black chassis. You can opt to have the speaker cover on to hide the speakers or off to show them in all their glory, but I have no idea why you would want to hide them. There are 15 speakers and these pump out bass like you wouldn’t believe.

On the front there is a small LED display that shows the volume, and displays the FM channels for the integrated radio and the IR sensor. There is also a standby, input and volume buttons. These are very neatly built into the design and from a short distance you can on see the LED display.

On the left hand side there is a proper power switch meaning you don’t waste electricity on standby mode.

On the rear of the SoundStage is where all the cables are plugged in, you have inputs for 2 x Optical, 2x Coaxial, an aux right and left, with a FM Antenna socket to finish up with.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • No cables
  • Very short set up time
  • Wall mounts included
  • Looks great on a wall
  • Excellent sound

LOWLIGHTS:

  • Never quite get the real feel of surround sound
  • Useless manual
  • Needs a lot of setting changes to get the best sound from this unit
  • Tacky looking remote control

Logic3 SoundStage 5.1 REVIEW

Unpacking and setting up the SoundStage could not be any simpler. Not sure how many of you have ever set up a surround sound system, all the speakers, stands and cables just get everywhere, the SoundStage is wonderfully different. It took about 5 minutes to set up even with a disagreement with my father in law. Take the unit out of the packaging, find the RCA cables (or optical whichever you are using). The trickiest bit is if your TV is wall mounted, you might need a friend to help you take it off the wall, my father in law was round and after arguing with him that the connector on the side was input and not output he finally agreed and helped me take the TV off the wall. I used the RCA connections and not the optical, plugged these in the TV output and then placed the TV back on the wall. I had placed the speaker on the coffee table and not on the wall, plugged the power cable in and also fed the cables from the TV through the wall trunking to get the full affect of having no cables at all. If you where to mount this on the wall, you could place it directly under the TV and would only have to worry about hiding the power cable.

Logic3 SoundStage 5.1

The speaker unit looks good with or without the cover but the unit looks 100 times better without, this isn’t just my opinion, even my partner said it looked nicer.

I flicked the power switch on the side and started to test the unit, immediately I was met by a scream from the kitchen to turn it down, I love this unit already. A while later when I had the house to myself I thought I would test it properly. I started off watching Die Hard 4.0, I have watched this film about 4 times now so know which parts in the film would push the unit. The two sections I wanted to test both involve the plane. First was when the plane does a fly by, the rumble that came out the speakers was a little over powering to say the least so using the remote control I turned the bass down (more on the remote later). Replayed the fly by and it sounded great, the noise of the plane going from left to right was perfect although there was no sound coming from behind so you didn’t get the full feeling of the plane flying into the distance. The second was the plane shooting the truck. I replayed this a lot muting the TV and also muting the SoundStage, this was definitely better with the Soundstage providing the main bass noise and with the TV providing an extra boost. It made my Die Hard experience a whole lot better but I still felt I was missing something.

I then moved onto the music channels, you can always connect the unit up to your stereo if you want or use the integrated FM tuner. When listening to music you know that all 15 speakers are working to full capacity. I listened to all sorts of music, dance, R&B, Hip hop and even some pop. They sound quality was again excellent and after turning the volume up I realized it was a good idea to wait until I was alone. The bass coming from the unit was outstanding and I was very impressed with the music quality, again I had still had the TV providing some of the sound as this did make the sound better.

The unit has a built in FM radio which is a nice feature but with the 100’s of music channels on Sky and other digital providers I’m not sure how much use the radio would get.

This is the test I had been waiting for. Trying a couple of games on my Xbox 360, the games I was going to test where Forza 2 Motorsport and Call Of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare…. Think I had better wait until I have the house to myself again.

I started off testing the Logic3 SoundStage 5.1 using Forza 2, just a quick race I thought, 30 minutes later I realized how much better my Mclaren F1 sounded, I had picked the Silverstone International Track. The real sounds you notice are the engine noise and road noise, I was keen to see what the other cars sounded like overtaking me. So I slowed down to allow a few to pass, I could here the rumble as they approached but without the sound coming from behind me it was impossible to tell which side they where going to overtake.
Next I tried Call of Duty 4, I started the game and allowed the trailer to play, it sounded that good that I wanted to watch it again. I quickly ran through the training and was then playing the first mission, which was located on a ship. During the game I noticed more of an atmosphere with the SoundStage on, the rain sounded better and so did the grenades. I had to turn it down at one point when some flash bangs where being used as they where starting to have the full effect on me. Im not sure if this unit was designed for games but it works really well.

I have to make a quick mention of the remote for two reasons, firstly because it has 32 buttons to play with and because I think it looks a little tacky for a unit that costs £200, see what you think.

CONCLUSION

An entire 5.1 surround sound system in one box, does it work? Well yes and no.

I love everything about the SoundStage, the style of it, the build quality and the sound it pumps out. For a single unit it does an excellent impersonation of being a 5.1 speaker system but in the end it is only one unit not 5. The SoundStage cannot provide the sound of a person walking up behind you or the sound of a car coming up behind you starting to overtake and then disappearing into the distance.

However saying that, not everyone wants cables trailing around their front room and some ugly speakers standing on tripods in each corner of the room. They want an attractive unit they can mount on the wall so there friends look at it and go ‘wow’, this is that unit.

If you are looking for a great sounding, well built and attractive single surround sound unit then this is the one for you.

Review By: Russell

[Post tag(s): smartphone blog, Pocket PC blog, Tracy & Matt, Logic3, SoundStage, surround sound]

By November 2, 2007 Read More →

Polaroid launch new range of LCD TV’s

Last night we attended a press event with Polaroid where we were introduced to their new Definia range of premium LCD TV’s

I think that most people will be familiar with the Polaroid name but for most of us, myself included, the name conjures up images of instamatic cameras housed in grey plastic boxes. Few of us would make the connection between Polaroid and LCD TV’s.

However, like myself, you may not have been aware of the fact that Edwin H. Land, founder of Polaroid, invented the polarising filters that are essential to LCD technology and that are present in every LCD product made. So, based on the trivia, Polaroid certainly have the ‘right’ to be part of this market and have some impressive sales figures to prove it.

Polaroid are already ranked number 5 in LCD TVshipments in North America and #10 in Europe. They are also #7 ranked brand in all video and imaging worldwide.

In actual fact Polaroid have been selling LCD TV’s here in the UK for just over a year and their TLU range has been selling exceptionally well on the high street, to the point where they cant make enough of them!

Enter the Polaroid Definia. Available in 32″, 37″ or 42″ varieties, the Definia is the name of the premium range of LCD TV’s that Polaroid released on sale just last week. Last night gave us the chance to get hands-on with the products and see what they were capable of.

Polaroid Definia TV

Polaroid Definia

Polaroid have thrown away all preconceived manufacturing ideas and concepts with the Definia range and really invested time and research into what the customer wants and needs from an LCD TV. The thing that first strikes you when looking at the Definia is that unlike almost ever other LCD and Plasma TV out there the frame surrounding the screen isn’t a high gloss plastic but is a semi-matt finish. While this seems a little strange to begin with it does give the unit a classy look and feel. However, there is a better reason for doing this: Glossy frames cause reflection and glare which distract you from the viewing experience. When this was demonstrated in a dimly lit room with lights outside it becomes clear that this was definitely a wise decision. The matt finish also means that fingerprints don’t show – great news for parents!

Polaroid have also put a lot of effort in to the speaker bar included with the Definia. Typically LCD TV’s have rather poor internal speakers. This is because the slim cabinet design of an LCD limits the size and type of speaker that can be utilised. Polaroid have addressed this by using very high quality air suspended loudspeaker units. These are the same type that you would find in fairly high-end HiFi equipment.

Also on the audio side is the AVC (Automatic Volume Control). This normalises the volume level and stops you getting deafened by those irritating commercials between programmes!

Polaroid Definia

Polaroid Definia

The Definia range also boasts a number of features that you would typically expect to find only on high-end LCD’s. For example you get 2 HDMI sockets, a raft of Scart sockets, component sockets, digital optical in and out connections and also a CI slot on the rear which will accept smartcard readers for pay per view services as and when they become available.

The Eco-aware among us will be pleased to see that the Definia also includes a proper and easily accessible on/off switch which means that you don’t have to leave the unit in standby.

I have to say that, although we were only able to get hands on with the 32″ Definia for a short time, I was rather impressed. This is an HD ready display, has a good contrast ratio and brightness and the sound quality is truly brilliant from such small speakers. Frankly, the Definia puts my two year old top-of-the-range plasma TV to shame!

If you are looking for a new LCD TV then the Polaroid Definia is definitely worth a closer look, especially when you consider that the 32″ Definia costs under £500, the same price that you would expect to pay for mediocre, no-name LCD’s on the high street.

Polaroid Definia TV Specification:

  • Resolution: 1336 x 768
  • Brightness: 500 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Response Time: 8 ms
  • Viewing Angle: 170 x 170
  • 16:9 Widescreen Aspect Ratio
  • 2HDMI inputs
  • 3D Comb filter with motion adaptation
  • Picture-in-Picture (PIP)
  • Wide-Range Stereo Speakers
  • Detachable Speakers with Dedicated Subwoofer Output
  • 2 SCART inputs
  • Component video input (YPbPr)
  • S-Video input
  • Composite video input
  • Coaxial RF input
  • VGA (D-sub) input
  • CI slot
  • Audio inputs
  • Composite A/V output
  • Optical SPDIF output
  • With TV Stands & Speakers 722.5 x 947 x 240mm (HxWxD), 30.5kg

You can find out more about Polaroid and the Definia range on the dedicated website launched today: www.polaroid-definia.co.uk

We are hoping to bring you a detailed review of one of Polaroid’s Definia LCD TV’s in the near future but also keep your eyes peeled for news on other Polaroid products coming soon!

EDIT: Our 37″ Definia review is now online HERE.

Posted by: Matt

[Post tag(s): smartphone blog, Pocket PC blog, Tracy & Matt, Polaroid, Definia]

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