Six-speaker system brings symphonic sound to your office

Six-speaker system brings symphonic sound to your office

MidiLand's S4 7100 ups the industry standard with accurate and powerful surround-sound

By John Breeden II

GCN Staff

I could hardly believe it, but the MidiLand S4 7100 multichannel computer speaker system sounds better than my car or home stereos or DVD player. It makes my office seem as acoustically correct as a concert hall.

The S4 7100 setup improves on the current industry standard of four satellite speakers and one subwoofer. An additional satellite speaker handles a specific range of the audio spectrum and also can amplify voice data.

The S4 7100 sound system has a separate control module for easy adjustments.

The system of 2.5-inch satellite speakers coupled with the subwoofer can reproduce sound across the full spectrum from 180 hertz to 20 KHz.

The system is not only accurate, it's powerful. It has a 100-watt, six-channel amplifier plus an active crossover filter at 180 hertz between the subwoofer and the satellites.

The subwoofer's two-vent wooden case enriches the sound. Although the satellite speakers have plastic cases, that's not a problem because of the nature of the sound they produce. All have antidust cloth grilles.

Each component is completely shielded magnetically to protect your system's other components. I tested several magnetic components with an unshielded monitor, and whenever they got near it, the colors would warble. But even when I placed the S4 7100 speakers right up against the monitor, there was no image distortion. Subsequent tests with an inductive amplifier did not find any current leakage from the speakers.

Where they go

When properly set up, the fifth speaker should sit atop the monitor or right below it. The two stereo front speakers sit on either side, and the surround-sound rear speakers should be positioned behind you, in line with the front two stereo speakers.

Box Score

S4 7100

High-end multichannel speaker system

MidiLand Inc.; Pomona, Calif.;

tel. 909-595-1568

Price: $199

+Six-piece surround-sound system

+Separate control module

+Powerful performance

To test the speakers, I took an interactive Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer training course on CD-ROM. The voice signals clearly came from the center and were easy to comprehend. All other sounds came from around me, like a bubble of sound. The subwoofer under the desk added backbone to the sound and made an otherwise boring session lively.

MidiLand did a smart thing by putting speaker controls in a separate module. Instead of fiddling with controls on the individual speakers and subwoofer, you simply put the control panel module on top of the monitor or mount it in a drive bay. Besides the clearly marked on-off button, there are controls for volume, fade, loudness, bass, treble and balance.

To drive all this power, you must have the right PC sound card. The speakers are Dolby Pro Logic-ready and Sound Blaster Live-compatible, so finding a good card should not be difficult.

MidiLand has surpassed the industry standard. This system is the cream of the crop.


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