We stopped by the Razer booth on day three of CES to check out what new products they have in store for 2007. We were anticipating a quick visit as the booth was somewhat crowded. I informed one of the Razer associates that we were there. I was pleasantly surprised when Robert "Razer Guy" Krakoff, founder of Razer, offered us an in-depth look and demonstration of their latest product, the Razer Mako 2.1 THX speaker system.
We were taken in a back room which had the new speakers set up on a demo system. Razer Guy explained to us that traditional PC speakers are not designed for desktop use. When sound comes out of a normal speaker, it is directed straight out of the speaker and travels in the direction it is aimed. This is fine if you are sitting directly in front of the speakers, but if you move around the room, you will lose a lot of the sound produced from the speakers. Razer realized this and felt a fix was in order.
Razer has worked in conjunction with THX, borrowing components and ideas from a $20,000 speaker technology known as Ground-Plane. The idea is pretty simple once you think about it. Instead of having the speakers fire directly at the user, the Mako speakers fire downward towards the surface they are sitting on, using the desk as a sound stage. This creates an omni directional sound flow, effectively filling more area in a room with sound than with a traditional speaker setup.
We were given a full range of sample music to put the Mako to the test and I must say I was very impressed with its performance. At max volume, the 50w satellite speakers were pretty loud and showed no signs of distortion. This is made possible by another new technology, Class-HD Amplification. Class-HD goes well beyond normal high and low ranges, allowing the end user to experience full sound definition at all volumes.
The Mako's amplified wired control panel is equally impressive. The unit has both headphone and line-in jacks and uses a touch sensitive volume dial much like that of an iPod. Look for the Mako to hit the market in May with a MSRP of $299.
More just ahead...