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Razer/THX Mako 2.1 Advanced Desktop Audio System

Razer/THX Mako 2.1 Advanced Desktop Audio System


Generally products which bear the THX logo have a higher retail price than comparable items and the Razer Mako system is no different in this area. Where they do differ is that THX have involvement in not just quality control/certification which we outlined earlier but they are essentially responsible for all of the internal workings of the product. This includes acoustics, electronics, mechanics and DSP. Razer’s involvement is input to THX during their R&D process and for the external design which in itself is gorgeous.  So how do we feel about the result of this collaboration?

Well, to say we have enjoyed our time with the Razer/THX Mako system would be a complete understatement; these speakers are without doubt the best 2.1 desktop system we have used. In addition to this they go quite some way to competing with quality home theatre equipment, as we would expect given the THX certification. For example, in a room of 15 feet by 15 feet (4.5×4.5m) the Mako is loud enough at three quarters volume to completely fill the environment with sound to a point where bass gives a focused rumble through the floor, even when at the opposite side.

As well as filling the room with sound the Omni directional design of the speakers creates a soundstage in which it is difficult to pinpoint the speakers when listening with our eyes closed. We are aware of the stereo effect but the sound comes from a more generalised area rather than a specific point which really does create a spacious effect. We were also extremely impressed by the quality of the audio produced, given a decent source the Mako create exceptional sound which is hard to fault and even when listening to a compressed MP3 we get as good a representation as is possible.

Looking at particular highlights for this product the stand out areas tend to be music and movies. In more laid back films such as Shakespeare in Love we found the system capable of creating an incredibly true to life sound and even when really pushed by more musical content (Moulin Rouge) or a blockbuster movie (Transformers) the quality rarely fell below exceptional. In terms of music performance the speakers were as near flawless as we have heard with power when needed and exceptional clarity and a spacious yet focused dynamic throughout. We tested recordings from the 60’s right through to the present day and the Mako system never let us down in any of the music tests.

Where we were a little disappointed was in the experience when gaming. If playing something like Guitar Hero the speakers perform well, but throw something like Oblivion at them and we are left with an un-natural experience where environmental sounds and effects are too apparent in the mix. To be fair, this has as much to do with the games design as anything else and the main issue is that the Mako speakers are a little too good for games at default settings. A little tweaking of the effect levels and music levels resolves the problem for the most part.

We also noticed two minor build quality issues. The first is that the two pin power plug which inserts into the back of the amplifier is not as tight a fit as it could be. For example moving wires can result in it falling out a little too easily. Secondly, a single speaker in one of our review samples (we received two sets for quality testing) has lost part of the THX logo on the front. These logos are stuck on in the factory using glue and a few days after opening that particular set the “T” began peeling off. These stickers are the only less than perfect aspect of the Mako and it is a shame that the logo is not etched into the satellites as it is on the subwoofer/amplifier.

Despite the minor issue with power socket and THX sticker we cannot help loving the Razer/THX Mako. It is a phenomenal piece of kit and not only is it the best set of desktop speakers we have heard to date, it is one of the best products we have ever reviewed.

The Razer Mako speakers are available for £275 from Yoyotech and $399 from Newegg

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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