AUS (R.R.P.) for Game Theater XP 6.1, $199 AUS (R.R.P.) for XPS-510
The first thing to
do is of course unpack all of the equipment from the respective boxes
and double check that all the parts are present. When you have verified
that everything is ready then you will need to power down your computer
system and remove your current sound card (if present). Remove the Game
Theater XP from its static bag and securely place it in a free PCI slot
in your computer, then just screw it in (you might want to leave your
case off just in case you have problems).
The next thing to
do is to setup the rack unit and plug the DB44 cable into the back of
the it and then into the PCI card, once this is done all you need to do
is setup the speakers in the positions that you want and then connect
them to the proper RCA connections (Left/Right Front, Left/Right Back,
Center and Subwoofer).
Now that everything
is connected all that is left is to power up your machine, when Windows
loads it should detect the new hardware and prompt you for the drivers,
this is where you can either use the ones present on the supplied CD-ROM
or use the latest which you can download from the Internet (recommended
- see page 1).
The expanded sections
from Device Manager are the new pieces of hardware that Windows 2000 finds
once the Game Theater XP 6.1 has been installed.
Once the drivers
are installed you only need to do minor setting up within your system,
such as setting the system to six (6) speakers and adjust the settings
to your liking. Apart from adjusting these settings you don't really have
to do much to get the speakers working, most of the settings you will
change around for the first couple of days of even weeks until your happy
with the results (just like any home entertainment system or car audio
All that is left
to do is enjoy the sweet sounds of a new computer audio (entertainment)
In order to test this
system we wanted to put it through all the fancy surround sound tests,
but mostly the day to day uses, such as playing MP3's and listening to
Audio CD's, this is mainly because not only do you want a sound system
that has great quality for your movies, but you want great all round quality
The following system
was used to test the Game Theater XP and XPS-510 Speaker Setup:
- Intel Pentium
II 450 MMX
- Gigabyte 686-BX
- 192MB PC133 SDRAM
- Hercules 3D Prophet
4500XT (64MB KryoII)
- Samsung 16x DVD
(borrowed from a friend)
- Firstly testing of MP3's was done using some of todays TOP-40 music,
such as Nelly - Ride With Me, Dante - Miss California, Usher - U Got It
Bad, Linkin Park - In The End etc, these were played at different volume
levels and also different sound setup schemes such as Bass Boost, Pop,
Rock (all in the Game Theater XP EQ Setup Control Panel). finally some
classical music was tested (such as Beethoven and Bach) these were done
in the Classical EQ setting.
- Firstly "The Bass Mekanik" Audio CD was used to test the bass
that the system put out, once again these was done at different EQ settings
for best output. Finally a Country Music CD was used to see what more
instrumental and vocal music sounded like.
- In order to test the full surround sound on all six (6) speakers a borrowed
Samsumg 16x DVD player was used and the movie "Tomorrow Never Dies"
from the James Bond collection was played, I picked this movie mainly
for two reasons, 1. We only recently bought a home DVD player and 19 James
Bond DVD's is all we have, 2. The movie contains alot of loud music, explosions
and the likes which would be good to test the speaker system.
only way to get full six (6) speaker surround sound working is with DVD
players (software such as PowerDVD and WinDVD), this normally it will
only in two speaker mode with the extra speakers simply duplicating the
others (but they will all work, just not in surround sound).
Overall the sound
quality of the Game Theater XP and the XPX-510 Speakers is quite impressive,
especially when turned to maximum volume, the speakers are quite clear
and free from and interference and crackling.
The best features
of this setup is the 5.1 and 6.1 surround sound support.
Gold plated terminals
and Digital In/Out terminals.
for sound card (Game Theater XP) and speakers (XPS-510).
such as MIDI, Line Input, Headphones and USB ports.
The speakers require
a specialized sound card like the Game Theater XP (RRP $329), Fortissimo
II (RRP $129) or a SB Audigy Platinum eX (RRP $460) etc.
Amount of cabling
required for setup (10 for basic, then more required for additional functionality),
but this is un-avoidable for the amount of speakers.
The Hercules Game
Theater XP 6.1 and XPS-510 Speakers are defiantly worth looking into for
your next computer audio system, for their price and quality they are
quite a challenge to the top end Boston Speakers and Sound Blaster Audigy
Platinum available and especially since they are a 6.1 system.
A big thanks must
go out to Jean-Francois Galle from Guillemot Australian for supplying
us with both the new Hercules Game Theater XP 6.1 and the new Hercules
XPS-510 Surround Sound Speakers. To find out more information on the range
of products that Hercules have then please visit their website, au.hercules.com.
9 / 10
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