High-End PC Speakers: Which Are Worth Your Dollars?

Terratec Home Arena TXR884: A New 7.1

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Terratec Home Arena TXR884
Manufacturer's Specifications
Low-range amp power28W
Satellite amp power7 x 8W
Frequency response35Hz - 20kHz
Line inputOn subwoofer
Satellite size102mm X 127mm X 108mm
Subwoofer size222mm X 229mm X 241mm

Better known for its sound cards, Terratec also has a range of speaker systems. We tested its high-end one, one of the very few 7.1 systems.

The silver 884 does not look like any of its rivals, especially its satellite speakers on high supports. We can't say this is an advantage because it takes up more room for no obvious benefit. The more so because the front center speaker takes up too much space as well.

The subwoofer is medium-sized compared to similar products, but deeper so it looks smaller. It has a specific feature in that no loudspeaker can be seen: its 12.5cm in inside and uses an elaborate acoustic load, a sort of symmetrical bass-reflex with two curtailed ports to let the sound through. One is on the front and the other on the right. The satellites, all the same, have a 75mm wideband speaker with a cellulose membrane with a half-roller suspension in coated fabric and a flattish spool cover. The rear load is closed.

At the back of the subwoofer are eight Cinch sockets for 7.1 input and two more for the aux input. There are as many cables with a 3.5mm stereo jack for connection to the sound card. That's a lot of wire. A single cable for all connections would have been better. So would a solution for connecting to a Creative sound card; if you have one of those, it won't be easy. The controls are all on the subwoofer, not a very convenient idea. At the back is the mode selector to use the seven satellites with a 5.1 or 6.1 source and a button to change the aux input to 7.1 mode. At the front are four potentiometers to control overall volume, front center, rear satellites and bass. A wired remote would have been much handier. While we're about it, we also regret the lack of a headphone output.