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2.1 Stereo Tower
Type: Gear
From: mStation
Usage: Audio, General Use, Hardware
2.1 Stereo Tower
If you're still listening to videogame audio through your TV speakers, you probably know better. After all, new generation consoles are rather famous for their big fat 5.1 kabooms and subtle .1 thrummings. You can get a good piece of that with a 2.1 Stereo Tower from mStation -- and an iPod player while you're at it.
Posted May 07, 2008
Perhaps you lack the shelf space or maybe the wherewithal to deploy a solid 5.1 surround sound audio system so your game, DVD and HDTV programming audio delivers all that's meant to be heard in varying semblances of glory.

A nice middle ground between dinky TV speakers and the whopping thunder of 5.1 Surround Sound systems is the mStation 2.1 Stereo Tower. While only a 2.1 sound system (stereo speakers plus a subwoofer), this Tower is nonetheless a big step up from the low-watt wimps built into your TV.

Sporting and industrial flavored stylishness, the Tower packs a decent wallop while taking up a discreet amount of space; its footprint is no wider than a basketball and it's just a tad taller than a countertop.

A pair of directionally adjustable speakers sit atop a pair of tubes mounted at its flat metal base. Suspended in between sits a 5.25" subwoofer with a control plate on top of that.

Like any modern piece of electronics worth its salt, the mStation's Stereo Tower is innately compatible with iPods, but also features a line-in jack for any other audio source, portable or fixed, including your TV, game systems and DVD player. It also comes with a remote control -- though it's universal remote compatible, as well -- to adjust tone and speaker and sub volumes (plus power/standby, plus iPod functions, if attached) from the comfort of your couch.

Though 100 watts of total peak power means it's probably not loud enough to drive a house party or simply crank 'til your ears bleed, it's certainly beefy enough for most listening needs, enough to dominate the room with decent clarity, at any rate, with crisp high end, non-tinny mid range, and booming or subtly thrumming bottom end to flesh it all out the way good games and movies (and music, naturally) ought to be heard.

Oddly, though the 2.1 Stereo Tower's AC power plug and manual power switch are housed stealthily in thing's foot, the line-in (and USB port) sit up in the control plate. That makes for easy access of temporarily connected devices, but if you want to plug in something permanent like your game console, DVD player or television audio, that will require a garishly noticeable cord dangling out the middle. Sure, you can surreptitiously snake and tape an extra long patch cord down the backside of a tube before it tucks away under a baseboard on its way to your audio source, but a simple line-in jack extended internally from the control plate to a jack beside the foot-mounted power plug would have made much more discreet sense. But oh well, the 2.1 Stereo Tower has visions of directly-connected iPods dancing in its head, so designing it for use as a terrific, general use sound system with a small-footprint might have been low on the priority pole if not a plain old afterthought..

Besides, as the only gripe, which is not much of a gripe, mStation's 2.1 Stereo Tower remains a terrific, small-footprint general use sound system -- and iPod player, too, obviously.
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4 (out of 5)