Being constrained by wires has always been an issue with speakers. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to roam around your home or go outside and not have to worry about where you are going to put the wires? Saitek, known best for PC gaming devices, has ventured into audio products. One of their first products is the A-250. With Bluetooth capabilities you can take these speakers anywhere you want and still get crisp clear sound.
- True digital 2.1 stereo delivered through two tweeters and a sub-woofer (RMS)
- LCD display and volume, play, skip, back, pause and stop buttons to control your PC
- Neodymium speaker magnets increase efficiency and reduce magnetic interference
- Reliable high-quality wireless link receives and controls audio within 30m range
- Connect to MP3, CD and portable media players via 3.5mm jack audio cable (provided)
- Plays for up to 24hrs with 4 x AA batteries (not included), AC adapter included
Wireless speakers are part of that panacea that all system builders are looking for. We have long been promised that we would be seeing wireless components and speakers that would connect to each other and leave us free of the tangle of wires that we see now. With the Saitek A-250 speakers we are one step closer to that promise. Unfortunately, the Bluetooth adapter can only be used on a Windows based PC. The speakers will be recognized automatically by the computer and give you full control over the music player on your computer. If you don’t have a Windows based PC or you just want to use these speakers with your MP3 player then there is also a 3.5-mm stereo mini plug.
The Saitek A-250 speakers are small and compact, but you will find it difficult to put these in a bag or carry them around because of their awkward size and design. If you are looking for portable speakers you may want to check out the Saitek A-200 Portable Speakers. Despite the compact size of the device you actually get decent sound. The A-250 features two 1 inch 1.5 W microdrives and a 2.8 inch 3 W woofer.
There is a small LCD on the A-250 speakers that will give you information like battery level, Bluetooth operability, and volume level. There are also 6 buttons which perform several functions like Power, Volume, Play, and Forward/Reverse.
The part that connects to the computer is really small and could easily be tucked away. It only has one button which activates it and installs the drivers on your computer. When you turn it on, the button will start to blink blue and will continue to blink until it finishes installing the drivers and makes a connection with the speakers. You must turn on the speakers before it will connect.
One feature that I was really hoping these speakers would have is the ability to accept Bluetooth from other devices like a PDA or cellphone. It would be extremely useful to use these speakers wirelessly from some other Bluetooth enabled device. Unfortunately, it is linked specifically to the Bluetooth device that it came with and it does not accept any other signals.
The design is that of a long tube. The colors are the same as the A-200, but these speakers are bigger and can produce much louder sounds. There are several buttons that I described above that allow you to interact with the computer without having to be at the computer
The A-250 is finished in high-gloss black; because of this it picks up fingerprints easily. To help you keep it clean Saitek has included microfiber polishing cloth. The shiny look is really nice and it fits well with just about any other decoration.
To test the performance of the Saitek a-250 speakers you really must listen to audio with them. Since most people will probably use them with a laptop or computer to listen to music around the house or office, I wanted to test these while listening to music. For their size they performed really well. You are not going to get any room-shaking bass from speakers this small, but you will be able to hear the difference when you turn the bass up. These speakers are an excellent set of wireless speakers. Since I am not an Audiophile I will not give you a detailed analysis about how different musical instruments sounded, but I will say that keeping in mind their size, all types of music sounded really good. If you need speakers for a large room or to cover loud noises, like a party, then you will need to find something else.
Most of you will not use these to play games with because you probably already have speakers that came with your computer. They are not portable enough to carry around with a laptop, so you won’t use them with that. Most likely you will connect them to a computer to play music in a room other then where the computer is. Saitek claims that you can move the A-250 speakers about 100 feet away from the base and still get a signal. This is true as long as you are not trying to go through concrete walls or through electronic interference that comes from power lines that run through walls.
When I first hooked up these speakers I already had Wondows Media Player opened. I could get sound from the speakers but I could not control WMP. I ended up having to close out of WMP, disconnect the Bluetooth device, and turn off the speakers. Then reconnect the Bluetooth device, turn on the speakers and then turn on WMP before it would work the correct way. I also found that it is really difficult to get the controls to work if you use a player other than WMP.
As long as you are not expecting these speakers to be room-shakers then I think you will be very happy. I can highly recommend these speakers to anyone that is looking for wireless speakers that are well designed and sound really good. They perform really well and they don’t cost an arm and a leg. Retail is $129 for the speakers but if you look around you can get them for much cheaper.
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