Usage & Testing
I will be using the ASUS Xonar D2X which I recently reviewed to test out the ASUS Cine5. After connecting all of the audio hookups and turning the product on, you will notice that the ring around the volume bar turns Blue. This just so happens to match my Razer Keyboard and Mouse. It also fits right under my LCD monitor. This setup it gives my desk a nice and professional look.
Now comes the Fun Part testing out the Cine5. Starting with the movies I will be using 2012 and Ninja Assassin both in Blu-Ray. While watching the movie 2012, I was pleasantly surprised to that the sound was indeed, surround, regardless of the fact that there are no rear speakers. The sound was crisp and entirely without distortion, even with the cacophony of the “flight from California” scene. 2012 definitely put the Cine5 to the test and it not only passed but exceeded expectations.
Ninja Assassin tested ASUS Cine5 in a completely different manner, because this movie has a myriad of directional sounds moving from right to left and left to right during the movie. Once again the Cine5 Offered clean and clear sound while not distorting. Even during the fights scenes with guns and swords all the sounds blended well, allowing you to pinpoint the action.
For the testing music playback I used iTunes and Winamp. While testing with iTunes the music sounds good but with no bass and massive distortion. I tested it with all different types of music and it only seems to like the rock and metal style of music. But music with any amount of bass will distort and obviously not sound good at all. Moving onto Winamp, I had the same test results. If you play with the EQ in Winamp you are able to turn the bass down but it does make the music not as good as it should have been played. In conclusion, the ASUS Cine5 didn’t do so well in the music test.
For the final test I covered gaming. The games I used were Counter Strike Source and The new Medal Of Honor Beta. While Playing CSS I noticed that my field of sound was improved a little bit over the Stereo Headphones that I normally use. Again, directional sounds came into play, and with these speakers I was able to still pinpoint where the enemies where and where my teammates were at. It definitely made the game sound better than it does with the headphones I use. At first, when I moved on to the Medal Of Honor Beta, I thought the sound wasn’t working during the loading screen. After it reached the main menu the sound kicked on. What a relief! I’d like to coin the phrase “ear candy” here because that’s the only way to describe it. The different “flavors” of sounds going on were incredible and I can’t begin to praise the quality of the directional sounds anymore than I already have. Headphones can’t even compare. While playing the game I did notice a tiny bit of feedback, but I chalk it up to the fact that game is still in beta. The only downfall is that when you get a kill streak the speakers would emit a loud and heavy bass thump, causing the Cine5 to distort badly – even worse than in the music test. After the loud and distorted thump the sound would return to normal until the next kill-streak-thump. The speakers in the gaming test held up except for the distortion caused by the kill-streak-thump sound.