Review (October 2015)
By Martin Hamano
Cerwin Vega has a long 50+ year history of producing quality speakers and was recently acquired (in late 2011) by Gibson Guitar company. The company is well known for their professional speakers, so we were interested in hearing the new XD Series desktop speakers. The XD Series is available in three sizes - XD3 (3" woofer, 3/4" tweeter), XD4 (4" woofer, 3/4" tweeter), and XD5 (5" woofer, 1" tweeter) along with a companion XD8s subwoofer fitted with an 8-inch driver and 80W of power.
The XD5 speakers are the focus of this review, which feature a 5-inch polypropylene woofer and a 1-inch treated silk-dome tweeter powered by 50 Watts (25W + 25W). The XD5 has solid MDF wood cabinets that measure 10.25" (H) x 7.25" (W) x 9.5" (D) without any cables attached. The larger bass driver in the XD5 provides deeper bass response than the other models and allows the crossover frequency to be set to 80Hz, making the XD8s subwoofer less localized in the room. It is well known that when the crossover frequency increases, bass localization will start becoming an issue, which is not desirable. The XD5 enclosure is a ported design, which helps extend the bass response. The XD5 speakers have a specified frequency response of 60Hz - 21kHz and are magnetically shielded to prevent interference on older displays.
Both the XD5 satellite speakers as well as the XD8s subwoofer are powered, so all you need to do is plug them into an AC outlet and provide a line level audio signal through the subwoofer's in/out jacks where the audio signal frequencies are crossed.
The 1/8" (3.5mm) Aux In jack is designed to accept a line level audio signal from a portable device such as an MP3 player or smartphone. A similar looking 1/8" headphone jack is also provided, which will mute the audio being played through the system. However, it should be noted that based on our tests, the subwoofer will not be automatically muted.
XD8s Rear Panel
The non-detachable power cord with power switch feeds the built-in switching power supply and STMicroelectronics TDA7294 class AB power amplifier used inside of the XD8s. This amplifier has its power rails set to deliver about 80W into the driver. Like the amplifiers used in the XD5, this amplifier module provides built-in thermal and short circuit protection. The XD8s is also magnetically shielded to prevent display interference. A 9-pin D-Sub connector is used to connect the System Remote Volume Control.
System Remote Volume Control
There are only a couple of controls on the remote making it rather simple to use. The SUB MUTE button (with indicator) gives the user a quick and easy way to mute the subwoofer output when it is not needed. When active, the satellite speakers receive a full range signal (crossover disabled), which basically takes the XD8s out of the system. The Volume control is fully analog and provides fine control of the subwoofer level. The subwoofer also has an Auto‐Standby feature that kicks in after 30 minutes of no audio activity. The light ring around the level control will be ‘AMBER’ during standby and ‘RED’ when in the active state. There is also an AUX INPUT jack that accepts line level audio from a portable audio device or smartphone.
- Kevin Nakano
|Review at a glance|
XD5 Key Features
XD8s Key Features
Source: Manufacture Supplied
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