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Cerwin-Vega! XD3 Powered Desktop Speaker Review

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Cerwin-Vega

Introduction and Features

It's not very often that I get to use and enjoy a review item while working on the actual review, but that's exactly what I'm doing as I sit here listening to my favorite music. The new Cerwin-Vega! XD3 Powered Desktop Speakers have been designed to optimize sound quality while keeping the enclosures small and providing easy integration with your PC and other desktop accessories at an affordable price. The XD3 desktop speakers incorporate ¾" silk dome tweeters, 3" woofers, high-quality cross-overs, and a 15W per channel internal amplifier in solid wood (MDF) enclosures.

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XD3 Powered Desktop Speakers Key Features:

• The perfect companion for your computer and/or media player
• Compact size without "compact" sound
• Rich and natural sound of a real wood enclosure
• Two-Way speaker: ¾" Tweeter and 3" Woofer
• 15 Watts per channel amplifier with built-in crossovers
• Front panel Aux. in and Headphone out
• Ported enclosure and Vega-Bass help increase bass response
• Magnetically shielded to prevent interference
• Appearance matches laptops and LCD monitors
• Perfect for music, gaming and media production

Continue reading our review of the Cerwin-Vega XD3 Powered Desktop Speakers!!

Here is what Cerwin-Vega has to say about their new XD3 Powered Desktop Speakers: "With over 50 years of speaker system know-how for concerts, movies, public address and clubs - when you want to recreate these experiences at home on the desktop - those that know turn to Cerwin-Vega!

When creating the XD3 speaker for desktop and computer applications the goal is to optimize the sound output while keeping the enclosure small. Clarity is critical, especially for those producing multimedia or analyzing tracks. Signal purity must be maintained by using low noise amplifiers that don't disappoint when the volume is set to high. And, if it has the Cerwin Vega name, the bass has to be in-your-face.

Powered desktop speakers like the XD3 must also fully integrate with your entire sound system and outboard accessories. The XD3 has the capability to handle multiple inputs, you can switch instantly between your computer as a source or other more portable platforms such as iPods, phones and other media players via the 1/8" stereo Auxiliary input. The XD3 also has a convenient headphone jack which allows you to "keep it down" while maintaining full control through the front panel power switch and volume adjustments."

Continue reading our review of the Cerwin-Vega! XD3 Powered Desktop Speakers!!!

 

March 20, 2012 | 10:38 AM - Posted by jsciii

Ryan,

Couldn't you have told us a bit more about the sound quality? Since the Stereo enthusiast mags seem to concentrate on speakers costing hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars, it's up to computer sites to review computer speakers.

CV speakers have always had the reputation as being designed to sound good to inexperienced listeners who are initially impressed with overemphasized treble and base. In fact, you sort of allude to this by saying that the base is "in your face."

Jamie

March 25, 2012 | 05:19 PM - Posted by Lee Garbutt aka...

Jamie - In my opinion the CV HD3's sound quality is very good for a pair of powered desktop speakers at this price point. The highs are clear without being overly bright and the mid-range transitions are smooth. I wouldn't describe them as "muddy or muffled", but as I said in the review what sounds good to one person may not appeal to another. Overall I thought the HD3's had a fairly flat frequency response (with Vega-Boost turned off) but are lacking on the low end. CV advertises the "bass being in your face" but I can't agree; the bass sounds more anemic to me.

March 20, 2012 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They look like m audio av30. I wondering if they sound close. I love my m audio.

March 25, 2012 | 05:21 PM - Posted by Lee Garbutt aka...

At first glance the HD3's look almost identical to the M-Audio AV30 Mk II speakers (minus the Vega-Boost switch). I suspect they are manufactured by the same OEM but without looking inside to see what drivers and electronics are being used I can't say whether or not they are the same. Unfortunately I don't have a pair of AV30's to conduct a side-by-side listening test.

June 11, 2012 | 11:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Este modelo CV XD3 resultó ser bueno para mí, soy un aficionado del sonido. El diseño de caja y apariencia es apropiada para escuchar música de preferéncia, bajo nivel de distorción. El sonido es distribuido y balanceado en sus canales con potencia variable, el botón del vega bass es de mínima potencia. Combiné este sistema con un Bose media companion 3 y el sonido fué más sorprendente. El precio aunque es algo costoso pero en calidad de rendimiento lo merece.

March 22, 2012 | 11:35 AM - Posted by ButtonPuncher (not verified)

@Jamie - The sound quality is not very good. Mediocre at best.

The build quality of the speakers is incredible but the sound is muddy and muffled. They get loud and sound better than a 20 year old pair of Labtec speakers but that's about it. If you want sound quality, don't buy these.

For the technical people... I'm guessing that if you RTA'd these that the frequency response would look like the golden arches. The lows roll off below 125HZ, the highs at 15kHz, and there is a gap in the middle. I know that small speakers like this won't have much bass but my Tivoli Model Two only has two 2.5" full-range drives (no tweeter) and they blow the Cerwin Vegas out of the water. I'm guessing that Cerwin Vega didn't spend much selecting the drivers for these and they threw whatever in them.

The boost switch on the back just makes them boomy. I tried plugging the ports with some wash cloths and that made them sound a little better.

I'm returning mine.

March 28, 2012 | 09:05 AM - Posted by Scott (not verified)

Ok I'm someone who has been doing custom audio enclosures for over 25 years. I decided see how they sounded and see if they would be better than my current computer setup. The music used to listen to the XD3's was Judas Priest for vocal range, Gorillaz (Double Bass, and Client Eastwood). I did listen to classical music too, but the vocals and lows was my main concentration. Without any EQ adjustment I would say the sound was not awww inspiring. With EQ adjustment the speakers did have a better improvement in vocals, and highs. The lows were really lack luster. If you are listening to anything but hip hop these speakers will be good for you. If you want deep base I would look at something with a 2.1 setup. The sound sounds better from a distance than used as computer speakers. There is a gap in the middle range that need correction with an EQ to make the vocals sound better. The high were not tinny but smooth, and that should be expected from silk dome tweeters. The speakers compared to other computer speakers in the price range for $100 this would be your best bet, but if you have $50 more you will be more happy with the Klipsch Pro 2.1 computer speakers. I picked up these speakers from Best Buy over in the musical instrument section. I first went to computer speakers and didn't find them, then looked in home audio. Of course the help at Best Buy was horrible. The people in home audio goes we don't sell these and kept mentioning they don't have them. I said that the computer system online said you had them. It took me three time to ask to just look in the system see if the store had them. It said it did, and after 30 mins they finally looked at the planagram to see where they were located at and we found them on the bottom self. I will be returning these today to my Best Buy because personally I'm not that impressed with them personally.

April 24, 2012 | 12:41 PM - Posted by cvtechsupport

Hello All,

We are glad you have taken the time to comment about the speakers. The best way to hear them is to experience them with sound but if you only have online reviews to go by then please take into consideration that everyone's setup is different, from different sound sources, listening rooms and application uses. We believe that as far as desktop speakers go this is one of the best options around. Thank you all for helping people find the best solution online.
Thanks Again-
CV Tech Support

May 22, 2012 | 12:15 AM - Posted by wes2day (not verified)

I went to Best Buy looking to spend 50 or 60 bucks for some decent PC speakers. I even considered spending a little more for the trusted Bose brand. After listening to the Bose 2 speakers I wasn't as impressed as I thought I might be. Maybe I was expecting too much for what I wanted to spend. Then again, maybe I wasn't. I saw that they had the Cerwin Vega desk top speakers for only $99.00. I was familiar with the brand and knew that they've been making high quality speakers for a long time. My only issue was that I hadn't done my typical research on these. What the heck, I trusted what I knew and spent more than I had planned. This is easily the best 100 bucks that I've spent in a long time. I absolutely love these speakers. Perfect for what I needed and they look marvelous next to my black Dell. It's unlikely that there's another set of speakers better that these at this price. If you just need some nice quality PC speakers for a good price, don't look any further. I've already done the research for you!!!

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