3 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 3 reviews of the Hercules XPS 101. Experts rate Hercules XPS 101 7.5/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Hercules XPS 101 and Hercules Speakers.
In past years, we've reviewed budget offerings from Hercules, like the XPS 2.1 Lounge Speakers ($60, 4 stars) and the XPS 2.1 50 ($69.99, 2.5 stars) with widely varying results: The former won an Editors' Choice and the latter, well, didn't even come close. The XPS 101, however, is the first 2.1 PC speaker set from Hercules we've tested that isn't a budget option. At $249.99 (list), it looks and sounds like a higher-end computer speaker system. While there are some design choices that we could live without, like the cheap-feeling dial on the wired remote, the overall audio performance of the system is incredibly powerful and adjustable. Though it is possible to distort the speakers at maximum levels, this system gets so loud well before the max level has been reached that it's doubtful, even during a wild dance party, that distortion would be an issue. DesignMeasuring 6.3 by 4.3 by 4.7 inches, the two stereo speakers look like miniature black-and-silver coated jet engines. The circular front face hides 20.5-Watt drivers behind a black grille cloth, with the drivers angled just slightly upward.
PC speakers have sure gone through quite a few changes over the last decade or so. What started out as a pretty limited product category eventually exploded with the addition of bigger speakers, subwoofers and surround sound. Today, there is an expansive selection of PC speakers available, so manufacturers have to do something strikingly different In order to stand out within this now crowded product space.Hercules has been making its efforts to get its computer and portable audio products noticed for the last few years, and judging by its growing catalog of speaker systems, seems to be doing a decent job of it. The XPS 101 2.1 speaker system, reviewed here, is certainly an attention grabber from a design perspective, so we put the system through its paces in order to determine if this is the next must-have computer audio system.The XPS 101 box includes two satellite speakers, a subwoofer, wired remote control, a rather large power adapter, a microphone cable, a “line in” cable and a female stereo RCA to female 3.5mm adapter cable. The cube-shaped subwoofer measures 9.75 inches square, but stands slightly taller due to its 1-inch feet. Each circular satellite stands just shy of 6.5 inches tall and is hard wired with a 6-foot speaker cable terminated with a male RCA connector.
While Hercules is better know for making compact DJ consoles, it has been rivalling Altec Lansing, Creative, Logitech et al for several years with its PC speaker sets. The firm's latest product is a high-end piece of kit called the XPS 101. A super-shiny 'piano black' lacquered finish with loads of glossy plastic doesn't get us excited, as it's a sure sign that a manufacturer has used low-quality paints or cheap materials. Thankfully, Hercules hasn't gone down that route with the XPS 101, which is easy on the eye and seems sturdy and well finished. We also like the fact that the satellites' connections and the audio and remote control connections are hidden away are under the subwoofer: now that's discreet! Beware of the subwoofer's cover though, as Lycra isn't the most resistant material. All the system's controls are on the wired remote, which can be used to adjust the overall volume as well as the bass and treble (see right). Launching a high-end speaker set with a high-end price tag is always a gamble for manufacturers, as we're much less tolerant of faults in design, handling or sound output when there's a lot of money at stake. However, the XPS 101 speakers do a very good job, with an output that's excellent on the whole.