During my visit to Taiwanese technology company Genius over the summer, I had the opportunity to check out some of their prototypes. One of them was a really intriguing set of speakers, twin towers packed with drivers. Being prototypes, they weren’t completely finished so I was able to listen and provide input to help hone them into great speakers that Americans would enjoy.
At the time I was very impressed with the price goal of ~$100 and combination of sound quality along with two analog and one digital inputs. For the price, the sound was fantastic. Not to mention the stunning classic looks of the unit. The design was plain, simple, and elegant.
One thing I was concerned about however was the sound quality. There was considerable clipping at high volumes. At low to medium volumes, the speakers sounded great. They filled the room, had very good bass response for the speaker size and had very crisp treble along with smooth mid range. Still, if you were to use the built in equalizer function on Bass mode and turn the speakers up, there would be distortion. Something needed to change.
A month after my visit a set of SP-HF2020 were at my door– no longer a prototype. This set would be identical to those already in warehouses across the US. Did Genius take my advice and put better quality drivers to avoid distortion? Was the sound signature still balanced and full bodied?
The answer, thankfully, was yes. They sounded great! Even better than when I heard them in Taipei at all sound levels, especially at high volumes. I was very impressed. Unfortunately most retailers are selling them for more than the original $100 target but not by much. You can still get some great speakers for just over $100.
Some great features of the SP-HF2020 include the fact that it has its own digital input. That means you can take a DVD player or your digital Coaxial output and plug it directly into your speakers. You can also input with two analog devices such as an iPod or iPhone. Not only that, but it comes with a remote allowing you to control the unit from your bedside.
I tested it out with a 32″ LCD HDTV which was its designed use, but I also hooked it up to my triple monitor display computer and it did a great job on both. My only issue was that the remote control seemed finicky, so maybe Genius can design a more sensitive remote control system next time. Either way, it was such a minor drawback that I have no issues with completely recommending them. For a 2.0 system for around $100, you can’t go wrong with the Genius SP-HF2020.