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Pioneer 5.1 surround for Xbox 360


European gamers will soon have the opportunity to batter their ear drums with an Xbox 360-branded surround sound set-up "designed specifically" for the next-gen console. Here's a description from the French site Le Journal du Geek (helpfully translated by Xbox-Scene):

The Pioneer HTP-XGS1 5.1 channel surround sound system is designed specifically to work with the Xbox 360. The unit has an output of 600 watts which will blow you away. The HTP-XGS1 is equipped with MCACC which stands for Multi Channel Acoustic Calibration. So what does MCACC do it measures your room's acoustic properties, and automatically adjusts the sound coming out of the speakers to to give you the best listening experience. The remote controller should also allow you to control some of the features of the Xbox 360. There's no price yet, but the device is expected in may in Europe (no US/Jap info yet).

Sounds ok, but other than marketing mumbo jumbo, the only thing that directly relates this product to the 360 is the remote. Couldn't they at least throw in a faceplate or something? Then again, we are fanboys and it does have a 360 logo on the cardboard. If the price point is decent I guess your purchase depends on whether or not your obnoxious audio snob friends will laugh at you for having a home-theater-in-a-box system.

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1. If you own an xbox 360, but aren't showboating in HDTV with a 5.1 setup do yourself a favor and just buy a legitimate 5.1 surround set up. These "specifically made" units are put out there for consumers who get really confused and tend to panic when it comes to home electronics and simple tech talk.

The Spherex 5.1 Surround Sound System for the original xbox was a lot like this piece from Pioneer. They give you no fuss 5.1 for gaming, but more importantly their draw is their simplicity - they scream 'hey buy me because I'm made to specifically work right with your system'. So instead of being concerned about quality and relative cost - all you can think about is how any new piece of tech is going to work effortlessly in collaboration with what you already have in place at home. That is essentially the selling point in units such as these... the dumbed down, standalone simplicity.

If you consider yourself a casual gamer then 5.1 and the whole bag might not make a big deal to you and maybe a product like this is worth something to you, but to anyone serious about games and movies - these quick fix no fuss 5.1 setups are going to leave you wondering what the big deal was about. Spending the time, the effort and the money will equal out in the long run.

Posted at 4:21PM on Mar 26th 2006 by refinedsugar 7 stars

2. @ refinedsugar
Any suggestions as to where one might go to do the appropriate research to find a suitable 5.1 setup at a reasonable price? I'm pretty tech savvy but it sounds like you've probably got more knowledge and experience then I do in the sound department so any sites, stores, etc. that you can recommend would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted at 1:53PM on Mar 27th 2006 by LunarDuality 0 stars

3. There is no site or store I can specifically point you at Lunar. Start by checking out the big electronic stores near you. See what they offer in selection, price & quality and go from there. I recommend that you keep in mind what you already have at home... DVD player... the brand/type/size of television you have, do you already have a receiver... those sorts of things. For instance if your DVD player and TV are the same brand, consider buying a 5.1 setup from the same brand name.

Narrow down your selections until you see what you like at the right price point. Don't overbuy either. If the $300 solution will do it for you, don't feel like you need the $799 deal. Really it can be as complicated or uncomplicated as you like. I just feel most people would be better served with a real 5.1 setup than buying these "specifically made" products.

Posted at 12:40AM on Mar 28th 2006 by refinedsugar 7 stars

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