Built in the UK and sold at a budget price, the OTONE 2.1 Exo Multimedia Speakers are then surely in the offering for the vast majority of those looking for a decent set of speakers. For any 2.1 setup (two satellite speakers and one subwoofer) you would expect the output sound to be better than your built-in monitor speakers. Of course, you’re not cluttering your workspace with a 5.1 setup so there will be some compromise – but the OTONE 2.1 Exo Multimedia Speakers should set up to give a good audio experience for most desktop setups.
Well, they are good. Not very, very good – but for the recent promotional sale at £19.99 these were a fantastic buy to replace my Sandstrom SBS2112 2.1. After a week of using these, here’s my review…
When it comes to design, the satellite speakers are gorgeous. They look and feel amazing! The attention to detail in phenomenal for such a low-price set of speakers.
The front shows nothing but a clean speaker grill with a contrasting OTONE logo. The unit is carefully balanced on a round stand that does a good job of making these speakers look more pricey and elegant than they really are!
The subwoofer unit also has a fair bit of thought put in to it’s styling. The front features an opening with a Vortex branding logo – a patented technology by OTONE which apparently improves the audio experience.
And finally, the third item trailing out of the subwoofer is the wired remote. Simple and plain; with a large knob for adjusting the volume and turning the system on/off along with two 3.5mm jacks on the back: one for input and one for output.
This quickly leads me on to the generous number of features packed in to the OTONE 2.1 Exo Multimedia Speakers. Though the response only goes down to 70Hz (this does have an effect on the bass output) this set of multimedia speakers delivers in all other areas. The wired remote is arguably my favourite. Not only does it let you turn the speakers on and off, it allows you to manually adjust the volume rather than having to rely on the machine you have connected the speakers to. The remote also features an input jack so you can plug in a second source of audio for temporary usage. This means that playback can be primarily be from you computer setup, but from time-to-time you can plug in your smartphone of MP3 player and play audio from that instead. This is a huge bonus as it saves you from having to reach around the back of the subwoofer unit and plug in an additional AUX cable.
The wired remote also features an output auxilliary port too! SO if you decide you want to listen to the output through your headphones, you can simply plug them in to the back of the remote and the audio will be channeled to your personal headphones instead. Again, this saves you from having to reach behind your PC tower, unplug the speakers and then plug in your headphones manually!
Though I am satisfied with the OTONE 2.1 Exo Multimedia Speakers, I do feel they punch a little below their weight in terms of output given their recommended retail price of £59.99. The bass could be punchier and the output could be a whole lot louder. As mentioned earlier in this article, I bought these as a replacement for my faulty Sandstorm SBS2112 which were very, very loud and had a much punchier bass. The Sandstrom retailed at the same price but also included Bluetooth connectivity. The OTONE 2.1 Exo Multimedia Speakers, however, has a smaller subwoofer unit so I do save more space – which is ideal for those who have restricted area for their setups.
Given the recommended retail price, I would be somewhat hesitant to recommend these speakers. Logitech and Creative offers satellite 2.0 speakers which match these on performance for a lower price. However, if these become available for sub-£30, then they become am ideal, budget and value-for-money multimedia speaker set for tabletop setups.