When purchasing a new system online, you’re often met with a screen filled with accessories the company wants to sell you along with the computer itself. While you might be inclined to skip this page without a second thought, many users take advantage of the available merchandise in order to bring a convenient end to their hardware purchases in one place.
If you happen to be purchasing a Dell system, the AY410 Multimedia Speaker System ($59.99) will likely be on this page. This 2.1-channel 33 watt system is designed to fulfill the needs of everyone from the business professional to the hardcore gamer.
To start, their design breaks away from the classic black and stainless steel look most speakers and computer peripherals tend to lean towards. Their white plastic shell and black accents doesn’t look all that terrible, and depending on your particular desk arrangement, they can actually come off looking pretty sleek. Nothing about this set really feels cheap, though the plastic material is a definite cost saver especially on the subwoofer, which is usually a wooden enclosure.
The controller has line-in and headphone ports allowing you to quickly switch to headphones for privacy and attach an mp3 player which mixes with the primary input. This is a feature typically reserved for pricier sets. It has a very sturdy feel and giant volume knob that has a very smooth feel to it. A separate control on the side targets the level of bass.
No matter how good speakers look or their controls feel, nothing matters more than the quality of sound. This is one area where this particular system excels. The bass is powerful, even on low to medium settings, and the highs and mids are fairly good on lower volumes. If you crank the speakers up you start to lose some of the mid-range sound while the subwoofer keeps cranking the bass while the highs scream out of the satellites. This can be especially annoying when listening to music. In any volume that could be considered apartment-acceptable, the AY410 performs remarkably well even when compared directly with the $99 Bose Companion 2 system.
Overall this is a pretty decent offer when compared to other systems in its price range. This isn’t a terrible budget system and at its price point I generally wouldn’t expect plenty of amplification, rich sound, and a powerful bass. It looks like the biggest cost-reducing step taken with their design was the materials. While the official price may come with a little sticker shock, refurbished AY410 systems are sold in electronics stores all over at a considerable discount.