Cyber Acoustics CA-3080 Sound System

Nov 1, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Wow! Awesome, stunning sound. Deep, clear, powerful, smooth music and dynamic game sound effects. CHEAP!

Cons:Oh, crap. Do I hafta think of something negative to say? Sorry, no can do.

The Bottom Line: You could pay $50 - $100 and get the same performance... but why? This set costs about $20! There's absolutely no tradeoff!


Holy crap, can you believe it? When you take a look at the Cyber Acoustics 3-piece sub woofer amplified computer speakers system (model number CA-3080) on Epinions, it looks pretty cool, doesn't it? It's almost intimidating; they look cool, like something too cool to be in your price range. But they're not.

I paid $16 for my set at Office Max. That was at about off the regular price, which is why I bought it in the first place. Little did I realize, until later, what a lucky decision that was! You see, since I bought the CA-3080 system, I've seen it in several other stores, out on the shelves where you can test them. I've seen, in such settings, the CA-3080 output louder sound and deeper bass than the more expensive models next to it. By more expensive, I mean two to three times more expensive...

Specifications

Total power: 22 watts
Sub woofer output: 14 watts
Each satellite outputs 4 watts
4" high excursion poly carbon sub woofer
2x 2.5" high-frequency satellite radiators
Satellites magnetically shielded, sub woofer not
Frequency response: 35 to 20,000 Hertz
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Cable length: 7' to both source and speakers

Cool Features

On/off switch and indicator on sub woofer
Acoustically balanced wood cabinet in sub woofer
Bass reflex and ported enclosure
Volume control on one of the satellites
Cloth grille covers on satellite speakers
The satellite are really small!
System is white; goes with anything
No software installation
Use with both PC (or "Wintel") and Mac computers
Active crossover network makes efficient use of audio drivers
Comes with instructions and warranty

Well, from the start. I went to Office Max, grabbed the system, brought it home. I was too impatient to hook it up to my computer, so I just connected it to a personal CD player (an awesome Aiwa CD player that I wrote a review about at http://www.epinions.com/content_79350500996 ) first. I must say that, right away, the pure volume and the depth of the base really shocked me! Much to my family's dismay, I cranked it up for about a minute, feeling the bass throbbing through the floor beneath me. It was great, almost an exhilarating first listen. I hope and expect you'll feel the same way (that is, assuming I convince you that this is worth your money, and I'll tell you right now that it is).

Once I noticed that the neighbors seemed to notice my new sound system, I turned it of and connected it to my computer. Admittedly, the cords that connect the speakers to each other, the computer (or other source), and the power supply are easily tangled up. However, they were packaged well, and CA seems to have utilized rubber bands to their fullest extent, so if you go about setting everything up in an organized way (unlike me, that first time), you will have absolutely no trouble at all. I don't see any way around having a bit of trouble with wires, because they are, quite thankfully, seven feet long from speaker to speaker and from speaker to source (i.e. your computer). Except for perhaps wireless means, those seven foot cords are the handiest length I can imagine when it comes to positioning the two satellites and the sub woofer cube. To assist you with setting up, the plugs and the sockets that they plug into are color-coded, matching each other appropriately. And guess what? You don't have to install any software! Just unplug the speakers or headphones or whatever you're using now, if anything, and plug the CA-3080 in in it's place. In other words, the setup for the CA-3080 is easy.

Before I got the CA-3080 model, I thought of sub woofers as kind of a novelty; I'd never owned one before. I'd been wanting a speaker system that included one for my computer, but hadn't found any within the price that I was willing to pay. I will now happily report that the 14-watt sub woofer in the CA-3080 does not disappoint. It's bass has a powerful depth to it, while maintaining very clear and smooth sound, not getting choppy even at rather dangerously high volumes. It's possible that I love the sub woofer too much; though it's meant to be placed on the floor, I keep it as close to my head as possible. :P It's amazing to me that Cyber Acoustics was able to pack that thundering punch into such a small, cheap sound system.

The two satellites that connect to the sub woofer cube are nice and small; at less than 3 inches in depth. and around two inches wide, they don't take up much room on my desk. I have each one in a corner of my desk, pointing inwards toward me. These little dudes don't sound tinny at all; on the other hand, they don't sound dull, either. I've had several friends come over and ask where the sound was coming from; when I showed them the speakers, they didn't believe me until I reached out and turned the volume down with the control that's on one of the speakers. Speaking of which, that's a handy feature worth mentioning: you have volume control over the entire system, via a dial, on one of the satellites, which is nice considering that the satellites are the components that are usually kept near you. Sometimes when I want to turn down the volume on my computer, but can't do it because I'm in a game of some sort that doesn't allow for "task switching," this becomes extremely helpful. Such a small convenience becomes of great value once you realize it's there at your fingertips.

The sound produced by the two satellites and the sub woofer — that is, the system as a whole — is impeccable. Flawless. Deep, clear, smooth. How many more adjectives can I come up with? Trust me, it's a great computer audio system. However, I wouldn't recommend hooking it up to that 1000 watt stereo system of yours for that party you're going to have when your parents (or maybe your kids :P) leave for the weekend. It's not that powerful; not enough to shake a house. However, it's gonna be way more than enough for listening to MP3s, watching DVDs, and gaming for pretty much everyone out there. I use it when playing a game called Delta Force Task Force Dagger. It's a first-person shooter, and I often take up a sniping position.

So, there you are, off at a distance from the action. It took you half the game to get where you are, and now you're able to pick off your enemies, one at a time, without being seen. Dang, those gunshots sound good on your CA-3080 sound system! But then, you hear something else; it's the swish and thump of a footstep behind you. Wow, you think, I wouldn't have heard that on my old speakers! Now it's time to act. Someone has followed you, and could ruin the whole game for you if you don't get him quick. You turn around, and a single satisfyingly loud and resounding gunshot comes from the sub woofer. You make a mental note to send a thank-you to the nice people at Cyber Acoustics.

True story. :)


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