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The Tests

Pure Music? The opening scene of The Hunt for Red October is Awesome on the ProMedia! (Something to cry for compared to average PC Speakers!). The Promedias may not be perfect, but if something else is, it probably isn't in this price-range.

The final phase of testing was 3D spatialization tests. Can this 4 speaker system make you feel surrounded by movie sound? A true Dolby Digital system is designed to do just that. Separate the sounds to whichever speaker best allows the viewer to locate the audio properly. 2 and 4 speaker systems can do the same if the DVD software you are using offers a "DownMix" option to try and allow for positioning of sound. An echo effect or a fade-out is a simple method of making people "Hear" position. For true positional audio, the speakers need to be able to make you feel as though there are no speakers. The sounds are just all around you, and if characters move from one side to another, you want the sound to move. Not just stop on the left speaker then re-appear on the right, but slowly move across without being altered in the transition. The Horseman chasing the coach in Sleepy Hollow offers some good positional changes. The Promedias were positively sinful in their ability to hide hardware from the sound. The subwoofer blended the low tones so smoothly you didn't truly realize it was separate from the rest of the sound, and as characters moved from left to right, the sound evenly moved across the room without detecting a sudden unnatural jump from one speaker to the next.

The Promedias basically tore up any DVD test I could hit them with. Do they have problems? Well, they are SO powerful, that they do tend to pick up a slight HISS when there is no sound and the volume is cranked up. But that is not so much a problem as it is a notation. What do you expect when you have the volume at 90%? You aren't adjusted for absolute quiet! They also tend to fuzz the midrange a bit more than my favorite 2-speaker rig, the Boston BA635's. However, the Promedia's midrange is still very good, and in almost all other areas, the performance was as perfect as anyone could ask for.

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