Hercules

Hercules XPS Slim Review

The Hercules XPS 2.1 40 Slim Speaker System is an affordable and attractive way to outfit your computer.  Not perfect across a variety of scenarios, the Slim 40′s do their best to compete with the onslaught of similar products.

Comparable to the Hercules XPS 2.1 50′s, the Slim 40′s attempt to be the aesthetically pleasing version but the result is that they don’t sound as good as their bulkier older brother.  Resembling those orange directional waving sticks you see at airports, the Slim 40′s are lightweight and all black.  They take up very little space on your desktop and are just shorter than than my 17″ MacBook Pro screen.

The Sub woofer is of typical fashion and design with an adjustable bass knob on the front, making it easy to control provided that you don’t have it tucked away too deep.  Construction and build are nothing special, but as long as you take care of them they should hold up just fine.

Detached from the speakers and sub woofer is a separate control module that handles master volume as well as the headphone input and line in jacks.  The device is too lightweight and its stance is often dictated by the two wires protruding out the back.  There is a bright blue LED that denotes constant power and there is no on/off switch(besides the one on the back of the sub).  Not all that cool for the budding conservationist.

Hercules XPS 2.1 Slim 40 - 5

Describing the sound would differ depending on the scenario in which it was used.  It sounded great through my computer gushing balanced response over the varying bit rates of my MP3 collection.  TV usage sounded dull and muddied while lacking volume.  Also line-in through my iPod Touch and 80Gb Classic was void of party raging decibel blasts.  It sounded decent at normal listing levels but it was out of its league when trying to compete with extraneous noise.

Coming from a 6.1 set-up when using my Xbox 360 I was not impressed with the Slim 40′s performance.  They just paled in comparison to louder systems.  They sounded fair with my PSP but only when it was convenient to where I was “portable” gaming.

Hercules XPS 2.1 Slim 40 - 7

My overall thoughts are that Hercules XPS 2.1 Slim 40 Speaker System is best used with your laptop or PC set-up but not a whole lot more.  Then again, it’s minimal price tag should make it much more enticing for those not looking to break their wallet on an entry level speaker system.  There are too many wires for the clutter loathing, and I liked the design of the volume knob better on the XPS 50, but that’s nothing that should deter you from checking out the Slim 40.  The XPS 50 sounded better in almost every scenario I tested it in especially when it came loudness so I figure that the selling point of the Slim 40′s will be their more alluring finish.

With appealing visual flair, a great price, and a robust PC/Mac sound, the Slim 40′s should do well by anyone seeking an additional sound system to compliment their set-up.  Having now reviewed two Hercules products, I can easily recommend them with their fantastic quality per cost ratio.

Pros:

  • Positively slim and attractive
  • Lightweight and affordable
  • Sounds great connected to a PC/Mac

Cons:

  • Not so nice across varied scenarios (TV, iPod, Gaming)
  • No convenient on/off switch
  • Too many wires

Buy the Hercules XPS 2.1 Slim 40 Speaker System here for $42!










Jeff B