|X-HiFi XDC-1 Desktop Speaker System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Tuesday, 01 July 2003|
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As audio enthusiasts, we have made it one of our life’s missions to search out the best in musical reproduction that our ever-growing budgets will allow into our listening rooms. As we voraciously research each strategic move to improve our systems at home, we are more often than not listening to more and more music on our computers at work. The reality is that we spend far more time enjoying music at the office, spinning (and sometimes ripping) CDs and listening to songs from our growing collection of MP3s, as well as other media including Windows Media 9 files, DVD-Video discs, QuickTime files, PC games, and many others. While our high-end AV systems are in standby mode, waiting for us to get home, too many of us spend the majority of our hours listening to music listening on the crappy $20 per pair, injection-molded speakers that come with your Dell or Gateway, when we all have an appreciation for better hardware.
A few years ago, I found an ultra-high-end brand of desktop speakers that, when matched with their trick power amp, a Sunfire subwoofer and high-end cables, priced in at about $6,000 retail. Their manufacturer, Evett and Shaw, went bust for a number of reasons, just like many of its dotcom exec clients. $6,000 is a bit heavy for anyone to spend for an office system, but what if you could drastically improve the sounds you hear all day long for one-tenth of the price? We are now talking about the newly-introduced Xhifi XDC-1 2.1 powered sat-sub speaker system.
Sold directly to consumers, the Xhifi XDC-1 is a slim yet powerful desktop speaker system, modified and marketed by two high-end audio veterans in Mel and Howard Schilling, the founders of Camelot Technology. Xhifi is a completely different venture pointed at a completely different audience, but the goal is still the same: improving your quality of life through better sound. The XDC-1 is a $995 complete speaker system that includes two ultra-slim desktop pods that take up almost no space on your desk. The main speaker’s drivers are uniquely light and rounded to match the similarly rounded speaker pods. The effect is better imaging on your desktop without having the placement of the speakers be all that critical.
The XDC-1’s heart and soul is installed in its subwoofer, which is powered by a 50-watt class B amplifier and can put out a punchy low end that will make the guy in the next cubicle hope that your lunch break will be over soon. Also in the subwoofer is an innovative 50-watt digital amplifier for the main speakers. The combination of the digital amp with the unique speaker drivers makes for a very familiar, warm and comfortable audiophile sound not normally associated with desktop speakers, certainly not at this price point.
The overall look of the XDC-1 needs to be seen to be appreciated. These speakers are a luxury goods product, despite their modest price. The wood finish and curved edges on both speakers and subs suggest that the manufacturing costs are incredibly high. In actuality, the speakers are built by JVC and then greatly modified by Xhifi to include digital amplifiers, cutom crossovers and much more. For an additional fee, you can opt to buy higher quality braided cables, much as you would for your home system. If nothing else, these cables look far more in-line with the elegant façade of the XDC-1.
Hooking up the XDC-1 system to the office iMac was nothing short of a breeze, taking no more than 10 minutes from the time we cracked open the boxes to the moment we screwed in the last speaker spike. Literally, all of the cables plug into the back of the subwoofer. Depending on which outputs you have on the back of your computer, you will need to make sure you have the right interconnects and/or connectors. In the case of the iMac, we used the one-eighth-inch headphone out jack, which worked flawlessly. If you ask, Xhifi may have the adaptor you need in stock. If not, Radio Shack certainly does. If your PC or game system has RCA outs, then you will have an even easier time plugging your source into your XDC-1.