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microlab FC360 2.1 - Paul Esaw Review | May 2012

• Packaging: Very good. A think lot of care was taken to protect the speakers considering price, it was a pleasant surprise. A lot of big name brands out there don’t seem to make the effort to make the product look and feel special.

• Overall look/design: Very impressed. I do like the design of the amp, not over baring and not too small to say “Is that all it is”, a classic design that will not go out of fashion. The power light is just right too, some can be distractingly bright. The finish on the speakers/sub, whilst it may not be to the liking of all concerned looks good and hard wearing.The finish reminds me of an old Marshall amp I used to own. My only bug bare and this goes for 90% of speakers of this kind is that the bass control is on the back of the amp/sub

• Build quality: Very substantial considering they are under £50.00 When the speakers are played loud they don’t vibrate on the surface they are standing on due to the materials used and the rubber pads on the bottom of the speakers. Which I think is a nice unnoticed plus point. I find a lot of the more commonly known brands in the same market and for the same price range and higher just supply cheap plastic housed speakers and when played loud rattle on the surface they’re put on.

• Set up: Very straight forward quick ‘n easy. So simple I didn’t use the manual.

• Feature and Benefits: All cables are long enough with plenty of slack to allow me to move them further apart if needed. A lot of your competition do not supply the RCA cable as standard.

• Sound quality: At first I was not 100% impressed I’m sorry to say, after reading words like fine cone technology and “you will be immersed in the sound” but that’s marketing for you. On the one hand for £50.00 what would you expect but I will say they sounded better than some of the speakers I have listened to that were in the same price range and higher. They seemed muffled and quiet even when I turned the volume right up but I could tell that they still had a lot more to offer some how. It wasn’t until I started to do some basic alterations with the sound settings on my PC that they came alive. (this could be stated in your manual to advise anyone connecting them to a PC/laptop opposed to a TV to reduce frustration and unfounded complaints) I played music from classical to rock, the speaker where not straining at all even when played loud. Films, well I WAS immersed, action scenes coped with ease without struggling. Background sounds were picked up too in great detail. In gaming mode too, it seemed to be a whole new experience. General spoken word sound came across sharp and crisp. Maybe it’s the way I have positioned my speakers but I could swear that there’s a third speaker directly in front of me, the sound seems to be thrown around, if that makes sense.

• Overall: Very,very happy with my purchase. I certainly would recommend Microlab and certainly the F.C. 360’s. I will be getting the 5.1’s for my TV if the 2.1’s are anything to go by and for £100 I would say excellent value for money.

• 9.5 out of 10 (the bass button is the reason for not giving it a full 10)