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The Labtec LCS-2418 Flat Panel Speakers

Flat paneled speakers are cropping up across a multitude of manufacturer lineups. Labtec, not a new contender in the field, has paired their 5.25" preexisting subwoofer with SLAB technology to create a new product. Dubbed the Edge 418, this is the first set of flat panels I've heard that are actually listenable over long periods of time. Add that to the not one but three satellite mounting options and you have the best sub $80 flat panel package tested to date at TargetPC.

Factory Specifications
The Edge 418
  • Freq. Resp.: 35Hz-20KHz
  • 5.5 watts RMS each satellite, 19 watts RMS subwoofer @ 10% distortion
  • 5.25" downward firing subwoofer
  • 4 ohm satellite impedance
  • Real-Time Bass Equalization
  • One year warranty
  • Price: $79.99 USD


Labtec

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5/10 Rating
Objective Measurements

One of the very few review sites to actually verify manufacturer claims, TargetPC tests speakers as thoroughly as possible. Normally, I would have pictures and comments on the power amplifiers, transformer and filter caps, but the sub enclosure proved impossible to open without damaging the quality finish. Some measurements were still able to be acquired, however others will be left out due to the aforementioned problem.

Subwoofer measurements

Normally, I listen informally for a few hours to a new rig, then whip out the testing gear and take measurements. Upon power up, I immediately looked around the room to see who hid the 8" sub that must have been present to pump out the low freq.'s I was hearing---no wait, feeling. But I get ahead of myself. Because I heard something that took me by surprise, I immediately cranked up my testing suite and benchmarked the sub's response.

Subwoofer Frequency Response Relative to 100Hz

Nearfield Response
In Room Response (2 walls)
67Hz = +6dB
70Hz = +10dB
39Hz = Flat
59Hz = Flat
35Hz = -3dB
39Hz = -3dB

Sub Pics

Top Mounted Controls
Bottom Mounted Woofer & Port

The above table is intended only to show a few points of particular interest and what placing the sub at the junction of two walls does to the frequency response. With the sub at the intersection of two walls, two things happen. The first is the theoretical increase of frequencies at or below 100Hz by 12dB, and the second is the slight shifting of the very intended wild bass curve. Make note of the nearfield -3dB point; it is dead on specs and the lowest I've ever measured. Next, peek at the real world in room response. 70Hz is a whopping 10dB louder (twice as loud to the ear) than 100Hz and 59Hz. More precisely, the intentional bass hump is notched up 5-10dB in the 65-84Hz range. I think I found Labtec's "Real-Time Bass Equalization."

The maximum subwoofer output in room was 104dB SPL (sound pressure level) at 24 inches. The smallish but longish port had a center frequency of 45Hz. The sub output crosses over at 200Hz, the point where the satellites take over sound reproduction. No power measurements were possible due the aforementioned enclosure difficulties.





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