Trust 4000P Speaker System

Trust 4000P Speaker System


Introduction

Trust have been around in the PC peripherals industry for a very long time now, and have produced a wide range of speakers over the years. Up until this point, I had always considered them as "generic" speakers that OEMs would bundle with a computer. The latest speaker system from Trust however, caught my eye. A 5.1 Home Theatre system for under £50, including an external control box!

Trust4000P_Main.jpg

5.1 Home Theatre System


The speaker system comes only in black, with dark grey trimmings and the five identical satellites come with small stands (for desk placement) and wall mounts. The sub and speakers are completely powered from the main control box, which in turn connects to the mains and computer sound card.​


These speakers are marketed as 2500W PMPO - which may make some "small" 20W hi-fi speakers sound pathetic. PMPO is a rather misleading term however (Peak Mean Power Output), and RMS values are what should be used in comparison : 2W for the satellites and 12W for the Sub - giving a total of 22W RMS!​


Specifications
  • 2500 Watt (PMPO) capacity (5x 2W and 1x 12 W RMS)
  • Magnetically shielded for positioning near monitor or TV
  • Separate control unit with 5.1 surround amplifier
  • Bass, rear, front, centre and master volume controls
  • Stereo / 5.1 surround selection switch to enable stereo sound through speakers
  • Wooden subwoofer with bass reflex design for powerful bass
  • Full range speaker system
  • 16 - 20000 Hz frequency range
  • Cinch and 3.5mm stereo input plug
  • Operates on 230 V mains power supply
  • Power indication
  • Very powerful sound for Multi Media PC and DVD player
  • Size product (h x w x d in mm):
    Subwoofer 240 x 127 x 283
    Centre + satellites 105 x 87 x 91 incl stand
    Control unit 85 x 222 x 227
  • Gross weight: 7 Kg
The specifications are pretty basic for a 5.1 system, but good for a sub £50 system for the PC. The inclusion of a control unit is what separates this system from most other low-end 5.1 systems, as this can be placed next to your PC to give easy access to the controls. Most systems have the controls built into the sub, forcing you to strike a balance between sound quality (location) and easy access to the controls.

Included Items
  • Amplifier / control unit
  • Subwoofer
  • 4 x satellite + 1x centre speakers with stands
  • 3 x audio cable: 2 x RCA to mini jack stereo
  • 3 x audio cable: 2 x RCA to 2 x RCA
  • 5 x satellite / centre cable
  • Multi language user's manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
The actual box that the 4000P was stored in was packed extremely well, and I would find it difficult to imagine that it would be easily damaged. All of the cables needed to connect this to your sound card are provided, as well as plenty of speaker cable to allow you to place the satellites anywhere in the room.

Features

The 4000P system has no form of decoding (i.e DTS), which was to be expected in a system of this price range, simple three stereo jacks that connect to the "front", "rear" and "centre" on a 5.1 sound card.

No optical or digital inputs are provided on the unit, which is a great shame, as many sound cards now offer this facility for 5.1 systems. If you have a stereo only sound card (as most onboard ones are), you will have to use a forced "stereo" mode - basically mirroring the rear channels from the front. I would recommend making sure you have a suitable 5.1 card to take advantage of this speaker system.

Installation and Configuration

There are a lot of cables needed to connect this speaker system to your PC... 3 plugs to connect to the sound card, which in turn has 6 plugs that connect to the control box. Then, another 6 plugs to connect the sub and satellites!

Trust4000P_Cables.jpg

The mountain of cable connections


The rear of the unit handles all of the cable connections, whilst the front as all of the control features. The rear also has a 40mm fan duct, but no fan - although this unit never got hot enough to appear to need one:​


Trust4000P_Rear.jpg

Rear of the unit

No drivers need to be installed, or anything similar, although you do need to configure your sound card to provide 5.1 surround sound (individual to each card).​


I recommend thinking about speaker location when setting a system like this up, as it does make a big difference. Try to place the speakers in optimum locations, as suggested in the manual, but also use your common sense (for example, if it destroys the look of the room, or furniture needs moving).
Performance

The body of the units are made from ABS, and are of a good quality - without any manufacturing flaws or design problems. The design of the control box looks a little bland, but then again, this isn't a designer speaker system. The satellites and sub however look fine, and would be well suited with a black PC system. In any future versions of these speakers, Trust could definitely give the control box an aesthetic re-vamp.

One thing I have noticed with the control box is that it feels off-balance... the location of the transformer is at the rear-left of the unit, whilst the rest of the unit is light. You can feel this when picking it up, and although it does not make any difference to the performance of the unit, and saves money, it does feel strange. The transformer couldn't really be moved in this case because of need ventilation, weighing the rest down would increase shipping costs, and creating a wall transformer would just defy the point.

The sub, control box and all of the speaker stands have rubber feet attached to them, and they do actually seem to stay attached to the respective unit, unlike the rubber feet on most things!

The satellites are magnetically shielded, so it is acceptable to position them near your monitor, although I recommend keeping the sub at least a meter away from your monitor.

Whilst listening to "Le Nozze Di Figaro - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart" on these speakers, it was clear that the satellites lack clarity at high frequencies. If you listen to a lot of Classic music or music with a lot of treble, you can't expect to get an ideal listening experience.

The subwoofer also lacked some definition, so again, any audiophiles listening to music with a lot of bass may be disappointed. The reproduction wasn't terrible by any means, and would be significantly better than many standard PC speaker systems.

In gaming, and to an extent DVDs where the absolute clarity of treble and definition of bass aren't so crucial, this system performs remarkably well compared to that of standard speakers in this same price range. It is evident that Trust wanted a product that would perform well in Gaming and DVDs at such a low price. These are going to be the main uses of a Home Theatre system with PC, and you aren't going to get anything to rival a professional Home Theatre system without paying vast amounts!

The 4000P system has no type of built in decoder, but you can still get some very impressive sound from a good software DVD player. Whilst watching "The Matrix" and "Star War : AOTC", both utilising surround sound effects, the effect produced some pretty good results. The shortfalls of the speakers did not affect the overall enjoyment, considering this is a PC with a 17" monitor. For watching DVDs on the PC, the 4000P makes a fine partner.

The only problem I had with this system was the headphone system. When you plug a pair of headphones in to the control box, it cuts out the

satellites and plays back only through the headphones... the problem is it doesn't completely cut out the subwoofer, and you can still here the bass in the background (albeit at a low level).

Conclusion

Although the sound from the Trust 4000P system is no match for a stand alone Home Theatre system - it is ideally suited for PC multimedia applications. It performs admirably in gaming and DVDs, and general music listening is quite acceptable for normal
usage. If however, you are after high-quality sound for music playback, you may want to look at some undoubtedly more expensive speaker solutions.

At the current price of under £50, this is an excellent buy for users on a budget who would like a good DVD/Gameplay solution. If you are currently using a standard 2 speaker system, this setup will have more than enough power to get your adrenaline pumping!

Author
Ian Cunningham
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