VideoLogic has long been respected in the industry for having top-notch graphics performance. Sure, we know of their recent success with the PowerVR graphics chip found in the Sega Dreamcast
, but VideoLogic was making great graphics cards in the 2D past when S3 Vision Windows 3.1 accelerators still ruled the world and NVIDIA was still working on its NV1.
Despite its success in the graphics, VideoLogic saw opportunities awaiting in the audio industry. A little over a year ago, some of the video engineers started building speaker systems for their personal use, and word got around the company of how great these speakers sounded. As sound cards moved to PCI and improved in quality, most multimedia speakers were not markedly better than earlier generations. The engineers started talking with upper management and the VideoLogic Sirocco was born. The philosophy of VideoLogic's audio engineers was quite simple: use the same principles of speaker design from hi-fi audio, and apply it to multimedia speakers.
When the Sirocco speakers first launched, it was almost $400 for a stereo-only unit. Since VideoLogic had been a graphics company for quite some time, most were skeptical of the performance. The proof was in the product and the Sirocco system was well received by the press - the European press, that is. Unsure of the market for their speakers, VideoLogic speakers were initially limited to Europe and the rest of us in the US could do nothing but wait. Today, almost one year after the European launch, VideoLogic has finally brought their speaker systems to the United States.
With the new popularity of quadraphonic sound cards (including VideoLogic's own SonicVortex2), VideoLogic saw the need to extend the success of their Sirocco line with a four-speaker version of the original. The result of their efforts was the Sirocco Crossfire. The design of the Sirocco Crossfire took the same hi-fi philosophy of the original Sirocco speakers and focused on the needs of gamers. VideoLogic did this by shrunk the 4 inch woofer of the original to 3 inches to reduce costs and to shrink the size of the speakers, and improved the amplifier by adding two more inputs and an amplified headphone jack. On paper, the Sirocco Crossfire looks like a great system, but what about the competition from Klipsch and Cambridge Soundworks?