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Speed-Link Medusa 5.1 Home Edition (SL-8796) Headset Review



Technical data

Amp box
Power supply: 7.5V DC

Microphone data:
Condensor microphone: Ø 9.7mm
Directivity: Omni-directional microphone
Impedence: 2200Ω
Sensitivity: -60dB ± 2dB
Frequency response: 30Hz~16kHz
Operating voltage: 4.5V

Speaker data:
Surround speaker (front/rear): Ø 30mm x 2, 32Ω, 20Hz-20kHz
Centre speaker: Ø 30mm x 2, 64Ω, 20Hz-20kHz
Subwoofer: Ø 32mm x 2, 8Ω, 20Hz-120Hz

I have to point out that the official speaker data presented here, the same data in the manual and on product pages, is inaccurate and also misleading.  The actual size of the front speakers is 40mm:

To conclude here are the official specs for the range of Speed-Link Medusa headsets..

* Rear/Centre speakers: dia. 30mm x 2; 32Ω 20Hz-20kHz
* Front speaker: dia. 40mm x 2; 64Ω 20Hz-20kHz
* Subwoofer: dia. 32mm x 2; 8 Ω 20Hz-20kHz

source: Matt Mason-Phipps, CEO, Medusa International

Matt explains the difference in driver sizes to be "by design" and that the centre and rear surround speakers are intended as effect speakers rather than full-range speakers.  While the main (front) speakers could be considered full-range drivers, the claimed 20Hz-20kHz range of the centre and rear drives could not have been measured using any type of standardised test.  Throughout testing, the centre and rear speakers were distinctly lacking in bass.  The 20Hz lower limit may be reached but the sound levels produced at the lower frequencies are nearly inaudible.

In conclusion, the specifications give the impression that these headphones have 6 full-range speakers and 2 low-range speakers, but in fact they have 2 full-range, 2 low-range, and 4 mid/high-range speakers.  This proved to create an unnatural imbalance in sound in all multi-channel applications and games.  Corrective measures were required to compensate for this.

Test Hardware

PC-based test hardware

Soundcard: Creative Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS
driver 1: (Creative driver 02.08.0004, v5.12.08.1164)
driver 2: (kX driver v5.10.0.3538j)
driver 3: (Creative driver 02.09.0016, v5.12.4.1196)
Microphone: Creative desktop condensor microphone (came bundled with Soundblaster Live! 5.1 Platinum)

Other test hardware

MP3 player: iRiver iFP-899 (firmware v1.65)


  1. Introduction
  2. Closer Look
  3. Installation / Set-up
  4. Specifications & Test Hardware
  5. Testing
  6. Conclusion
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