REVIEW | Zeus 2.1 budget speaker

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The Zeus Fujisan 2.1 speaker system is currently selling on Shopee mall at a discounted price of P899. Featuring Bluetooth, USB, and other inputs, it seems to offer a lot for the price; so, let’s check it out and see how it performs.

The Speaker Market

There are a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market from well-known brands like JBL, Bose, and the likes. And while their prices have become more affordable, not to mention their entry-level offerings, it still doesn’t serve the extremely budget-conscious customer. The Zeus model we are looking at today is designed in the Philippines and built in China.

The Package

The box says its model Z-350, whereas Shopee says A-350. That irregularity aside, the specs and info about the unit are consistent and accurate. It comes with a one-year warranty. The speakers are packed well, with plastic to protect the shiny new blacks, and styrofoam to ensure no movement and damage when in transit and in storage. 

Package contents include:

  • 2x Speakers with attached RCA input cables
  • 1x sub-woofer unit with controls
  • 1x 3.5mm audio to stereo RCA cable
  • Paper insert with instructions

Design and Aesthetics

The two stereo-speakers are shiny black, with two speaker drivers each. The sub-woofer unit has a single down-firing speaker with a ported design. Master volume is at the front with a light illumination around the knob.

At the rear of the sub-woofer unit are the power switch, input connection for the included cable, and output connections for the speakers. There is also a knob for sub-woofer volume.

On the right side is a button cluster for Mode, Play/Pause, Previous and Next track. Beside this are slots for connecting USB devices, and an SD card. The plastic quality and finish of the button cluster looked poor.

The mode button switches from Bluetooth to AUX mode; the latter being for audio input using the included cable.

Audio Performance

As a discerning audio enthusiast, who owns high-end speakers, I had to be realistic about my expectations going into this.

The speakers are rated at 25 watts, 15 watts for the sub-woofer, and 5 watts for each of the stereo speakers. Note that the speakers are incredibly light, which is indicative of very tiny and light speaker drivers.

After a few hours of testing with different music, YouTube videos, and more, it’s safe to say that the unit has very little in terms of bass. What the sub-woofer unit provides is more mid-range, so in my honest opinion, I’d consider it a 2.0 setup. An added caveat is that the bass control on the back of the sub-woofer unit cannot be set over 60%, as the hum becomes overpowering. 40% to 60% seems to be the acceptable range.

The presentation is generally quite bright, and that is both good and bad. As a positive, it sounds reasonably clear, which is nice. As a negative, it does cause some fatigue while listening. Go above 60% on the master volume and it becomes more evident. This is of course specific to my ears, and may not be the same for others.

  • Music – Songs that rely on the vocals, and not too much on the bass and deep notes faired decently well. Runaway by The Corrs was nice.
  • YouTube – Narration in review videos seemed to have an echo; reducing the bass volume knob to around 30% seemed to improve this.
  • Movies – Special effects due to having bass elements suffered. Engine roars, the ground rumbling, and environmental effects were weak too. I would avoid these speakers for movies if you’re hoping for realism and immersion.

Features

In terms of connectivity, the Zeus unit does well, offering Bluetooth at a very low price. It even has a voice that announces the mode, and whether it’s ready to pair. Pairing with a new Realme C15 phone was quick and hassle-free. The signal remained strong even with the phone being taken into the next room. Add to that the USB and SD card connectivity, and the Zeus makes connecting different sources easy.

Value and Competition

At its normal SRP of P 1,999, it’s not too bad; but at its sale price of P899, it’s quite a deal. At the price range of P 1,500 to P 2,000, there are quite a few other options including Crown, ACE, and Prestiz. Go up to P 2,300 and there is the JBL Go 2, and at P 4,200 is the JBL FLIP 5.

The build quality of the Zeus seems basic, but with its 1-year warranty, you should be covered.

Of course, I would personally still spend a bit more and go for something with better speaker drivers, but it depends on your use case and your priorities.

Closing Words

If you’re in the market for a budget speaker system, offering multiple connectivity options, the Zeus speakers maybe worth looking at. Its longevity is questionable, but it makes up for it in terms of functionality. This is certainly not an option for anyone looking for quality sound, and I’d dissuade using it for movies.

  • Model: Zeus Fujisan A-350
  • Price: P899
  • Verdict: Budget speakers with a lot of connectivity options
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