Clevo X170SM-G Sound/Speakers Review

Discussion in 'Sager/Clevo Reviews & Owners' Lounges' started by DaMafiaGamer, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. DaMafiaGamer

    DaMafiaGamer Notebook Deity

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    I know a few people that have been patiently waiting for a review of the X170SM-G's sound system. So here is my take on it :)

    Speaker Wattage

    2x 3W Speakers (Right and Left)

    1x 5W Subwoofer

    Speaker Positioning and layout

    Originally this laptop was going to come with 4 speakers and 2 subwoofers. I'm glad they changed that and opted for 2 speakers and 1 big subwoofer. Why? The reason is simple; bigger speakers are always going to sound better than more speakers when it comes to the quality of lows and mids, more on this later.

    The left and right speakers enclosure is relatively big allowing good speaker flex and hence has a good frequency range. The same goes for the subwoofer but I wish this was slightly deeper to allow greater flex, more on this later also.

    The left and right speakers are located at the bottom of the laptop as shown here:


    The subwoofer is located on the bottom left side of the laptop near the left speaker here:


    Speaker and Subwoofer Quality

    Having two big speakers and a giant subwoofer was a good call by Clevo, the sound is natural, it doesn't sound too crisp or tinny like other Clevo's (especially the P775DM/TM which hurt your ears at max volume) and doesn't have that annoying rattling noise most Clevo's have at high volume. The lows and mids are excellent with the highs slightly lacking when compared to something like the macbook pro 16, this may have something to do with the speakers being down firing. In my experience, which directly correlates to this speaker review, down firing speakers offer excellent spatial audio, surround is excellent at the expense of clarity. Hence if you lift the X170SM-G at a 70 degree angle and have the speakers facing you they sound excellent, on par with the macbook pro 16 in fact.

    Having bigger speakers means that there is a higher frequency tolerance. Clevo have purposefully used bigger speakers which could easily handle double the wattage given to them at the expense of butchering the frequency curve. This is why there is no distortion at high volume and with my testing amplifying the sound doesn't lead to distortion either. All in all Clevo have done a great job with the front speakers. A solid 8/10.

    Moving on to the subwoofer, which is roughly 4cm in diameter, sounds quite good, a very big improvement over last generation Clevo laptops to say the least :)

    No matter at what volume, the subwoofer outputs most frequency ranges perfectly in sync with the speakers. The best frequency range for this subwoofer is around the 80 to 60hz range where it really comes to life sounding more like a desktop stereo system than a laptop :eek: After 60hz the subwoofer sharply drops off leading me to believe that it is indeed being limited by Clevo's audio drivers yet again. However, the subwoofer is so big that even at 100% volume those "limited" frequencies can still be heard quite nicely leading me to believe that having a higher wattage subwoofer was a good call. The sheer wattage allows it to even outmuscle the limitations put in place by the drivers. :D

    As with most 17" Clevo's I believe the subwoofer is ported (I will edit this when checked) as certain frequencies sound significantly louder than others but this maybe due to the audio drivers too. A sealed subwoofer usually offers a more balanced frequency range depending on the audio drivers used.

    The subwoofer dropping off after 60hz may also have something to do with the depth of the subwoofer, the lower the frequency gets the more a subwoofer flex's. If it can't flex too much due to cone design or space restrictions then lower frequencies can't be heard as well. This maybe what the X170SM-G subwoofer suffers from. But this is just nitpicking at this stage, the X170SM-G sound system surpasses pretty much all the laptops out there! I'd give the subwoofer a 9.5/10, for a laptop subwoofer it is excellent I just wish it didn't suddenly drop off after 60hz!

    How loud does it get?

    This laptop gets quite loud, in actual fact I believe it sounds even better at maximum volume, everything ends up balancing very well. **The average db sound level at 100% volume is 85db with the peak being at 91db. However with an equalizer if the gain is turned up by 50% the laptop becomes very loud with average volume being at 90db with peaks reaching up to 98db!!!

    Amplifying the sound leads to major chassis vibration and is probably not a good idea to keep on for a long period of time.

    ** Sound tests were done with an iPhone XS Max exactly 6 inches away from the down firing speakers at the front of the laptop.

    I would have made a comparison chart but frankly this laptops speakers blows all other competitors out of the water. The two laptops I used to hold as crowns of the subwoofer department (MSI GT80/GT83 and the MSI GT60/GT70) have been dethroned almost immediately. The only device that can get reasonably close when comparing every single thing, bass, lows, mids, highs, spatial audio, surround sound is the macbook pro 16 and even then I'd say this is about a good 5 to 10% better in almost everything except for highs and surround.

    Overall the X170SM-G speaker system is insane, I'm quite frankly impressed by the frequency range this beast puts out. It literally put a smile on my face when I did a bass test :D


    Points to note about the sound system:

    + Excellent left and right speaker setup, with good frequency range across the board

    + Insane subwoofer power, quite literally shakes my table at certain frequencies.

    + Very balanced sound quality at any volume set

    - Subwoofer is still slightly limited due to Clevo's limiting audio drivers

    - Highs/Clarity could have been better, Clevo could have fine tuned this in the drivers.
  2. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Nice review, we need a full detailed one for the whole system.
  3. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    I agree on the number of speakers, the P570WM had loads of speakers in it but they are all small and not very good.

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