It seems odd to use old analogue technology on your digital music, but these Apocalypse speakers do just that. They employ a vacuum tube amplifier to drive the sub and two satellite speakers. Readers under 50 might be bewildered as to what a valve amp even is, but rest assured that it's an audiophile favourite.

This review is exclusive to PCAdvisor.co.uk.

Valves were used before smaller transistors were invented and they are known for creating a very warm mellow effect, particularly loved by vinyl fans, as they smooth out pops and crackles. Of course, such pops and crackles are a thing of the past with digital music.

However, when plugged into a computer or MP3 player, the difference between these and an average system is obvious. It's as if you wrapped your tunes up in a snuggly cardigan – everything sounds softer and warmer. That's the point of these speakers, but it's still odd to filter the sound like that on purpose. It changes the way you listen to your music – and while some old Pink Floyd sounds perfect, it's less appropriate with modern dance music.

One area in which it works well is the spoken word. We're quite big fans of audiobooks, but sometimes quality is a little ropey. When played through the Apocalypse, they sound honey-coated.

The look of the speakers is a matter of opinion, but we're not convinced. They are quite bulky and the volume control is on the sub, so it's impractical to hide it away.

Xonic Gear Apocalypse 5: Specs

  • Vacuum tube amplifier technology
  • power output 40 Watts RMS (subwoofer)/20 Watts X 2 RMS (satellite)
  • frequency response 20-200Hz (subwoofer), 50Hz-20kHz (satellite)
  • 3.5mm jack audio input
  • Vacuum tube amplifier technology
  • power output 40 Watts RMS (subwoofer)/20 Watts X 2 RMS (satellite)
  • frequency response 20-200Hz (subwoofer), 50Hz-20kHz (satellite)
  • 3.5mm jack audio input

OUR VERDICT

While we really enjoyed the sound of these speakers for some tunes and audiobooks, we're not sure they're appropriate for all occasions. When you consider the price of a regular 2.1 speaker system is under £50, you need to love this sound to pay more than twice that price.

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