Genesis Helium 600 2.1 speaker review

by Nil
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BUILD QUALITY & DESIGN

This is another good-looking set from Genesis. The satellite speakers are small and low-profile, wrapped in the same carbon-style pattern as the Helium 300BT we’ve reviewed previously. They’re a bit on the light side – I suspect as with a lot of speaker cabinets in this range, there’s a lot of hollow space inside. It doesn’t matter too much, though, as the construction of the body itself is solid.

Helium 600 front view

If not for all the plastic and shiny Genesis logos, this would actually look like a classy piece of a kit. I feel like I keep coming back to this point when covering their ever-expanding range of products, though – they haven’t quite settled on one aesthetic yet. At times they have this harsh, semi-industrial look that really sets them apart, but it’s rarely unified across the range, or even one peripheral. The Helium 600, is a decent example of this.

The satellites themselves are neat and would probably fit in on just about any desk. The subwoofer doesn’t look as great – the metal grille bulges outwards, ringed by a mass of black plastic. All the wires are connected to a side panel, meaning it’s impossible to route the cables in a tidy way. Not a massive visual complaint, as subwoofers are normally out of direct eye-line. The real eyesore in the Helium 600 set is the volume dial. While it’s useful to have, it’s a squat blob of cheap plastic that sticks out wherever you put it.

FEATURES & FUNCTIONALITY

Much like the 300BT before it, this is a real surprise in a cheap package. Sound is clear, bass is powerful, Performance wise, they’re definitely more suited for gaming and media. Music is certainly passable, but not great – a lot of the notes you’d usually expect to be clear get muddied up with other ranges. When it comes to games, the Helium 600 definitely delivers. I didn’t notice any difference between this and the £200 soundbar I was using previously.

Adjusting the volume and bass output is tweaked by dials on the side, but the included volume dial makes it easier to adjust on the fly. I did find it a bit hard to strike a balance between standard and bass volume – adjusting one often meant it got overpowered very quickly by the other.

As usual, these speakers don’t currently come with a UK standard plug, so you’ll have to buy an adaptor if you’re not located elsewhere in Europe.

VALUE FOR MONEY

The Helium 600 currently retails on Amazon for £93.94. I’ve moaned quite extensively in the past about Genesis‘s price points, but this time I don’t actually have an issue with it. For under £100, this is a quality set. The problem is there are plenty of equally good quality sets available around that price range, so all Genesis really have to distinguish themselves from the crowd are their unique aesthetics.

If you consider that Logitech offer a similar set for £75.00 – the Z407 – it’s going to be hard to convince the average user to stray away from big name brands, especially when the Logitech option has Bluetooth functionality. But if I’d spent £93.94 on the Helium 600, I’d be pleased with it. I might be a bit gutted when I realised I could have had Bluetooth and more wattage for less money, but it’s not the end of the world.

HELIUM 600 2.1 OVERALL THOUGHTS

This is a great set from Genesis – they just work. The satellite speakers are beautifully low profile, hiding some big sound. Really, what’s going to sell these speakers over another set is the look, and you’re either going to love Genesis’ slightly wonky industrial vibe or hate it entirely.

Would I recommend this over a Logitech set around the same price? I honestly don’t think I’d have a preference either way. The performance is more or less equal, so it really just comes down to the look (and whether or not want Bluetooth). If you’re looking for a great set of speakers for gaming, the Helium 600 will do the job. If you want to get the most out of your music, it might be worth looking elsewhere.


For more information on the Helium 600 visit the Genesis website. You can check out more of our hardware reviews here.

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