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Eclipse TD307PAII: Which came first -- the speaker or the egg?

With egg-shaped cabinets and the promise of audiophile performance, are these PC speakers the high-end answer to the rubbish ones that came with your PC?

If the speakers that came with your PC suck, as many do, then you should consider upgrading them. The ones we're talking about today cost about as much as a cheap PC, but they consider themselves something of an audiophile solution to the crappy PC speaker problem.

The Eclipse TD307PAII -- or the 307s as we'll refer to them from now on -- may have a questionable product name but they sure as hell don't have a questionable appearance. The slick egg-shaped cabinet is built in such a way as to eliminate any 'colouring' of the music they reproduce, and their internal construction allows them to produce music with unparalleled accuracy. At least, that's what Eclipse claims.

More people these days are using their PCs and laptops as jukeboxes, so having them hooked up to a decent amp and speaker system makes plenty of sense. Obviously, if all you care about is hearing Windows tell you it performed an illegal operation or a Mac telling you it's just been turned on, these might be a £400 expense better spent on a Linux machine.

With a rated output of 12W they're not blindingly powerful, but certainly ready for the desktop world. But our initial testing reveals two staggeringly opposed results.

Firstly, the 307s are astoundingly capable at producing beautiful classical performances, operatic work and acoustic guitars, for example. Their wide, open sound lets you recreate a believable soundstage. However, they're also astoundingly incapable of working with hard rock, distorted guitars and the pounding drums of modern dance. (Note: see update below.)

This means you'll need to decide what you're going to be using these for. If you spend your days listening to the soulful melodies of Sarah Brightman, the 307s will reward you with acoustic brilliance. But if you're going to be getting down and dirty with Hed P.E., you'd be better looking elsewhere.

They're on sale now and you can expect our full review very shortly. Before then, watch Encoded talk about dating dogs and a chick called George. -Nate Lanxon

Update: Our extensive labs testing revealed very different results. Although the system distorted noticeably at high volume, at more reasonable levels the Eclipses performed very well, with superb detail across the board. Our full review will be live soon, so be sure to check back for the full lowdown.

Update: A full review of the Eclipse speakers is now available on the site.