OK, so it's critical for every computer nerd to have access to bitchin' tunes, right ? Having music to thrash about to is a fundamental human necessity, and the ability to be able to crank it up to 11 every so often is a fine and splendid therapeutic option. It is for this reason that I've always gone after home audio gear with a bit of drive. Doesn't have to raise the roof of Wembley Arena, but reasonably grunty is a good thing.

Recently my PC's surround speakers went on the fritz. Well it was actually just the sub, but having satellites and no sub is just no fun. They were from the pricey end of cheap, but they'd survived 2 house moves & 2 years of abuse, and I thought they'd had a fair innings anyway, but the question was – what to replace them with ?

After some deliberation (and an ample portion of guesswork), I settled on these puppies: Logitech Z5500 digital home multimedia wotsits. Delivered to work, etc.

Every review I read about them seemed very enthusiastic, and the only negative point that kept coming up was more one of surprise – people kept saying “The sub's pretty big !!”. I had a nice spot under my desk where my previous sub lived, so I figured that it would all be cool.

The parcel arrives at work, and I'm not 100% convinced that I haven't been sent a small fridge by mistake.

Getting it home was a bit of a mission, although it is worth reiterating that Black Cabs rock.

Wrestling it down stairs, I tore open the box with much anticipation & fervour – plugging the soundcard into my Bose Waveradio clock thingo just wasn't cutting it; the RCA inputs seem to suffer serious volume attenuation, and that's no way to rock out to The Matrix soundtrack.

First thoughts, I've got to admit: “Wow, the sub's pretty big !”. I'd estimate it to be about 3 times bigger than my old one (pictured – old on left, new occupying the rest of the photo), and perhaps best of all was the warning label across the top which said “This product contains strong magnets – it is recommended not to put it within 60cm of tv, computer, or other electrical equipment”. Basically, don't put ANYTHING within 2 feet of this thing !

And the sound… Holy crapspackle. This is officially the LOUDEST thing I've ever bought. I've only wound it up to about 40% so far, but I can tell that my neighbours are going to hate this. And if I was to crank this thing up to 11, well, let's just say I don't know that I'm ready for space travel just yet. And that encompasses both being propelled through the stratosphere by the racket this thing makes, or having my arse kicked into orbit by my neighbours/housemates.