Polk Audio Hitmaster review 1

bminusDo people even care about the Rock Band/Guitar Hero genre anymore?

While I do think a firm “no” as an answer to that question would be hyperbole, there’s no question that those games popularity is most definitely not what it was just a few short years ago. And look no further than the sales trending downward and trouble at Cambridge-based Harmonix for proof.

[podcast]http://blastmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Hitmaster_review.mp3[/podcast]

That said, I find it somewhat odd that Polk Audio has chosen now to release their new Hitmaster stage monitor.

Yes, you read that right. It’s a stage monitor.

Something normally reserved for REAL bands with REAL instruments, but, here’s one for use with Rock Band and or Guitar Hero.

First, you audiophiles should know the all important stats.

The Hitmaster comes in at roughly 14 inches wide and 9 inches tall, and is packed with a 6.5 inch sub-woofer and two 1-inch neodymium tweeters housed in 2.5-inch by 5.5-inch horns, and 80 watts of amplification.

Look, I’d be lying to you if I said I knew exactly what all of that exactly means, but I CAN tell you that the Hitmaster does “go to 11″ (no, literally!) and, it sounds pretty awesome.

Especially if you’re comparing that to the sound from your T.V. speakers.

For example, while playing Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” for Rock Band 2, I was pleasantly surprised by the big sound, in this relatively small speaker.

Lemmy’s baseline is immediately much more punchy and bottom heavy with the Hitmaster.

A sound you’re clearly not going to get through ANY t.v.’s speakers, no matter how fancy it may be.

Still though, as much as I enjoyed the obviously better aural experience of playing Rock Band 2 through the Hitmaster, I couldn’t help but feeling that much more…um, dorkier for doing so.

I mean, let’s be honest. It’s silly enough wailing out on the plastic guitar or drums at this point, but to then add a stage monitor to blast music into your face while you’re playing?

It just feels like overkill.

I guess if you were say, a bar owner who still held a Rock Band or Guitar Hero “night,” I’d recommend picking one or more of these up (they can be daisy chained) but I just can’t see blowing a hundred bucks on one for your home.

That is unless you’re without any kind of home theater system.

If that’s the case, well, then the Hitmaster ends up being an incredible bargain.

See, as long as it uses RCA stereo cables (T.V.’s, DVD/Blu-Ray players, your iPod, etc.), you can plug it into your Hitmaster, crank it up, and annoy your neighbors!

Obviously, Polk isn’t advertising this monitor for that kind of thing, but after using the Hitmaster with my iPod out on my porch while grilling delicious meats this past weekend, I came to this conclusion.

The Hitmaster for use with Rock Band and or Guitar Hero?

Kind of dumb.

The Hitmaster for use with outdoor bbq’s and or for people too fiscally conservative to blow money on a real home theater system?

Kind of awesome.

The Blast Factor:Based solely on the fact that you’re getting an all in one three speaker and amp for just 99 bucks, the HitMaster not only sounds better than expected, it’s also a pretty good bargain. The unit is incredibly easy to hookup, and thanks to this, you’re not forced to use it exclusively with your gaming console, solely for RockBand or Guitar Hero. Summer’s coming. So, if you’re the party hosting type who wants to blast their MP3 player outdoors and get things moving for relatively short money, I’d recommend picking one up.