With the Xbox we saw a push for High Def gaming. Now the Xbox 360 pushes harder by making HD standard (talking about the premiums of course) and having the only cable not included being the optical cable. This leaves it up to you to set up your surround sound system. The easiest thing to do is go out and purchase an all included home theater system. If you don’t check it everything out, you could end up with something you can’t use with Xbox 360 or is low-quality. Go to Wal Mart or Target and you can probably find a $79 or so home theater system. These systems may be Dolby Digital, but they don’t have optical inputs (probably an optical output, though). This means you can only hear Dolby Digital when playing a DVD through the included DVD player. Add to the fact that these aren’t going to be the best quality and are most likely no-name brands.

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The Pioneer HTP-3600 costs more than these “bargain” systems though it doesn’t come with a DVD player. But we have the Xbox 360 (or regular Xbox for those that still can’t get a hold of a 360) that can play DVDs. Besides, a majority of people have some device that can play DVDs so this would just raise the cost and include something that a lot of people already have.

One of the first things to comment on is the look of the 3600s. The front speakers are silver floorstanding speakers so you wont have to worry about mounting or getting stands for them. To make things interesting, the rear speakers can be attached to the top of the front speakers. They easily lock into place and can be turned to bounce the rear sound off the walls to make it simulate the sound like the speakers were behind you. This is meant for those that don’t want to worry about running the wires to the rear. The rears even have a nice look to them that nicely top off the front speakers if placed on top. When the rears are placed in the rear for real surround sound, covers are proved to cover the front tops and the rear bottoms.

Setting up the speakers was pretty quick

There is some screwing involved for attaching the base plates to the front speakers and there’s a small lower piece for the fronts to screw in. Attaching the speaker wires to the correct speaker and to the proper place on the receiver is easy enough as they are color coded. The speaker wire length is more than sufficient for my setup and those that need more can go buy a longer length. As far as inputs go, they maybe could’ve had a few more to accommodate those with numerous digital devices. Only one optical input is available.

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Once everything is setup, it’s time to enjoy you new surround sound speakers. The sound produced by the HTP-3600 system is very nice and clear. For the price of the system, these are very good speakers. Tony Hawk isn’t really the best game for testing out surround sound speakers, but there’s something that really stick out with surround sound speakers. You can really get a sound from the skateboard and you’re put into the game. Other games that I used for testing included Call of Duty 2, PDZ, GUN and Need for Speed Most Wanted. I was really satisfied with surround sound while playing. In Perfect Dark, it’s sweet to hear shells hitting the ground in the rear speaker. And of course with the custom soundtracks on any game with Xbox 360, I must talk about the music quality on these. I listened to Disturbed, Chevelle, Dave Matthews, Local H, Incubus, Our Lady Peace and numerous other bands with these speakers. Listening to music on the 3600s is very good. The subwoofer is fairly small and resembles those cheaper home theater in a box subs. However, this sub is fairly powerful. Just make sure to turn up the sub channel level on the receiver or you wont get the power that you are looking for.

Pioneer’s HTP-3600 is a great setup for your Xbox 360 entertainment center when you don’t want to spend all your money on home theater. While you could get even better speakers, you’d have to spend a lot more as well. These are very nice sounding speakers and having the fronts being floor standing make them more attractive. The 3600s are definitely worth thinking about if you don’t have a Dolby Digital surround sound setup. The HTIB is user configurable and it can offer a bona fide or virtual surround sound. The overall sound is pretty much solid on both movies and music but much more for the games. It is safe to say that it is absolutely perfect for all sorts of games. It comes with a full size receiver, a compact subwoofer and front tower speakers for the maximum experience. Every user will be more than satisfied with this system as it seems that the manufacturer managed to keep the elegance of the design while still giving the users what they actually need. Pioneer is known for such actions so their users will not be disappointed with their latest system editions. The system does not include the DVD player though and it has minimal connectivity selection but it combines a flexible setup versatility and good sound quality. Also, it is more than affordable.

Check out Pioneer’s HTP-3600 site to check out the system specs and other details.