RCA RTD325W Sound System Review

About a month ago, I went to my local Wal-Mart and picked up the RTD325W sound system for my quaint little bedroom, and I have to say, I am very impressed. I ended up making the final purchase for $99, which is ridiculously low for the quality I got.

Overall, the system includes 5 speakers, 2 back, 2 front, and one center. It also includes a very nice subwoofer. And if that wasn’t enough, the package comes with a DVD player that upconverts to a whopping 1080p with a HDMI Cable.

Image Courtesy of Russell Computech

So, after quickly setting up the system with it’s nicely designed system that allows it to be completely up and running within 10 minutes, I realized that I would not be able to get high quality sound with this system right away, due to the fact that I needed an optical cord to connect my TV to the DVD Player itself. However, once that arrived, I was able to hook it up no problem and make it so everything that came out of my TV, went directly to the audio system.

Once everything was all set, I immediately pulled up a TV station, set the sound setting to 5.1 Surround sound, and saw magic in motion. After making sure that each speaker worked properly, I sat back and listened. I was in awe. I didn’t know that such a small system could produce such amazing results. The only complaint I have about overall results is that the rear speakers are much quieter than the front speakers. However, this can easily be adjusted via the DVD Remote.

I then wanted to test out the DVD upconverter, so I popped in my favorite copy of “The Matrix”, and used the DVD Remote to switch the resolution to 1080p. I’ve never seen The Matrix look so beautiful. The sound was also amped up a bit. It gave a totally different experience to the movie.

Before I had these speakers, I was using the built in speakers on my 26″ LED TV, and since LED’s try to fit speakers in such a slim design, they usually sacrifice sound quality, which was very evident in my TV. So these speakers really made a difference.

Overall, I would recommend these speakers to anyone who is on a budget and needs a good sound system for a small room. The bass is good, and everything just works.

View this item on Wal-Mart’s Website : http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-250W-1080p-Home-Theater-System/15028847

 

As of May 6th, 2012, I have to report that my trusty sound system has died on me. I don’t watch movies or television all that often, so I don’t think that it’s untimely death was caused by overuse. But anyway, now when I turn on the system all I get is a very high pitched squealing sound. I have tried opening up the system in order to see what was causing the sound, but to no avail.

As far as the sound system goes: It was excellent while it lasted. However, I have determined from the numerous comments I have received and from my own experience that this sound system does not last very long. I would recommend that when you purchase this sound system, you buy some sort of insurance for it just in case yours dies just when you were getting used to it.

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36 Comments.

  1. :mad: :mad: bought in Oct.2010 As of May 2011 the system is not working !! First the speakers went out , then it would not play DVDs!!! This system is
    junk at any price !!!!!

  2. how did you make the rear speakers louder?

    • I pressed buttons on the remote until I found the volume adjuster, and made everything for LR and RR (I believe, left-rear, and right-rear) +10, that definitely evened it out.

  3. I love your site design. Is it a bought theme? or did you make it on your own?

  4. Hi, I purchased this system around may, can you tell me what cord you exactly used to make all the audio from the tv go to the audio from the system

  5. I have the RTD325W and am complete confused. Obviously, I don’t know what I’m doing I’m trying to get the surround sound hooked up to m y new Emerson LCD TV – which has a digital sound out coaxil in the back. I could use any help I can get. thanks

  6. Ok… I will go to buy S/PDIF cord today at Radio Shack… then what. I’m a complete novice …and have no idea what to do after I purchase the cord. Where on the back of the DVD surround box do I put the cord? Where on the TV do I put the cord???

  7. Just bought the S/PDIF cord.. My Emerson 32 LCD TV LC320EM2 doesn’t seem to have an S/PDIF” or “OPTICAL S/PDIF” port… uggg

  8. Brandon… you are very nice. Can you lead me to a website that shows just what standard re and white av cables look like? I’m completly a “duh” when it comes to this stuff. Also, once I buy them, where do I insert them. I’m sorry that I’m completly illiterate. Thanks again.

    • You are not completely illiterate, you just don’t know how to connect audio systems, and you are trying to learn, which is a great practice! I drew up a little image with a picture of the cable you will need and where to insert them (Audio Out) on the back of your TV. There will also be a matching set of sockets on the back of the DVD Player itself where you can insert the other end of the cords. Here is the image: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/398377/Geri.png Hope this helps!

      • didn’t have cable that was only red and white. used one that was yellow, red and white. Connected red and white to side panel of my LCD TV which says Audio. Connected the other red and white to the back of the DVD. I’ve tried all the “sources” on the DVD to get the sound. ISSUE. My LSC has one “digital audio out” in the middle of the back of TV. Could I be incompatible? I’m about to give up… thanks for all your patience.

  9. My TV is a new LCD Emerson LC320EM2. The issue may be that I have an Audio out in the middle of the back of TV that is labelled Digital Audio Out. it has a yellow interior with stainless around it.

  10. I have this RTD325W system. Overall it is good but when playing some DVD’S I will get a loud buzzing sound from all the speakers, like a surge. I have to shut off unit and turn back on. It is getting very annoying. Does anyone know how to fix problem? Thanks in advance for any help.

    Ralph

    • I have the exact same problem with my RTD325W unit as Ralph has described. I am trying to trouble shoot the problem and am wondering if this would be a problem in the DVD portion of the unit or in the speaker placement/ proximity to the subwoofer?

      • That’s strange! I have not experienced this problem at all! Does it happen when listening to sound from other sources?

        • Like Ralph and Steph, I have experienced the loud buzzing from the speakers. Started as intermittent at first, but later began only seconds after turning the unit on, and was a non-stop occurence. I don’t know what it is, but seems that it could be a product defect. I’m calling RCA for warranty action.

          • We also bought this unit at Christmas with the same loud buzzing. My husband the electrician measured 60 volts AC to ground from the cabinet. This was our second with the same problem. We are returning it and hoping to be allowed an upgrade to another system. Too scary.

  11. I have not used the radio. I am in the process of hooking up to the TV with the audio cables I have ordered. It only happens, now, with certain dvd’s. The movie will play and then all of a sudden all the speakers buzz loud and I have to shut unit off. Puzzling isn’t it!

  12. Whether it’s TV, DVD or Tuner, I get a loud popping sound approximately every three minutes or more.

    Any ideas,folks?

  13. “Finally, you’re going to need an S/PDIF Cable to go from the converter to your sound system, which you said you already had, but just to make sure you can find one here:”
    http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Digital-Optical-Audio-Toslink/dp/B001TH7GSW/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1325282879&sr=1-1

    OK… I’m on a roll. everything came in the mail. I’ve connected the toslink digital audio optical to the coaxil in on the coverter box and then behind the TV (digital audio out). Now, I’m left with the Digital Audio Toslink Cable. I took the plastic off the ends. I don’t know where to put them? This is my last issue. I don’t see any room on the box to put them or where on the DVR back to put them. HELP PLEASE?

    • Great job! You’re almost there! Now on the converter box there should be a port that looks like this:
      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/398377/toslink.png

      Just pop one end of your S/PDIF cable into there, and then find a port that looks very similar on the back of the RCA Sound System, and pop the other end into there!

      Now you should be all set! Just turn on your TV and the sound system, and press the Optical button on the sound system’s remote!

  14. http://www.amazon.com/Coaxial-Optical-Digital-Audio-Converter/dp/B001622FL8< is the one I ordered. Please see the picture on this link. It has a powerport on the righhand side, an in coaxil port on the top and then an optical out funny looking protrusion on the bottom. I've found t he optical"in" behind the RCA DVD – BUT.. on the box displayed in the picture above… the only thing available is the "funny looking protrusion on the bottom. I can't figure out how to stick the other end in that? I took a picture of it and am sending via email at your home site…. sorry for all this drama.

  15. OMG I feel so stupid. I took the converter box to Radio Shack and they pulled out the black protrusion thing… revealing a place to stick the other end of the SPDIF cable into. I’m on a roll… will report whether I get sound to my TV. Thanks.

  16. I can’t thank you enough for all your help. You are the best. All of the items you told me to get were spot on. I’m getting SURROUND SOUND on my TV. Thanks again. I couldn’t have done this without you.

  17. We bought this system a month ago. The system works but very slow to respond and the sound can’t be turned down low enough for nighttime viewing.

    We first experienced the VERY LOUD buzzing sound others mentioned at 1:30 am. It lasted 5 seconds and jolted the whole family out of bed. No one could figure out what the noise was until it happened again a few days later during the daytime. It seems to be happening more and more now. We will definitely be returning this system for something of a higher quality.

  18. HIGH Humming/Squealing sound problem SOLVED!

    Electrical interference seems to be the problem that causes that annoying/frightening/loud sound

    either get an extension chord or pick an outlet further away from the TV area where youre not using alot of electronics Preferably an isolated one.

    I tried it after i first encountered the issue and a month has gone by with no issues whatsoever

  19. Same system…would play for a while and “pop”. Everything would freeze and none of the buttons would work. To bring back function I would have to unplug and plug back in the power.

    I have since discovered that all my speaker levels were at max and turned them all the way down. No problems now and can listen to it when others are sleeping. Apparently I like my music loud with me whiskey!

    Might be a problem with the unit just overheating due to insufficient heat sink. My unit stands on its own with no external heat and air flow impediments.

    • Thomas Nichols

      I bought this at Walmart and it worked at first. But after a couple of months, it would not turn on. So unplugging and plugging solved it at first. Then, it would start again. The bass speaker would keep making a popping sound every half second or so. When you unplugged/plugged, pressing the On button would kill the system. Also, pressing the DVD open would kill the system. After repeated attempts to plug/unplug. I got it to work for about two weeks, never turning it off. Then it died alltogether.

  20. are any of you getting off and on sound when your system is on? when i’m watching a movie, or a sport game, or playing video game the sound will go away fro about a second and come back on. Please help me solve this problem.

  21. RCA RTD325W … very disappointed in it!!!
    Several months ago, the speakers went ‘crazy’…loud roaringish sound so we disconnected the speakers and just used the dvd part of the player. Tonight, the device made a odd sound and in a few minutes later, fire shot out the top of it while we were watching a Netflix DVD. Quickly, unplugged it and disconnected it from the television. Device appears to be ‘on’ but does not respond to any commands. How in the heck do I get the dvd out so I can get it back to Netflix?? Also, what if the dvd is ‘fried’??? We purchased an extended warranty but it recently expired. Will not buy this devise again, that is for sure…especially if we have to pay Netflix for the dvd!

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