Friday, 29 July 2011

Speakers for home working

Today I have been playing with new computer speakers. I've made the mistake of lending my trusty Altec Lansings to a family member and I have a feeling they're going to be a while, so I was pleased when a pair of Cubiks from Palo Alto Design arrived (see picture).

Once you've assembled them, just a matter of putting the stands on then linking them up, you need to select them in your sound output on your computer and you can start using them immediately. They look good on the desk, much more compact than my last speakers, and if they don't have the same oomph in the bass department that's probably because they haven't got a great big one foot tall subwoofer under the desk. For the size the sound reproduction is remarkable. They're not cheap at £179 but they're a good buy for people who're going to spend a lot of time working at home.

If I had a couple of wish-list things then they'd be around the cabling. First I'd be wanting a standard audio jack as an option instead of USB; this is fine for the computer of course, but I'd kind of like to try attaching them to the telly as well for better audio. (The manufacturer will no doubt want to point out this isn't what they're for; frankly when I pay £179 for something I like to get a decent bit of use out of it).

The second point is the length of the cables. I'd like my speakers spread a little wider on the desk so I get a bit more stereo spread and frankly it's not going to happen, first because the power attaches to the right speaker and I happen to have my power point to the left of the computer and partly because the cable between the two is only 3ft or so,

These are minor points. I've spent a day at work with decent sound reproduction instead of the tinny internal speakers on my iMac (which, to be fair, never claimed to be a piece of Hi-Fi sound equipment). Recommended.


  1. Since I wrote this, Palo Alto's PR executives have been in touch to confirm that the USB connection offers a better sound reproduction than my preferred audio jack. I'd still have opted for an audio jack given the choice because of the flexibility but am happy to add Palo Alto's reasoning based on sound quality.

  2. They've been in touch again - busy chaps! Palo Alto has seen the comment about the length of the cable and confirmed that its cables are now six feet long.

    Probably nothing to do with me but since it's my blog I'll take any credit going...


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