back to article Ten... Premium iPod Speakers

Audiobores... er.. philes will be the first to tell you that the quest for decent home audio is one best not started with an iPod in one hand and a wad of cash in the other. Apple’s DACs may not be quite the full shilling, and the lack of support for Flac hardly helps the company’s standing among those who have no gods before …

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Klipsch iGroove

Costs £100 and the sound quality is superior to the Bose stuff.

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Sound Sticks

What about Harman Kardon Soundsticks II . They look and sound fantastic, and also work with PCs, TVs etc. (And Macs!)

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Waste of money?

Does no one see the irony of dropping £1000 on an amp/speaker and then feeding it MP3s (as will doubtless be the case), rather than lossless files?

Garbage in garbage out?

Turd polishing?

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Anonymous Coward

Worse

Worse than turd polishing: revealing the faults of compression in all their glory.

Even my M-Audio AV40 computer speakers, at a fraction of the cost, can do that very nicely. It's not that one necessarily notices what;'s wrong, it's the feeling of being tired, rather than happy, after a few minutes of it.

You may say that if I didn't want bad recordings to sound bad, I shouldn't have bought monitor speakers, albeit low-end ones. You'd be right!

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WTF?

Why oh why

Why would anyone spend £600 on speakers? The ones I got cost me £10 and are wonderful - they sound better than the iPod does through my mates £1,000+ hi-fi!

They're powered by USB or batteries, so I can take them anywhere too.

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WTF?

If your ten quid speakers are better than your mate's £1000+ hifi

...something is SERIOUSLY wrong with your mate's hi-fi. (Or your ears?)

Ten quid speakers can sound OK, but a five-hundred-pound hifi will sound MUCH better.

As for me, I'll stick to my squeezeboxen. Never been able to see the point of an iPod dock.

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Coat

unsolicited advice

Let me help you diagnose the problem with your mate's hi-fi. If my suspicion is right, the trouble disappears when you change the line in his equalizer to a nice bowl-y shape and sit right on his subwoofer. This eliminates all those pesky middle frequencies ruining your perfect bass-driven experience.

Uhm, I'm off looking for a sexual partner. Can I have my coat please? It's the one with the empty pockets, 'cause the Apogee Grands didn't fit in there.

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Alien

who creates the energy here?

I'm afraid I am electrotechnically challenged.

Could somebody please explain how just about every system here consumes ~25 Watt and has ~100 Watt output?

I thought that the thumb rule was: take your power input, multiply by the efficiency coefficient (about 60%) and divide through the number of channels? Which means that these systems should actually have about 7.5 W output per speaker?

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The key word...

The key word is "Average", in the label "Average Power:" in the description box. Most players are not pegged to 11 ever single second they are playing - in fact, most are turned right down to 3, or 4. Given their average volume level, their average power requirements follow....

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Lies / Statistics

Most Reg readers will be familiar with the difference between the advertised capacity of a hard disk, and the amount of data you can store.

Much the same occurs in other fields. In this case, the output power is probably measured peak to peak (instead of averaged over time), and the two channels added to make an impressively large number. Contrastingly the power consumption is probably the average over an extended listening period, with the figures massaged to look modest.

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Boffin

Oh so it's AVERAGE...

The figures they are quoting are Peak Music Power Output (PMPO). They are measured in lies. The correct figures are RMS, measured in Watts. The PMPO says what is the maximum ever output power for 1ns (before the capacitors discharge and the power supply gives up). It is not actually possible for it to output PMPO, whereas it can output RMS until you switch it off.

A similar thing would be for me to quote that my car uses 0 fuel at 70MPH, because that is the lowest ever consuption during a 1ns period when all of the injectors are off...

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Anonymous Coward

PMPO

There's an alternative to that. I saw a cheap-as-hell Home Theater In A Box at the supermarket (yes, the supermarket) that sold for $40 or something including a DVD player. The audio output was rated at 40 watts/channel at 10% THD!

That's one way to get your wattage spec up. I still can't figure out if that's more or less honest than the PMPO crap.

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Take a look at AudioEngine 5s

Not specifically for iPods, so you have to use your own iPod dock, but ...

I doubt you can top the sound of these powered speakers at any price.

And at ₤228, they are a real bargain. These guys sure know their stuff.

Sunny Guy (just a happy customer)

P.S. You'll thank me later, if you ever hear these things.

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FAIL

Waste of time and money

Hundreds of quid for something to sit an ipod on? WTF? Go buy some decent hifi kit...

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Balancing act

It depends what's important to you. For some, sound quality is the only consideration and they will spend fortunes in pursuit of exceedingly diminishing returns. That's up to them. For me, sound quality is important but so is convenience.

My iPod stores hundreds of albums in a space smaller than one CD case, gives me easy access to all of them (compared with physically swapping discs in and out of cases) and gives me playlists. I encode my music at a nice high bitrate; for me and everyone I know, in realistic listening conditions, 256Kbps is indistinguishable from CD. I play it through a Roth Audio valve iPod dock and it sounds utterly wonderful. Even my wife says so.

For me, this system hits the perfect balance between sound quality and convenience and I'm willing to pay for that perfect balance. If I spent the cash on better quality HiFi kit instead of the iPod and dock, I doubt I would notice the extra sound quality but I would definitely miss the convenience.

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Stop

Audioengines?

El Reg missed Audioengine's A2 and A5. Built for iPods and truly great computer speakers. Yes, they are available in the UK through 7 unique resellers.

http://audioengineusa.com/

http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcomponents/1207ae/

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Shame the Philips doesn't have bluetooth...

What an omission - otherwise it looks like proper bo'.

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Premium Essential

I think the words 'premium' and 'essential' are contradictory, but the Starcke Zikmu speakers are astonishing....

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