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Axiom Audiobyte Desktop Speaker System

Axiom Audiobyte“Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer Axiom is the latest company to wade into the desktop audio fray, joining a few other established, high end audio players in the burgeoning computer audio market (see my recent review of the Dynaudio MC-15 desktop speakers). Like the recently reviewed Audioengine A2’s, the Audiobytes are very, very small (6.5 x 5.5 x 4 inches), appealing to those with limited desk space to cede to speakers…”

Dynaudio MC-15 Loudspeakers: The World’s Best Desktop Speakers?

Dynaudio MC-15 Desktop Loudspeakers (small)

“Dynaudio bravely saddles their new MC-15 powered speakers with the moniker “multimedia”, a term that, to many, conjures up images of the cheaply priced, and even more cheaply made, plastic boxes adjacent to most of the world’s computer monitors. To describe most multimedia speakers as awful is an understatement akin to suggesting that Germans like beer. The crafty Danes at Dynaudio, of course, know that speakers meant to be used with computers (and iPods, cell phones, gaming consoles etc.) need not suck…”

Desktop Speaker Showdown - Measurements

Genelec HT 208

“These three powered monitors were measured in our standard fashion, and all performed reasonably well, with good dispersion to 30 degrees off axis, and the required slight reticence in the midrange you need for a speaker you listen to at close quarters. I can see why Aaron was less enthusiastic about the Edifier, with its rolled-off treble and upper midrange. Though very flat through the range from 70 to 1000 Hz, it was about 7 dB down by 4 kHz, with little life above, and zilch sheen at the top…”

Genelec HT 208 Active Speaker System

Genelec HT 208

“The HT 208 is a two-way design featuring an 8″ mid/woofer (which, although the material is not specified, seems to be made of polypropylene) and a 1″ metal dome tweeter. The tweeter is mounted in what Genelec calls a Directivity Control Waveguide�. It’s basically metal plate which sets the tweeter a little deeper into the cabinet, creating a slight horn-loading effect. This not only squeezes more efficiency from the tweeter, the Genelec website notes that “the improved directivity control reduces the reflected sound at the listening position…”

Swans T200A Active Speaker System

Genelec HT 208

“If the T200A is aimed at the professional/studio market it sure doesn’t look it. In contrast to the non-descript looking black boxes one often finds in studio environments, the T200A is a rather bold looking speaker. It features a triangular front baffle faced with a silver coloured aluminum plate. Two more triangular sections finished in shiny black piano lacquer slope back from the baffle and then stop about a third of the way into the speaker’s 27 cm depth. The rear section of the speaker consists of a more traditionally shaped box which is ported at rear…”

Edifier R1900 Active Speaker System

Genelec HT 208

“At only $99.00 the Edifier R1900 is designed to compete at what is perhaps best described at the upper low end of the multimedia speaker world. It’s certainly a large step above the trashy plastic stuff, and styled to look like a semi-serious bookshelf speaker. From afar it may even look like one, but a close look reveals fit and finish befitting a bargain priced product, especially the vinyl “wood” covering the sides…”

Desktop Speaker Showdown - Introduction

Genelec HT 208

“As maligned as it is by many audiophiles, the compact disc made the idea of having a serious audio system at work truly practical. Audiophiles lucky enough to have a work environment which could accommodate a pair of bookshelf speakers and a little integrated amp or receiver (or, for some CEO/corner office types, much more elaborate setups) could increase quality of life on the job significantly with some well reproduced music to help the day fly by…”

PMC AML1 Powered Monitor Loudspeaker

PMC AML-1

“There’s a lot more to this compact speaker than meets the eye, especially if you look at it only from the front. The AML1 is not only a powered loudspeaker, it is bi-amped, with a sophisticated electronic crossover built in. In fact, it’s a truly hybrid Bryston/PMC product, with the all the circuitry of a 3B ST driving the woofer/midrange (140 watts rms), a 2B ST driving the tweeter (70 watts rms), and a modified 10B providing the driver integration after the balanced XLR input (pin 2 hot)…”

Paradigm Active 40 Loudspeaker

Paradigm Reference Active-40

“Now something of a pioneer in consumer active speakers, Paradigm is becoming very good at it, as the listening tests showed. Engineering a speaker from a line-level input onward gives the designers control of much more of the ultimate performance than when designing a speaker to work from an amplifier output. Of course, the amplifier(s) employed must be very good, or the design will be compromised…”

How we Measure Loudspeakers

Audioengine 5 Powered Speaker System

“Questions arise from time to time about how to interpret the measurements shown with each speaker review. Here’s an explanation of each of the curves in our charts from top to bottom, starting with that showing frequency responses. Pink Noise Sweep: Here at AIG we measure speakers in a room, using some absorbent materials to minimize reflections…”


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

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