Whilst many audiophiles are punching the air right now, enraged at the very mention of USB-powered speakers, for a normal person they are a necessary compromise. Inferior quality audio at a reasonable price and high-levels of convenience. Still it would be nice to not have to skimp on audio fidelity wouldn’t it? Enter palo alto’s musik USB powered speakers.
Stylish and lightweight, there’s a very real fear when you take the musiks out the box that they are merely there to make your desk look good and provide awful, tinny, audio. Yet despite these bass-less accusations (yes I’m very pleased with that pun) the musik’s sport a surprising amount of punch for something so diminutive.
According to the company the main high-tech component behind this crisp sound quality is a digital audio amplifier circuit that utilises full-digital amplifier technology. This innovative method amplifies a digital audio signal without converting the signal to analogue. Furthermore, the audio signal is sent from the computer to the speaker through a digital USB connection. As the signal is kept in the digital domain until driving the speakers, sound is not degraded by any analogue noise.
The speakers themselves have a nice brushed aluminium look to them and complement sleek, Mac-style notebooks. On the right speaker you will find volume control buttons and a magic bass-boost button, which I left permanently depressed across a range of tracks.
The sound quality is genuinely impressive and the musik’s handled all the gentle Ryuichi Sakamoto tracks I could throw at it. And then, eschewing my traditional test track- Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop” I fired up WTF vs Dead Prez’s Hip Hop dub step remix to see how the musiks fared against “ridiculous” sub bass. The answer? It’s a respectable performance but won’t make your ribcage shudder.
The Palo Alto musiks are available from Amazon for a remarkably low price of £49.99.