PC Speakers: Cheapos, Turbo-Blasters, Tweaksters...and ZVOX

Posted by Tom Hannaher , Sunday, April 5, 2009
It's fairly remarkable how few choices one has when it comes time to pick an audio system for your computer. There are dozens of really awful-sounding cheap desktop speakers --  but if you like music (and your ears), ignore them.

Then there's the "high horsepower" models that appeal to the gaming crowd with megawatt amplifiers and giant subwoofers. Some of these actually sound pretty decent, but it's pretty rare to find one that's been properly "voiced" for good music reproduction. These guys want loud explosions for Halo and and big car crashes for Grand Theft Auto -- so proper octave-to-octave tonal balance is not a high priority.

At the top of the heap there's a relatively new assortment of ultra-high-end computer sound systems. These $500+ systems can actually sound quite good, and they look kind of cool.

But what's missing, for the most part, is good quality systems in the middle price ranges. I've been involved with the evolution of high-quality computer audio systems since 1994 when I worked with Henry Kloss and Tom DeVesto to create one of the first high-performance PC speakers -- Cambridge SoundWorks' eponymous "SoundWorks" system. Back then the most anyone wanted to spend on PC speakers was about $69. So when we introduced a system for $219, everybody (and I do mean everybody) thought we were crazy. When SoundWorks came out it was one of the two most expensive PC speaker systems on the market. A year later it was right in the middle of the price pack, as more companies introduced better systems.

Over time, market forces have pushed price points, and sound quality, down. But as more and more people are using their computers as music servers, we think it makes more sense for them to consider high quality sound systems that reproduce music accurately -- with low distortion, good dispersion and natural tonal balance. As I type this blog entry I'm listening to the the Beatles' "Love" album on the ZVOX 325 system that acts as a stand for my 24" PC monitor. It sounds marvelous, takes up about as much desk space as the monitor would without the speaker, sells for under $300 and -- best yet -- has only one connecting wire.

ZVOX isn't the only company making decent, affordable powered speaker systems for your PC. But we're the only company that give it to you all in one cabinet, with one connecting cord.


Computer Addict said...

I have heard a lot about ZVOX 325 speakers.Do they have sorround sound system? I would love to buy them but i don't think i can afford them at present,maybe some years later.

I have Logitech Z-2300 2.1 speakers. They are steal for the price? They are extremely powerful and only $110 on Amazon. I use them for gaming, music, movies, television, and anything I can use them for.

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