The primary benefit of near-field studio monitors like KRK’s VXT 4s is that they don’t interact with the room. And that’s exactly what you need if you’re mixing down tracks in a sonically challenged environment such as a home recording studio, which probably doubles as your bedroom, living room, or garage.
For many, the initials B&W will conjure images of Ansel Adams photographs and Hollywood classics; the thoughts of audiophiles, however, will turn fondly to the legendary speakers of Bowers & Wilkins. The idea of B&W turning its thoughts to the iPod will blanch the cheeks of many a blue blood, but we’re damn happy the Zeppelin has landed.
It’s been 10 years since my first Tannoy encounter. I auditioned the company’s exquisite studio monitors as an associate editor at Electronic Musician, and the acoustic bliss I experienced then lingers still. With that remembrance renewed, I couldn’t wait to hear Tannoy’s i30. Boy, was I disappointed.
We’re consistently amazed by how companies such as Logitech can jam so many features into a set of speakers that sell for $200. And Logitech’s new G51 system is a good value if $200 is the absolute top of your budget and you must have a 5.1-channel system.
Only the best-sounding speakers ever earn our highest praise. Griffin’s Evolve wireless iPod quite speakers don’t reach that height, but their wireless capabilities are almost remarkable enough to overcome their middle-of-the-road sound.
There are so many iPod speaker systems these days that we’ve resolved to cover only the most interesting devices. Boring, me-too products need not apply. Griffin’s Journi made the cut by virtue of its stylish industrial design.
We weren’t surprised that the “U” in Yamaha’s NX-U10 portable speaker system stands for “USB,” but we were taken aback to discover that these tiny speakers can tap a USB port for power as well as digital audio.
We find ourselves as unimpressed with Anthony Gallo’s A’Diva Ti satellite speakers as we are bowled over by the performance of the company’s TR-2 subwoofer. Since you can buy one without the other, we’ve decided to base our verdict on the subwoofer alone.
Studio-monitor manufacturers are increasingly crossing over into the consumer speaker market, giving consumer-oriented brands like Altec Lansing, Bose, Creative Labs, and Logitech a run for their money. Blue Sky International is one of the latest to jump into this segment with its EXO 2.1 system.