Notebook PCs have terrific video capabilities, and most can produce excellent audio, too. Unfortunately, notebooks are usually equipped with dreadful speakers—and headphones won’t cut it when you’re presenting to a conference room full of people.
We don’t think much of using USB to drive speakers, but it makes perfect sense with Logitech’s V20 powered notebook speakers. Using a single integrated cable, the speakers not only deliver surprisingly good audio, they also enable you to control your notebook’s disc-player functions (play, pause, track skip, volume, and mute) with a set of buttons on the right speaker cabinet. And because they draw power from the bus, you don’t need to carry a second power adapter or worry that your speaker batteries will give up the ghost in the middle of your pitch.
The V20s don’t get very loud—their diminutive amp delivers just one watt to each satellite. The two-inch high-excursion driver, however, does a commendable job delivering crisp highs and mids, while the three-inch pressure drivers produce a modicum of bass. This isn’t hi-fi, by any stretch of the imagination, but neither is it the type of sound system that sucks the enjoyment out of your listening experience.
The speakers, which measure six inches tall and three inches wide, are propped up by kickstands that fold out from the back. The well-padded travel case that comes with the V20s doesn’t have a handle, but you’ll probably slip the kit into your notebook’s case anyway. And the whole package will add just one pound, three ounces to your baggage.
Month Reviewed: December 2005