Every portable computer, from the brawniest desktop replacement to the tiniest netbook, has one thing in common: terrible speakers. There’s no shortage of powered speaker systems on the market—some of which are very good—but what’s the point of using a laptop if you have to tether it to a box to get good sound?
Klipsch has a better solution: The ProMedia 2.1 Wireless uses a USB transmitter to send audio from the host PC to the speakers over the airwaves. The speakers themselves are all hardwired, with the amplifier tucked inside the subwoofer. And lordy, what a subwoofer it is. There’s a 6.5-inch long-throw, side-firing driver housed inside a bass-reflex enclosure with a front port. The sub cabinet also houses the wireless receiver and the 200-watt amplifier that powers all three channels. Klipsch claims line-of-sight range of 30 feet and our experience backs that up. If you’re looking for a wireless audio system that will send audio from a computer in one room to speakers in another, this isn’t the right solution.
For the most part, Klipsch bowed out of the multimedia computer speaker market a long time ago, leaving behind a rabid fan base hoping it would one day return. That day has come, sort of. Klipsch is back and has brought with it a new 2.1 speaker-set, or more accurately, a new twist on an existing 2.1 setup.
It's hard to believe Klipsch's original ProMedia 2.1 speakers have been around for almost a decade. The new ProMedia 2.1 Wireless purports to look and sound like the THX-certified original, only this time without the wires. Replacing them is a USB wireless transmitter that plugs into your notebook's USB port.
"Only a few simple steps are required to get the ProMedia Wireless up and running. Just plug, play, and enjoy the full sonic impact of your music, movies, and games without being tied down, "said Don Inmon, Klipsch director of product development for personal audio. "No router or installation software is needed."
Klipsch says the wireless range extends about 30 feet in a single room, making it deal for dorm rooms, offices, living rooms, or anywhere else you might tote your notebook.