Verbatim Portable Speakers
The former, as well as being mains powered, can be run from batteries. Hence, it is ideal for the person who needs more powerful sound, both at home and on the move, than the PC or MP3 player is able to provide.
Consisting of a single base unit 9 x 7cm together with pair of units, roughly 10 by 5 cm, each of which incorporate 2 speakers. Four AAA cells fit in the base unit which also has the controls. These are volume up/down and power buttons together with a LED indicating when power is on. In addition to the standard 3.5mm plug it is provided with a 2.5mm adapter and thus caters for both common sizes of headphone jack on MP3 players, PCs etc.
While there is a limit of what can be expected from such small speakers, I found that the sound is acceptable and far better than the notebook's inbuilt speakers even though, obviously, one cannot compare their performance with far bigger and more expensive units. The speakers (but not the small mains power unit) stowed away conveniently into a small soft case. Hence, at about £20, it is a convenient accessory for anyone who wants that bit of extra sound quality in a convenient package.
One of the other sets, the USB Speaker System consists of two units each of which contains two speakers. The right hand unit has a blue LED power indicator, volume up/down and mute buttons as well as a 3.5mm headphone socket. They are slimly built, matt black in colour, and roughly 17cm tall and will sit comfortably either side of a notebook. The (claimed) 2W RMS total output power seems adequate, both in quality and volume, when either listening to music on a CD or when using Skype.
As they take up so little space, they can conveniently be left out of the way at the back of the desk and so are ready and waiting to be plugged into one’s notebook. Alternatively, as the connection between the two speakers is 90cm long and the USB cable is over 1 metre long, this speaker system can equally well be used with a desktop computer if one is limited for space.
Overall, users could well find that one or other of these Verbatim speaker systems will be a useful addition to their kit.
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