A Tube Speaker 

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Unlike the box shaped speakers that those of us of a certain age will have fond memories from our music enjoyment sessions, today’s speakers come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit in with more modern living environments. One example of this trend is the Portable USB Tube speaker which is part of Conceptronic’s Lounge Collection. The USB part of the title immediately gives the clue that this speaker set is for use with a computer rather than a Hi-Fi system.

conceptronics USB tube speakers CLLSPK20P

As the product’s title indicates, this speaker set comes in the form of a tube.  Measuring 140mm in length and a diameter of 75mm, this black tube features speaker grills at either end plus a diagonal cut running round the middle section of the tube.  Following a firm twist, the tube separates into the two speaker units at the point of the diagonal cut.  The sloping end of the two speakers enables them to be positioned so that any output is directed upwards at an angle.

Concealed in the base of each speaker is a lead.  In the case of the main speaker, this is a 60cm USB lead while the secondary speaker has an 80cm audio linking cable with a 3.5mm jack plug.

No software is provided and none is required.  You simply need to attach the USB lead to an available port for the new device to be recognised and made available for use. You can then link the secondary speaker to a socket on the side of the main speaker using the supplied permanently attached lead. The main speaker also features a power LED (power is supplied by the host system), volume up and down buttons plus a button to mute the output.

Attaching the Conceptronic’s speaker system to my desktop system produced rather disappointing audio output.  Admittedly the new speaker set was replacing a pair of Yamaha wooden box speakers.  It was hardly a fair comparison and so I transferred the new speakers to my laptop.  A second reason for the change was that the length of the two permanently attached leads was such that this speaker set is more suitable for use with a laptop.

The difference in audio output was immediately obvious.  The new speaker set produced a far more rounded sound and enough volume to ensure that I kept the level down to around 20% of what was available.  My listening pleasure was certainly enhanced with this new addition.  The easily accessible mute button meant I could immediately cut off any output while the volume level adjustment buttons were equally available and responsive to my touch.

Weighing around 260g, this speaker set is easily portable.  You can reconnect the two sections of the original tube for when you need to take the speakers with you on your travels.  However I did find that it was a rather fiddly procedure to store away the two leads prior to reforming the tube.  This would be my only criticism of this product.  Priced at £18.90, the Conceptronic Portable USB Tube Speaker Set will work on any computer running Windows 2000 and later, Mac OS X or Linux.

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OverallConceptronic Portable USB Tube Speaker rated 60 out of 100

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