HARDWARE

A Little Office Music

A look at 4 sets of cool computer speakers
Clockwise From Left Harman Kardon GLA-55, Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra, Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Wireless, JBL Creature III
Advertisement

Thanks to iTunes, Web radio, and sites like Pandora, more computers are doing double duty as stereos. Can these speakers do your music justice?

HARMAN KARDON GLA-55 ('…'…'…'…)

Bell chimes and cymbal crashes on a U2 song were loud and clear on these speakers, which have 112 watts of combined power for lots of volume. Touch-sensitive volume buttons were easy to adjust, and the casing, made from the same material as bulletproof glass, makes a bold statement. COST: $1,000

ALTEC LANSING EXPRESSIONIST ULTRA ('…'…'…)

Our second choice, these speakers had less-distinct bass than the Harman Kardons, even with a separate subwoofer, but they reached a higher volume, thanks to 88 extra watts of power. On the downside, the dial on the volume controller was hard to turn. COST: $199

KLIPSCH PROMEDIA 2.1 WIRELESS ('…'…)

These speakers sync with your computer wirelessly using a USB dongle, though they connect with wires to a subwoofer that plugs into an outlet. The speakers have a peak power of 200 watts, but the sound was a bit fuzzy, perhaps because of wireless interference. COST: $199

JBL CREATURE III ('…)

These small speakers, which are just 2 inches tall, produce surprisingly distinct sound and feature handy touch-sensitive volume controls. But with a combined peak power of just 10 watts, they have the least oomph of the test group, and they look a bit flimsy. COST: $130

IMAGE: Courtesy Companies
Last updated: Mar 1, 2010

JOHN BRANDON | Columnist

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: