Logitech’s AudioHub speaker system provides a much-needed injection of crisp, clear sound to a laptop. As well, the clever design accommodates some handy extras.
It’s a one-piece, three-chamber 2.1 system, with satellite speakers (two-inch tweeters) that slide out to fit around the side of the notebook screen. The central section houses an integrated sub-woofer and the unit connects to a computer via USB and is plugged into a wall outlet for AC power.
You’d expect the AudioHub to produce better audio than built-in laptop speakers, and it does, proving comparable to using an MP3 player and headphones, or playing a CD on a stereo. The sound was excellent when I listened to broadcast radio over the internet, played a CD and a DVD movie. There was no discernible distortion at full volume.
The unit’s weight and dimensions don’t detract from notebook portability – it’s about 90mm high and 500mm wide at full extension. However, since it has to be plugged into the wall, it’s best used with desktop replacements or machines that won’t be moved often.
Setup is easy since it’s plug and play, and no software is required. The AudioHub will work with Windows operating systems from 98 through to Vista, and Mac OS X versions.
Aside from the volume dial/on-off button on the side, (complete with orange LED lighting), there are no other controls for things like treble and bass on the system. However, you can control the device through Windows’ control panel separately from the laptop’s own sound card.
The first of the useful additions are the three high-speed USB ports on the back of the central chamber. As the ports are powered, they are able to run music and media players and other peripherals simultaneously.
Logitech has also provided an optional plastic stand to clip to the front of the system and lift a webcam above the notebook screen. There is also a hook to wrap the power cable around and a USB extension cord.
With an RRP of $199, the AudioHub is also reasonably priced.
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