Mac-Matching Speakers Handsome Enough To Clear Your Desk For

I’m pretty sure I have some speakers on my desk. I say “pretty sure” because, while I can hear them loud and clear, I haven’t been able to see them amongst the clutter for many months now. I’m just terrified of unplugging the little cable from my MacBook’s jack socket in case I can never listen to music again. Not that I can find my MacBook either.

But the UCubes might be the answer. First, they hook up via USB, sucking both sound and power out through the bus, meaning I can leave my existing speakers hooked up, just in case.

Second, they are so handsome that I might be inspired to do my annual spring clean a few months early to allow them full aesthetic access to my desk. Where by “spring clean” I mean “sweep everything but my computer into a box and start over.”

The second speaker is joined to the first by a wire, and the 5 watts from the USB socket is somehow translated into 2×15 watts of speaker noise. This Watt-sextupling miracle is clearly achieved with science beyond the understanding of a messy-desked moron like me.

The brushed aluminum boxes will match your Mac perfectly, and the DSP inside will supposedly produce better sound than you’d get from letting your Mac do the work before squeezing the results out through that thin headphone cable.

The price for this pair of stylish speakers? A relatively reasonable $150.

  • TrickyPaladin

    Who cares what they look like? Speakers should be judged primarily on how they sound.

    The product page seems to indicate they have some sort of battery that boosts the power output so you don’t need an additional power supply. “UCubes’ “smart” DSP-controlled power supplies store energy during quiet passages allowing the class-D amplifier to reach a full 15W equivalent power output”

    What happens when the battery runs out? 15 watts for $150 seems a little weak. There are far better 2.0 desktop speakers for less than $100. I recommend the Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II. They aren’t audiophile speakers, but they have plenty of bass and a full sound that lets you hear details in your music that you won’t hear on cheaper speakers. They also sound amazingly clear and loud for movies even without the surround sound.

  • Macinscott

    I care what anything that goes on my desk looks like, and I’m still searching for a reasonably priced set of 2.1 computer speakers.
    The Harman Kardon Soundsticks III ($169) fit my price range and gets great reviews but I feel the design is very dated.
    The Bose Companion 5 are too expensive ($359)
    The JBL Creature III ($97) would just be a replacement for my Creature II which are average.
    Any suggestions for a sub-$200 speaker system for my 27″ iMac?

  • TrickyPaladin

    The Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 Computer Speakers are highly acclaimed and $150:
    http://www.klipsch.com/promedia-2-1-computer-speakers

    If I had $200 to spend on a quality 2.0 set, I’d probably get the Audyssey Wireless Speakers which are on sale now:
    http://audyssey.com

    I actually bought the Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II for $65 from Amazon on Black Friday. They’re the little brother of the T40 I mentioned before. I’m very happy with them. They have everything I want in a 2.0 package. Powerful, tight bass that doesn’t sound like rumbles and farts like 2.1 systems can, and incredible clarity of sound that comes from the woven-glass woofers and cloth-dome tweeters. And they’re the same height as my 15″ MacBook Pro. Of course, I can imagine that some $500 speakers like the Audioengine 5+ or the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 sound better, but for my first high-quality speaker purchase, my Creative T40s sound phenomenal for the size and price.

    There are a lot of great reviews of speakers that critique them in terms of how they sound, written by people who are expert listeners and music lovers. This article is not one of them.

  • Steven Quan

    I got the Bose Companion 2’s for $99 and I think they sound great. They will probably have better bass and a better, more powerful sound than the little speakers featured above.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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