JBL Duet speakers 


I recently moved and in my new apartment I have a use for a pair of desktop speakers. My Monsoon stereo-plus-subwoofer set (2.1 in the jargon) remains very good indeed, but the best place for them in the apartment isn't particularly near the best place for me to work on my laptop.

I could just put them where I work on my laptop, but then they'd be in a lousy place to play when I want music in the living room, and there's no good place for a subwoofer under the table I like to work at.

So I went clicking around, looking for decent desktop or "computer" speakers that included just two stereo speakers and no subwoofer (2.0 in the jargon). I don't need for them to perform well when they're turned up loud since they'll be just a couple of feet from me. The JBL Duets seemed to get reasonably good reviews at Amazon and they were on sale there for $35 delivered. They also have the small advantage that they look reasonably nice from the back which, given how the room is arranged, is how most folks will see them.

Unfortunately, they suck. The highs are muddy and the bass doesn't exist. A cymbal crash sounds like a sketch of a cymbal crash and anything around the tone of a cello or a drum sounds like some irregular thumping that you can just about perceive.

I'm not a lunatic audiophile, but I think I'm also not what Dan Rutter would call, in his inimitable way, a "cloth-eared git". I wasn't expecting wonders from the Duets. They're cheap and it's going to be hard to produce good bass without a subwoofer. But they don't even live up to what I expected for $35. If someone would like a pair and is willing to come to Minneapolis to pick them up, send me an email. You can have them.

If anyone can suggest a 2.0 set of powered speakers that doesn't suck, I'd be glad to hear about them. In the meantime, I'll just wear my Sennheiser PX-100s. 

Posted: Fri - September 2, 2005 at 07:15   Main   Category: