Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Logitech AudioHub Notebook Speakers

(Review) - Logitech continues to add its special touch to one product after another. Today, it's AudioHub's turn, and needless to say, we like it. Really, Logitech's Product Managers have become the tech industry's rock stars who deserve to have their autographs taken from consumers worldwide. Give it enough time, and it may just happen.

AudioHub is a portable 2.1 speaker system for notebook computers. While the performance isn't great, the product design is flawless. The slim, slender speaker is portable and integrates all three units (subwoofer and two satellites) to a single stand, making it easy to carry. Naturally, the product is finely finished with a professional touch at everything. Even better, there are no buttons on AudioHub other than a big, plastic volume dial on the right edge that glows orange when the speaker is powered on. Even the dial is hidden well from unsuspecting eyes, and if nothing, it will add to the overall ambiance in dull lighting.

Microsoft Zune 2

Working with AudioHub was effortless. All you need to do is connect the USB connector to the available port in your notebook, connect the AC power adapter (main source of power) to an empty wall outlet and power up the speakers. No drivers required, and the installation is as easy as 1, 2, 3. It's also sleek to have three additional USB ports on the speaker to connect additional devices, which a lot of us will find productive. Then comes the flexible size. Logitech's AudioHub can slide in/out to match the length of the speaker to your notebook, where the two satellites are visible from each side of the notebook with the subwoofer hidden behind the display. We found that to be great; it gave it a desktop-like appearance to our notebook. Then there's the plastic Webcam stand that connects to the speaker unit to hold the Webcam just behind the display for secure holding. Now that's something we never expected, and were delighted to utilize it. Of course, the Webcam add-on is only exciting to those of us who regularly use our Webcams. For everybody else, it's a useless gimmick at best. And finally, you can't forget about the built-in cable control that automatically enables you to wrap around those long power cables behind the speaker for a tidy look.

From a performance standpoint, we weren't too impressed. Despite AudioHub's best efforts, the subwoofer fell short on our expectations. It was weak and lacked the ever important thump that's a must-have for many musical genres. Satellites did their best to compensate for the subwoofer, but these little beauties could only hold on for so long before giving up. The lows, mids and highs were acceptable but far from qualifying for the excellence category. On the other hand, AudioHub is an amazing alternative to integrated notebook speakers, which are a joke to begin with. Volume levels were good, and we could crank up the volume far enough to hear audio loud and clear without actually having to push it all the way up and entering the static zone.

All in all, Logitech's AudioHub notebook speakers are effective, but their performance could use some improvement. Nonetheless, they are a good solution if you are looking to replace your notebook speakers, and for ~$85.00, they are not too expensive. We could even find them for lower prices from slightly unknown online retailers, so the deal gets even better.

Click here to check out the latest prices on Logitech's AudioHub!

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