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Installing the speakers is a simple case of plugging the USB cable into an available port on your computer. Windows will recognise and install the speakers almost instantly and before you know it, you're ready to go - never has the term 'plug and play' been truer. As someone that's probably been witness to every conceivable problem that occurs from installing a piece of hardware in a PC, to have these speakers just work was quite a breath of fresh air.
Two drivers power the audio side of things along with two accompanying bass reflex ports positioned just to the inside of each driver. Together they manage to create quite an impressive sound that puts most small laptop setups to shame and can easily fill a small room. Bass is obviously lacking and if you plan to get down and party with a set of these you may be disappointed but for more sedate activities - like pre-clubbing drinking games - they will more than suffice.
I listened to a variety of music to put the speakers through their paces but started off with something clean and simple, namely Crosses from the album Veneer by Jose Gonzales. The gentle rhythmic guitar work is well defined but has a harsh edge and lacks depth as a result of the limited bass reproduction. Most strikingly, though, the speakers tend to struggle with the wide dynamic range so quiet passages get lost while louder sections kick in with a bit of a start. However, striking up something more compressed and a little less challenging, like Green Day's Hitchin' A Ride, showed the speakers were more than capable for a bit of that gosh darn popular music.
All in all these speakers are very easy to use and will improve the sound quality of any but the largest of laptops, which is great for someone that's travelling light (i.e. for business). However, the lack of any other auxiliary audio input or battery power means they're unsuitable for camping or any other occasion where you're going to be away without your laptop. Moreover, if you are off on a proper holiday where travelling light is less of a concern, you'd be better served by a slightly larger, more powerful set.
If the speakers on your laptop are too weedy for words and you're fed up of being tethered by your headphones, the USB powered Sony SRS-T10PC portable speaker set may be just perfect for you. However, the lack of battery power or auxiliary input means their uses are limited (campers and backpackers need not apply) and more powerful mains options are available for those holidaying in a hotel or self catering apartment.
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