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SoundScience QSB review

Andrew Williams



  • Recommended by TR
SoundScience QSB


Our Score



  • Great sound
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good-looking


  • On the expensive side
  • No secondary input
  • USB power only

Review Price £89.99

Key Features: USB-powered; 4cm BMR drivers; Carry case included; miniUSB connector; No PC drivers required

Manufacturer: SoundScience

Speakers that don't plug into the mains - or into a dedicated amp - aren't known for their robust sound and loud volume. However, when you're out and about a power socket's hardly ever handy. The Soundscience QSB speakers offer a genial solution without reverting to packing-in batteries - they're powered through a computer's USB port.

At £89.99, the Soundscience QSB aren't cheap. For the same price you could buy a full 5.1 speaker system for your desktop, but these two types of speaker set are talking to different audiences. These can certainly stay rooted to a desk if you want, plugged into your home computer, but to leave them doing so is to miss the point.

SoundScience QSB

These speakers are begging to go on adventures with you, but at the same time they're not ultra-portable. Each speaker housing spans just under 10cm in each dimension and is fashioned out of ultra-tough, seemingly very thick glossy plastic, apart from the coated-metal grille on the front. The silvery edges aren't metal, much as it may look like they are from a distance. A brief glance may make you equate the Soundscience QSB with cheap PC speakers, but they're poles apart. They're solidly built and don't creak or flex under pressure at all.

SoundScience QSB

As a result they'll handle some rough treatment, but in order to keep that shiny finish at its best, a decent carry case is included too. It's lightly rubberised and almost as tough as the speakers themselves. Moulded to the shape of the Soundscience QSB, it doesn't take up much additional space but is still a hefty slab that'll fill a significant portion of the space in a rucksack, and certainly won't fit in the average handbag.

SoundScience QSB

On the bottom of each speaker are four rubber feet, to give them a bit of grace when they land on whatever surface you finally settle for. On the back of each there's just one gold-coloured, metal speaker terminal. It's a proper hi-fi phono connection too - none of that 3.5mm jack rubbish here. One speaker back also features a mini-USB port, but the rest of the speakers' bodies are blank. No buttons, no volume control - just smooth, shiny excellence.

The design is virtually seamless - literally. We can't find any way to open the speaker boxes up, and it'll take a while to even find out where its seams are. It feels like one solid lump of plastic. It may not sound as impressive as the metal unibody designs of Apple's laptops, or such like, but there's a similar high-quality vibe going on here.

SoundScience QSB

An "audiophile grade" cable used to connect the two speakers is included, as well as a miniUSB-to-USB cable, to plug them into a computer. The ends of the speaker cable are lightly magnetised too. It's another neat little signpost of quality that does have some use - it means the fit between the RCA connectors can be a little looser, reducing damage whenever a cable's accidentally yanked out quickly. And that's more likely to happen with a portable product like this than a home-bound set.

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jps IT

May 24, 2011, 12:14 pm

Hey guys, do these work as speakers on an iPad / iPhone with the USB part of the apple camera connection kit? I currently use a Logitech USB AudioHub for this - which needs a seperate mains adaptor.... wondered if these are able to draw enough power from the iPad socket...


May 24, 2011, 1:36 pm

Unfortunately we don't think they'll interface with an iPad as they won't be able to take the audio output from the dock port. It's a shame as they would make a fantastic pair.


May 24, 2011, 2:09 pm

If you want alternative, good quality portable speakers, I can recommend the Soundtraveller K3000ST from Powertraveller.com
You can power them from the mains, AA batteries, USB and even the solar panel that the same company do (I have this too! Really good in the summer!) The sound quality is fantastic. I actually used them with my main PC for a while to play Crysis 2!
Disadvantages are that they are a single unit and so sound separation wont be as good as these reviewed here and they take sound input from either the built in iPod dock or a 3.5 mm jack - no USB sound input.

Can i also request that Trusted Reviews get some of the other gear this Company do in for review as its all really cool and useful stuff (Powergorilla, Powermonkey, Solarmonkey, Startmonkey etc!!)


July 8, 2011, 1:34 am

Bought these for the Mrs the other day and I'm very impressed! For speakers so small the sound is pretty amazing. The top-end in particular is very crisp, without lapsing into harshness. They are good enough to show the differences in quality between high bitrate and low bitrate internet radio. Bass is obviously not going to be deep or prodigious, but they are fine for casual/background listening.


July 8, 2011, 1:34 pm

Glad to hear you like them. We had to send our review sample back sadly! I kinda miss them.


September 30, 2012, 7:14 pm

Purchased the speakers earlier this year from Amazon, I like them very much, the quality and sound is superb connected to my laptop, however just lately they have developed a problem with the audio jack connection. I should add that they have been very carefully looked after and not had any adverse handling whatsoever. The lead connector on the AUDIO IN has since new always been looser than the connector to the speaker marked with the USB/ AUDIO OUT connectors. I now find that I am unable to get sound sometimes, either that or it crackles on this AUDIO IN speaker. To get constant sound I have to fiddle with the cable and offer some support to the lead to provide a true connection. This is tiresome and not too happy about it considering the price I paid. It would be interesting to find if anyone else has or is suffering this same problem?
I want to contact the manufacturer but uncertain where to direct my complaint. Help from anyone out there would be be appreciated.


April 3, 2013, 9:44 am

get 'em back and try them with Windows 8. See if you still recommend them ;-)


December 11, 2013, 6:07 am

Is it possible to use the two 2 x left channel speakers only with rca in or has each speaker got its own amp or is all the amping coming from the usb one ??

The reason I am asking is because they are so cheap now it might be possible to use my Fiio D3 dac into two left speakers signal coming in optical from optical or coax via the dac which is usb powered ( I have some Van Den Hul Hybrid RCA/Coax 75 ohms
cables ?


October 21, 2014, 1:00 pm

Yes I have the exact same problem, though less severe - it seems to be fairly stable at the moment, but there was one tighter than the other (they can only work on one configuration, if the ports are swapped, one is miles too tight. Also I find that I get a lot of crackling noise when they are hooked up to my laptop - it is mitigated by changing the USB slot used but never gets rid of it completely. That aside, they are nice-sounding speakers and work excellently on my desktop

Phil K

August 11, 2015, 8:43 am

Now why should which OS make any difference ?

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