The Speakers:Like the Audiobyte system, it uses our 75-watt-per-channel amplifier, so it’s very powerful for this category of product. Also available in the line up is the M2-based version which is a 5.25-inch based speaker and the M3-based version which is a 6.5-inch based system.
The Subwoofer:The new subwoofer is similar to the other one which was in the old computer speaker line up, but we’ve gone to a high power driver. This is actually the same driver that we use in the M100 floorstanding speaker, so it's really powerful. We’ve increased the amp power dramatically and this small subwoofer actually uses the same amplifier that’s in the EP125 subwoofer, which is 200 watts RMS power; around 500 watts peak. It’s a pretty powerful sub - even though it looks the same as the last version it’s quite a bit more powerful, both from the perspective of the driver and the amplifier.
I’ll let Andrew speak a bit more to the technical side to what we’ve done with the amplifier section which is now mounted in one of the speakers because that is also a very important part of our new computer speaker line up.
Andrew: While we were developing this new line we wanted to address many of the issues that we see with computer speaker systems out on the market.
One of those, as Ian already pointed out, is amplifier power. Typically in these sorts of systems we see 10 watt, 15 watt, maybe 20 watt-a-channel amplifiers, but we didn’t want to limit the dynamics of the electronics, so that it didn’t match the dynamic capability of our loudspeakers. So in doing that, we went with a full powered amplifier, 75 watts x2, which is more than enough output level for anything that is going to be used in a computer system.
One thing that’s also excellent with having a system with lots of head room and good dynamics is if you’re a gamer, these are the perfect systems. They’ll give you far more output than the typical computer speaker out on the market.
One of the other things we wanted to address was the sound card quality that’s in a typical computer, particularly laptops. They’re generally not very good quality: the electronics is sitting inside the computer system with all the noise from the power supply and all the other electronics there.
Improving Your Speaker's Fidelity:We wanted to isolate the electronics completely from the computer system. So to do that we’ve incorporated a USB DAC (or Digital to Analogue Converter).
Simply plugging the cable into the DAC into the back of the speaker and then plugging the other end into your computer, the system will automatically load the required drivers and now what’s happening is that all of the audio signal is being transferred digitally to the speaker. So there is no noise, you’ve isolated the system from the frankly normally low quality sound card that is built into the computer and you get far better fidelity.
Convenient Playback Options:One of the other things that I’ll mention here is that we’ve got a 3.5mm or 1/8th-inch jack here to accept an analogue input. So if you wanted to plug your smartphone or tablet and listen to music off of it, you can easily do that by plugging into that 3.5mm jack. Really, any device that has a standard line level output can be plugged into that jack.
Also on the back, as Ian mentioned we have a dedicated subwoofer for this system, so there is an RCA for the sub-level output, and a pair of 5-way binding posts that slave to the other unit. All of the electronics in this series is in one of the channels, and the other speaker is simply passive version.
Ian: Great, thanks Andrew. I think to wrap it up, we’re pretty excited about this new line up, with the ability to connect digitally with USB and the more dynamic speaker system - 75 watts per channel - that’s a lot of power when you’re sitting that close to the speaker! And also our new higher powered subwoofer. By the way, because there is a simple RCA output to the subwoofer, the reality is you can use any of our subwoofers, so if you really wanted to get crazy you could put an EP175 or EP350 in there if you wanted to!