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LaCie Sound2 speakers review

Verdict:

An attractive set of portable speakers with an integrated USB sound card, but we expect consistently good sound quality at this price.

Review Date: 12 Mar 2010

Price when reviewed: £70

Supplier: http://www.play.com

Reviewed By: Alan Lu

Our Rating 3 stars out of 5

LaCie’s simply-named Sound2 speakers have a minimalist white plastic casing and large, flat and soft black front frames that prop the speakers up at an angle, but also add extra bulk. The volume dial also doubles as the power switch, but it’s located on the back of the right satellite, so it's a bit inconvenient and awkward to reach. We also found that the 1.2m captive cable between the speakers was a little short and didn't give us much flexibility in where we could place them.

There’s a built-in USB sound card, so you can connect the Sound2 speakers to your computer using the captive USB cable. A 3.5mm stereo input means you can use your PC's audio output or plug the speakers into another device, such as an MP3 player or games console.

If you do want to use the USB input, you'll be pleased to know that the Sound2 can draw power this way instead of using the included wall adaptor, which is handy for use with a laptop while out and about. Although a carry case is included and the USB cable wraps neatly around the volume dial when not in use, the added bulk from the front frames makes the speakers uncomfortable to carry. The Sound2 speakers were recognised instantly when connected over USB to laptops running Windows Vista and 7.

As expected for a 2.0 set of speakers, bass-heavy music didn’t sound nearly as thumping and deep as on a quality 2.1 set. The bass sounded boomy but unfocussed. Vocals in pop tracks sounded reasonably clear, but backing instruments in pop and rock tracks can sound muddy. This lack of detail was especially noticeable in orchestral and electronic music, where string instruments and subtle electronic tones sounded flat and indistinct. This improved a little when the Sound2 was connected to our computer using USB instead of a 3.5mm cable, but not by much.

LaCie’s Sound2 speakers are attractive if you want a portable set for use with a laptop, sounding a lot better than most transportable models. However, they don’t sound as well-rounded as we would like, and the lack of clarity and detail is disappointing at this price.

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