Form and function combine
Wharfedale, Roth and Audioengine all come from traditional hi-fi backgrounds, and their old-fashioned rectangular speakers can look dated alongside a Mac. But these are tried and trusted designs, and the sturdy materials used can deliver a strong sound.
In contrast, Creative has a background developing computer accessories, and its compact T30 speakers are designed to fit neatly alongside a smaller laptop computer. The T30 also place all its main controls in a convenient places on the front of the right-hand speaker – whereas Audioengine and Wharfedale hide their volume controls around the back.
The transparent, spherical design of Harman Kardon’s Nova speakers is really eye-catching (even if they do occasionally end up rolling across the desk). However, our award for the most striking design must surely go to Edifier’s Luna Eclipse, whose crescent-moon speakers make it look as though you have a pair of Death Stars plugged into your Mac…