AC power vs. USB: The trade-offs

PCWorld (USA) - - Feature -

Good speak­ers will pro­duce full, de­tailed au­dio that sounds as the cre­ator in­tended it.

Be aware, though, that find­ing strong bass re­sponse in this price range can be chal­leng­ing. With­out a sub­woofer, 2.0 sys­tems have trou­ble re­pro­duc­ing low fre­quen­cies. The man­u­fac­tur­ers of­ten use tech­no­log­i­cal tweaks to beef up the bass notes, but these can sound boomy, and muddy the over­all mix. If a deep, con­trolled bot­tom end is a pri­or­ity, a 2.1 sys­tem might be a bet­ter in­vest­ment. Both these op­tions are preva­lent in the sub-$60 price range. Usb-pow­ered speak­ers re­duce cord clut­ter, as they don’t need a sep­a­rate power ca­ble. How­ever, they can’t sup­ply as much juice as the AC va­ri­ety, so they tend to pro­duce lower vol­ume and less bass.

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