SoundScience QSB review

Small, powered desktop speakers provide clean and open stereo sound Tested at £85

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Compact, clever and with a big, detailed sound, all without batteries or a mains adaptor


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    Excellent sound for their size

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    neat design

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  • -

    Not for big rooms

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    treble can get bright

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There’s a boom in speakers designed to improve on the units in most laptops, but while the neatest answer is to connect them via USB, there is one problem: power.

The solution adopted by SoundScience for the QSB desktop speakers is the DyadUSB package from NXT (or HiWave as the company has just rebranded itself).

It combines efficient flat balanced-mode-radiator drivers with an amp able to deliver up to 15W on USB power.

Reet petite and reet good sounding, too

It’s a neat package: the speakers themselves are around 8.5cm on each side, have metal grilles and come in a rubberised case complete with both USB and interconnecting cables.

And it works really well. The sound won’t fill huge rooms, but for desk-based listening it’s clean, well-weighted and open, with excellent stereo imaging and focus (if sometimes bright at the top end).

We played everything from rock to the Radio 3 320kbps stream, and every time we came up smiling.

These are ideal travel speakers – our pair has already been halfway round the world – and we reckon they’ll be a hit with students, or anyone wanting a second room solution.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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