Almost imperceptibly, home PCs – and laptops in particular – have taken their place alongside mainstream entertainment devices like TVs and stereos, and people are just as likely to dial something up on Spotify or YouTube as they are on Channel 4 or from a favourite CD. What you need then, is something with a bit more poke than your standard built-in laptop speakers – something like Edifier’s Sound To Go.
It’s a USB-powered micro system with five full range speakers housed in a neat, tubular, brushed aluminium frame that measures 260mm long by 35mm high and 40mm deep; there’s also an AUX in connection for your iPod or MP3 player. The ‘rolling pin’-shaped design is elegant and more convenient than you might think; it sits neatly in front of a laptop for example, but also perches happily on a narrow windowsill or mantelpiece where more conventional speakers just wouldn’t fit.
Sound-wise, if laptop speakers are a three and a decent micro hifi is an eight, then the Sound To Go musters at least a six – and while we wouldn’t use it as a first choice stereo, it’s fantastic for listening to music while you’re away from home and excellent for watching DVDs or streaming video, when those laptop speakers just don’t hack it. There’s no setup required – you just plug the device into a USB port, and that’s that. The volume control’s a bit quirky – tapping it repeatedly turns it up, a good solid push and hold turns it down – but you can always handle that from the PC end; plugging in something like an iPod via the AUX connection grabs control away from the USB so two people can’t fight over who gets to play their music. It must be plugged into a USB socket for power, though.
Contact: Edifier on +852 8200 1383
- Good looks, decent enough sound quality.
- Rather an odd volume control.
The Sound To Go won't suit every setup, and it's best matched to a modern, quiet machine (for fun, we tried some Vaughan Williams on our six-year-old Dell, which sounds like a helicopter taking off - not a good idea) but it's well priced, looks good, feels solid and has enough oomph to make a real difference if you fancy a bit of portable partying.