SoundpaX – Cardboard Speakers review

yes, really, they are
Photo of SoundpaX – Cardboard Speakers
£30

Speakers need to be big and heavy with substantial cones and strong magnets to pump them in and out, don’t they? Well, yes and no. Yes, if they use a conventional design with separate speakers unit for different frequencies all fitted into a permanent box. But almost none of this description fits the SoundpaX speakers.

For a start they come flat-packed in a triangular box. Secondly, they’re made of cardboard and thirdly they have only one electrical transducer for each complete speaker. Using a newly-developed device from NXT (www.nxtsound.com) which is fitted directly to the thick cardboard of each speaker’s front face, the whole surface of the speaker vibrates to make the sound.

The speakers themselves are about the size of traffic cones, though they’re shaped like truncated, tall pyramids, rather than being truly conical. Once you’ve folded them out and locked them open, you can connect the supplied speakers cables to the terminals on the back of each speaker and run them to your amplifier.

Although you could run them from your sound card, it would be better to take a feed to a hi-fi amplifier and run the output of that to the speakers, which can take 10W RMS continuous.

So what do they sound like? Treble and mid-range frequencies are surprisingly good and they’re ideal for singer-songwriter-type material, where the accent is on the higher registers. Piano music is also quite well reproduced. It has to be said they don’t produce a lot of bass, though you can compensate for this a bit using the tone controls on your amp.

There’s enough volume to make them useful at house parties though they’d probably be a bit swamped in anything but a small garden. Although you might think the cardboard would make them a bit delicate, they’re actually reasonably robust. They are obviously susceptible to water, though, so you wouldn’t want to leave them out in a garden overnight, even in summer.

One of the most convenient aspects of the speakers is that you can fold them down again when not in use and tuck them away in a cupboard or under a bed. Good for students, then, particularly at the price.

Company: SoundpaX

Contact: 0870 900 9870


Verdict
The idea of a pyramid-shaped cardboard speaker where the cardboard is used as the sound resonator is unconventional, but the SoundpaX speakers works surprisingly well. At the price, they don't have to last forever, and there's always the possibility of conducting repairs with a Stanley knife and a tube of UHU.