Buying a new laptop, whether it’s a netbook for social networking, a rugged device for business travel, or even a serious gaming machine with all the latest graphics, involves some careful choices over technology. But not matter how sophisticated the laptop, one area of universal complaint is about the general level of audio quality.The Verbatim Portable USB Audio Bar aims to overcome that failing.
Little size, big noise
It’s an obvious solution: a separate portable speaker system that doesn’t take up too much space and provides you with the sound quality you’re after. And on first impression, the Verbatim comes up trumps.
It’s designed in glossy piano black plastic, measures a minuscule 200x34x34mm (wdh) and weighs a featherweight 108g. As the name suggests, it’s connected to the laptop via USB, on the end of a 60cm speaker cable, and is recognised by the computer within seconds, without the need to install any extra drivers.
The Audio Bar is both PC and Mac compatible, and contains two 40x20mm pre-amplified, magnetically shielded metal drivers. The result is 2 Watts maximum volume with balanced stereo digital sound. We found little or no distortion, even at full volume, and although the keyboard doesn’t shudder uncontrollably with every drum solo, you should find the bass level is good enough to do most tracks justice.
Ironically, the one significant disappointment with this unit isn’t to do with audio but with design. For some strange reason, Verbatim has gone for a thin retractable clip to hold the Audio Bar in place on the top of the laptop screen – but this only works if you tilt the bar backwards using the ‘feet’ at the front. It’s highly precarious, and makes much more sense to just place the bar on the base just above the keyboard. It’s something might need to rethink for future releases.
Contact: Verbatim on 01784 439781
- Satisfying sound boost.
- Terrible attachment.
The Verbatim Portable USB Audio Bar is slim, compact, easy to set up and provides a welcome audio volume boost and a decent level of sound separation and base response. It's let downslightly by a feeble method of attachment, which could definitely do with an overhaul.