I wanted to love these, but they hit a pet peeve
Reviewed in the United States on 20 February 2020
Man, I really wanted to love these. I've been using a set of Bose Companion 2 speakers on my PC. They have pretty good sound, but the majority of what I'm "listening" to on my computer comes from YouTube videos and audiobooks that are very speech heavy. I felt like my Bose were a little more suited for music and some of the vocals were muddier than I'd like (and there's no quick way to change the sound without a dedicated EQ program,) so I tried these, as it was simple to change the audio settings from the remote, depending on what I was listening to at the time. Having the ability to use USB and Bluetooth was an added bonus. I set them up and tried them out. Yes, the sound was good! Easy to change the EQ with the remote, got a bit more clarity on the voices in my shows - but there was something off. I stopped my show. About 10-15 seconds later, I noticed the room felt even more quiet than it had since I stopped the show. Then I got a notification on my computer and 10-15 seconds later, it got MORE quiet. I played around and realized, while these speakers don't have the dreaded electronic "hum" that some powered speakers emit, there is a low, sort of air wooshing sound (best I can explain) when the speakers engage. Once I picked up on it, I could hear it underneath the audio as well as when the audio stopped. The wooshing noise continues for about 10-15 seconds after ANY sound is made on the computer. Email notification ding? Another 10-15 seconds of white noise follows until the speakers actual go silent. EVERY. TIME. As a person with sensory issues, it quickly became bothersome and distracting to me. I tried changing settings, I tried changing volumes, it never went away. It's like a processor or something in the speaker engages any time they make a sound and just stays on waiting, then turns off if there's no additional sound. Next sound, there it is again.
Just in case this was a normal thing I hadn't noticed with my previous speakers, or a cord issue, I unplugged the audio cable from Creative speakers and plugged it directly into the Bose speakers. Then I tested. Played sound, stopped, NO sound whatsoever when the audio stopped. No latent wooshing after notifications; just pure silence. The ability to change the EQ with the remote and connect via Bluetooth was AWESOME and I really, really wanted to be able to keep these but the wooshing is just too bothersome for me, personally. A lot of people would probably never notice that background noise or be bothered by it, and for those people, these will be fantastic speakers and I really think you'll love them. For people using these speakers in an otherwise silent room, who are sensitive to ambient noises, that extra 10-15 seconds of white noise that drags on after every single time there is ANY sound made by your computer, may become as nerve wracking for you as it was for me.
Bluetooth connection was quick and easy, the remote was easy to use, and the change of sound modes via the remote was subtle but substantially different for each of the 4 options.
The volume on the remote ONLY controls the actual speaker volume itself, not the computer volume, or the volume from your Bluetooth device. For example, with the physical speaker volume all the way up, but the PC or cell phone volume is at 20%, pressing volume up does nothing but make the speakers emit a low beeping noise to indicate they are already at full volume. In order for the remote volume to be useful for you from across the room, you'll basically need the source (PC, Cell phone, etc) volume at 100% and control all speaker volume with the remote or directly from the volume buttons on the right speaker. It's workable, but worth knowing ahead of time, if that's going to be an issue for you.
Overall, between the wooshing noise and the remote volume setup, I gave these an overall score of 3/5 stars, because either of those issues alone would each lose a star for me.
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