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  • high quality but SMALL speakers

    hey hey,

    i'm home for a day in my month of March Con Madness and am re-evaluating how i prepare my "training and presentation" road case.

    i've had less than stellar luck recently when attempting to acquire a decent set of speakers to use during lectures (and con room parties) that isn't huge in size or budget. at home with my desktop i have a set of Altec Lansings that i've owned for ages now, a simple two-speaker + subwoofer setup that is very nice.

    naturally i can't go with anything that large in a travel kit, but i'd love to hear any particular recommendations of speakers that offer decent punch and clarity of sound at loud volumes but in a small size. they don't have to be battery powered or anything like that, and i'm not totally limited to a specific budget, but i don't want to break the bank... more than anything else i'm looking for "very good" or "very bad" testimonials of any product that you've ever owned which stands out in a particular way.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

    I used to sell high end home theater systems...what I do know of speakers is mostly applicable to pretty expensive floor units, but..that being said...

    I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for - from what I can understand you don't want to lug a system with a woofer around, so you're looking for ~2 small speakers that accept AC power input.

    There are a lot of configurable systems that you could buy and use a small part of for this, but that seems inefficient in terms of your expenditure.

    Anyway, here's the goods:

    http://www.amazon.com/Virgin-VS2100-.../dp/B000ARIT5G

    That's my best bet. I have a professor who routinely gives seminars all over the country/world and he uses those. I only know this because he brought them to class once to give a lecture and they're *loud* for their size. Pretty compact, for the most part.

    The drawback is that they *are* battery powered, however it's a rechargeable lithium ion. You could pretty easily hack them to be direct power speakers. Also, they have a unique look when traveling, kinda like one of those tubes artists always carry around.

    Maybe ladies will think you're one of those deep sensitive artsy types, and you'll make some new friends.

    /2cents

    hinges


    EDIT:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/portable-spe...5.html?tag=txt

    ^^Those are smaller, less expensive, and you can get a 15$ AC adapter for them without tinkering. I haven't heard them in use, but I figured I'd mention them because they seem pretty highly rated and follow your specs.
    Last edited by hinges; March 21, 2009, 23:34. Reason: Lack of information

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    • #3
      Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

      Although they might be a little big, we've been picking up used JBL EON 15" powered wedges off craigslist when we see them available. Generally ~250-300 used, self powered, and can daisy chain the balanced inputs to add additional speakers if needed; we run 3 in a chain for vocals. Mackie makes nice comparable speakers at a higher price point. Now they're portable in the sense that they have handles and are self powered with internal amps, they will rock the house especially if mated with a powered sub, they can be mounted on tripods or sit well on the floor.

      IME these work better when passing them a controlled full range signal like a music program. They are satisfactory using just a mic -> speaker for announcing etc, but sound tons better if you have some sort of mic preamp or signal processing in the chain before the speaker.

      I often end up lending mine out for small dj sets or most recently raffle calling.
      If a chicken and a half, can lay an egg and a half, in a day and a half... how long would it take a monkey, with a wooden leg, to kick the seeds out of a dill pickle?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

        Well, you mention "SMALL"...

        I got some of these handed to me for free a number of months back, and while they are not going to win any audiophile awards or anything, I have found them invaluable for presentations and the like: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/rev...mini-speakers/ . They get pretty loud, and are small enough to easily fit in my pocket. They definitely fit my criteria, at least. It really depends on how loud you really mean, but as far as portability goes, these are hard to beat.

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        • #5
          Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

          Originally posted by scorche View Post
          http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/rev...mini-speakers/ . They get pretty loud, and are small enough to easily fit in my pocket. They definitely fit my criteria, at least. It really depends on how loud you really mean, but as far as portability goes, these are hard to beat.
          it's amazing... those are the exact ones i spotted in a think geek catalog just the other day. i found the review site you linked to also shows these other two competing models, Pacific Rim Cube Travel Speakers & the Altec Lansing Orbit, which seem decent as well.

          Too bad that site is so damn Apple-centric and gives some hardware low marks for not sporting a "dock" feature that holds the iPod upright while playing. i suppose it pains those reviewers to not be able to shoot their load directly on the embossed Apple logo as they jack off to their small, off-white plastic demigod. so i can see how that would be a detriment. being as that i need to play sound either from a laptop or a non-hipster device, the dock is of little concern for me.

          My only gripe with the iHome capsules are that they seem to be offered (at least from ThinkGeek) in a mini and max style (with significant price differences) but there doesn't appear to be any useful specification data delineating the performance (or even the size) of these two options.

          Worthy of serious consideration, however... and i appreciate the link.
          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
          - Trent Reznor

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

            Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
            it's amazing... those are the exact ones i spotted in a think geek catalog just the other day. i found the review site you linked to also shows these other two competing models, Pacific Rim Cube Travel Speakers & the Altec Lansing Orbit, which seem decent as well.

            Too bad that site is so damn Apple-centric and gives some hardware low marks for not sporting a "dock" feature that holds the iPod upright while playing. i suppose it pains those reviewers to not be able to shoot their load directly on the embossed Apple logo as they jack off to their small, off-white plastic demigod. so i can see how that would be a detriment. being as that i need to play sound either from a laptop or a non-hipster device, the dock is of little concern for me.

            My only gripe with the iHome capsules are that they seem to be offered (at least from ThinkGeek) in a mini and max style (with significant price differences) but there doesn't appear to be any useful specification data delineating the performance (or even the size) of these two options.

            Worthy of serious consideration, however... and i appreciate the link.
            This topic has me curious, so after checking a bit, it looks like the differences are:

            X-Mini (~$25): 1.4" dia x 1.4"H
            This is a single speaker, that combines both Right and Left channels.

            Max (~$50): 2"dia x 2"H
            Two speakers with a cable so that they can be separated for stereo sound, and have magnets in the base to that they may be couple together for carrying/storage.

            Specs for the sound response and output seem to be almost identical.
            Thorn
            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

              Before I read the posts, I thought the "high quality but SMALL speakers" reference was in reference to the DEFCON 17 CFP.
              --bc,

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                Originally posted by big chopper View Post
                Before I read the posts, I thought the "high quality but SMALL speakers" reference was in reference to the DEFCON 17 CFP.
                --bc,
                I was thinking more or less the same thing, and thinking platform shoes might help.
                Nonnumquam cupido magnas partes Interretis vincendi me corripit

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                  Originally posted by erehwon View Post
                  I was thinking more or less the same thing, and thinking platform shoes might help.
                  Oh, thank god. I thought it was just me, and was considering applying for it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                    hah! too humorous. oh, the subtle misunderstandings of language* amuse me.

                    when telling this story to Daisy just now, she remarked "i wonder how many people thought the thread would focus on Mouse and her e-Voting talk"

                    * NOTE - something i learned while viewing one of jackalope's Kevin Smith interview DVDs while visiting her in Colorado last week... do you know that "fanny" is a reference to snatch and not ass in Britain? So the phrase "fanny fun" means just basic, standard sex over there... not anal. As Kevin Smith pointed out, maybe that's why he's been so excited to bed girls in the UK only then to have it go so badly.
                    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; April 6, 2009, 22:46.
                    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                    - Trent Reznor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                      hah! too humorous. oh, the subtle misunderstandings of language* amuse me.

                      when telling this story to Daisy just now, she remarked "i wonder how many people thought the thread would focus on Mouse and her e-Voting talk"

                      * NOTE - something i learned while viewing one of jackalope's Kevin Smith interview DVDs while visiting her in Colorado last week... do you know that "fanny" is a reference to snatch and not ass in Britain? So the phrase "fanny fun" means just basic, standard sex over there... not anal. As Kevin Smith pointed out, maybe that's why he's been so excited to bed girls in the UK only then to have it go so badly.
                      Yeah, and "fanny" in the UK, is pretty close to "c*nt" in the US. i.e. Just using the term will get your face slapped by a lot of women.

                      The thread title never brought to mind Mouse or Mini-Me for DC speakers. I must be slipping.

                      Finally, to bring the thread back on topic (yeah, unheard of), I ordered a pair of the iHome iHM77 Max speakers. I'll give a quick report of how they sound when the come in.
                      Last edited by Thorn; April 7, 2009, 06:45.
                      Thorn
                      "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                        Max (~$50): 2"dia x 2"H
                        Two speakers with a cable so that they can be separated for stereo sound, and have magnets in the base to that they may be couple together for carrying/storage.
                        If these are the only ones with the magnets, then these are what I have. It really is handy for just shoving in a pocket and going. I also would ASSume that they would be a little louder than the smaller ones.

                        -Ah... Just had a look at the Mini version. I actually hadn't seen these, but the Max are still probably way better for your purposes due to the ability to position them as you wish.

                        Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                        * NOTE - something i learned while viewing one of jackalope's Kevin Smith interview DVDs while visiting her in Colorado last week... do you know that "fanny" is a reference to snatch and not ass in Britain? So the phrase "fanny fun" means just basic, standard sex over there... not anal. As Kevin Smith pointed out, maybe that's why he's been so excited to bed girls in the UK only then to have it go so badly.
                        Which is why if you go over there and start talking about and wearing a "fanny pack", people might just burst out laughing. ;)
                        Last edited by scorche; April 7, 2009, 15:57.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                          Originally posted by big chopper View Post
                          Before I read the posts, I thought the "high quality but SMALL speakers" reference was in reference to the DEFCON 17 CFP.
                          --bc,
                          /em is so confused....
                          "Haters, gonna hate"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                            So I bought the iHome iHM77 Max a couple of weeks back, and I'm like them a lot. The physical size is great, and they have very nice sound for the size of the package, even when in the collapsed position. When extended to their full height, they even have a fairly rich bass.

                            Last week I showed them to a cousin who's an audiophile. He was genuinely impressed, and that's hard to do with a guy who owns woofers that can induce earthquakes and tweeters that can make dogs howl three blocks away.
                            Thorn
                            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: high quality but SMALL speakers

                              Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                              So I bought the iHome iHM77 Max a couple of weeks back, and I'm like them a lot. The physical size is great, and they have very nice sound for the size of the package, even when in the collapsed position. When extended to their full height, they even have a fairly rich bass.

                              Last week I showed them to a cousin who's an audiophile. He was genuinely impressed, and that's hard to do with a guy who owns woofers that can induce earthquakes and tweeters that can make dogs howl three blocks away.
                              So, does he use coat hangers or monster cable?

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