User Review: Alpha PS1 Powered Speaker - Great little speakers with a flaw for desktop use

March 5, 2013

Products: Alpha PS1 Powered Speaker

The Audiostream review (linked on the PSB site) caught it mostly dead on: - "the PS1s sound exceptionally clean, clear and crisp" - "throw out a huge and stable sound image both horizontally and vertically" - "All frequencies sound very evenly handled" - "eminently musical and involving to listen to for any kind of music" - "Think smooth" (tweeter) and "delicate" (overall) But then: "if I had one wish I'd wish for a bit more heft. A tad more weight to the lower and upper-lower frequencies" Compared to the slightly bass enhanced and Class A amp of the Audioengine A5+, the PS1s are a little cool, but oh so transparent and not at all grating, unless it's there on the recording. Nonetheless, that lack of heft is a big drawback for me and, I suspect, will be for many other desktop users that don't want to add a subwoofer. Heft is important element of dynamics, and is lost when drums and bass don't quite sound (sufficiently) complete, i.e., like drums and bass, as they don't with the PS1s. if PSB had extended this quality of sound down towards 50 or 60 Hz, I would have gladly accepted a somewhat larger speaker and paid another $50-100. Maybe the next version? That said, the PS1 is appealing in lots of ways and certainly the right size for a desktop. Other thoughts: - By using a power link connector for the line between speakers, instead of standard speaker posts or another more common type, PSB has cut off the ability to test cables. With the similarly-powered Audioengine 5+ (posts), I found speaker wire choice made a big difference. - Since I use a DAC (Audioengine D1), volume control isn't an issue for me, but for others the volume control on the back will be a real, and probably often commented on, drawback. Controlling and adjusting on the fly from the computer desktop is not very practical. But then, a little larger speaker giving more bass extension would make more room for a volume knob.

highstream - Bozeman, MT

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