Real Hi-Fi for the computer

Posted by Nigel Constantine

At last your computer can have a decent set of speakers. High-end audio vendor Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) has released its first headphones and first computer speakers. It is not the first crack that B&W has had at getting into the low end of the market. It sells the Zeppelin iPod speaker system, and expanded its presence last month with the Zeppelin Mini.

The MM-1 Computer Speakers are designed to connect to a computer rather than something portable. They come with a built-in digital-to-analog converter and connects to your computer via USB for improved performance. There is an analog-audio input too if you want one.

The MM-1 also includes digital signal processing (DSP) to optimise audio output for the system's small speakers. The company said that the MM-1 can provide "full range sound" without a subwoofer which will be a challenge because MM-1's speakers, 6.7 inches tall, 3.9 inches wide, and 3.9 each deep. 

altThere is a 3-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter which is based on B&W's Nautilus tube design, similar to the technology used in the company's studio speakers. B&W says the MM-1 is optimised for near-field listening but can manage if you stick them on your bookshelves.

There is also a remote control for the speaker system's volume. It also has a headphone jack that takes advantage of the system's DSP to improve audio quality.

Also released are the P5 headphones. Although the P5 doesn't have noise-canceling technology, the closed design blocks considerable external noise, the company says. The P5 has New Zealand sheep leather on the headband and earpads.  And New Zealand sheep are well known for their ambient retention abilities.

The P5 ships with two cables: a standard headphone cable, and a cable that includes a Made For iPod inline remote.

Both items will be in the shops in January.  No word on price yet.