First Look: Portable Speakers Pack Punch

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At a Glance
  • Klipsch Promedia Ultra 2.0

Mobile computing and portable music are a big deal these days, and Klipsch this week is launching a set of portable speakers as big as the trend. Designed to match up with mobile CD and DVD players, IPods and other MP3 players, and laptops, the $100 ProMedia Ultra 2.0 system focuses on packing dynamic sound into a portable package.

Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0 portable speakers
Of course, "portable" is a relative term. Think of the Ultra 2.0s as the loaded 17-inch laptops of mobile speakers. You won't want to carry them around all day, but you can take them from place to place easily, and, once you get there, you'll have a nearly desktop-quality experience.

I tested a pair of preproduction speakers and found them surprisingly light, if a little bulky for your average laptop bag. In fact, the power brick that comes with them is the heaviest part of the package. And you can't simply run these portables off battery power--you need to plug them in.

Although they're a little unwieldy, the ProMedia Ultra 2.0s sound great. Compared with other portable speakers, the 10-inch-high satellites have superior imaging, crisp and detailed high to midrange response, and surprisingly good bass. They faithfully reproduced the airiness of Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" and the detailed sound field on DVDs like "The Fifth Element."

These speakers can bring the noise too, thanks to 15 watts of power per channel. That's impressive for a portable setup, and even better than with some desktop systems. But the Ultra 2.0s aren't magic. Compare them with any good 2.1 desktop speaker system, and you'll quickly start to notice the lack of a subwoofer. If you don't need speakers you can carry around, it makes more sense to spend the extra $20 to $50 for a good desktop system.

If you're building the ultimate transportable computing setup, the ProMedia Ultra 2.0s may be just the speakers you need. They make good mobile speakers for an IPod or MP3 player, and they'd work well for presentations.

Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 2.0

Great-sounding portable speakers, but they're a bit bulky for light travelers.
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This story, "First Look: Portable Speakers Pack Punch" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Klipsch Promedia Ultra 2.0

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