Review: Kensington SX2000 Speakers

Ultra-slim, Cool, and Ultra-Modern. (May 3rd, 2006)

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Product Manufacturer: Kensington Computer Products Group

Price: $159.99 US

The Good

  • Great design combined with great sound. iPod-styling. Great price.

The Bad

  • Not designed for those who love bass.

With so many iPod speaker docks on the market today, it's hard to choose between them. If you're looking for an ultra-slim, cool, and ultra-modern iPod speaker system, then the Kensington SX2000 Speakers are the ideal buddy for you.

I've spent the best part of two weeks using the SX 2000 Speakers for iPod in the office and bedroom. What really amazes me is how slim the whole unit is, it measures only 16.2" wide, 7.2" tall and, 3.9" deep. This is one of the slimmest speaker system for the iPod. It uses NXT's advanced SurfaceSound flat panel speaker technology, so it is able to pack a real punch when it comes to volume and sound quality.

Thrilling Sound

When you listen to the sound that comes out of this system, it thrills you. The design is so simple, and the sound is so powerful, that it completely belies the complexity of the workings behind the speakers. The modern, simplistic design is as elegant as the iPod itself; it really is that good. I'm glad I got the white version, as the black iPod would probably look a bit out of place.

The clever technology behind the SX 2000 Speakers allows for bi-directional sound. From my understanding of the technology, there exists two parts to the speaker. The exciter converts the electrical signals from the audio device and produces bending waves through the flat panel. The bending waves generate acoustic waves that travel through the air. This means you can hear the audio from any point in the room whether it is behind the speakers or in front of it. You can find this technology in Hi-Fi systems and even cars. I distinctly recall seeing a Hitachi stereo system employing similar technology.

You're probably wondering what the sound quality is like. I can say with confidence that it's truly breath-taking. Unlike your typical speaker technology that you get in many other iPod speaker systems, you don't get that low electrical hum in the background. It doesn't matter how loud you put the volume, the sound does not distort. You hear a nice smooth sound that has a sufficient amount of bass in the background, which again is a bonus. Naturally, you can't expect a big booming bass sound from this set of speakers, due to limitations in the technology. Nevertheless, don't mistake this for tinny sound. Listening to these speakers at high volume allows for unbelievable room-filling sound. These speakers really pack a punch but suffice it to say, I don't think they were designed for to fill a large room with sound.

Versatile Sound System

My time spent with this iPod speaker dock has been mostly as a bedroom speaker system. It sits nicely on my bedside cabinet and because it doesn't emit any electrical humming noises or draw a lot of power, I'm able to use it as an alarm clock too! The iPod has a wake up timer function and you can select a play list when it's activated. Simply leave the speakers switched on and at a decent volume before you snooze and the next morning, your favorite tunes will be waking you up. It's refreshing to hear something other than a constant beeping noise and makes rising in the mornings just that bit easier.

Simple Interface and Compliments Any Room

Universal docking ports come with it, so that you can fit any sized iPod into these speakers. If you change your MP3 player or if you have another audio feed that you want to play, then the Line In at the rear helps you with that. The SX2000 Speakers are powered by an outlet only and charges your iPod at the same time. The front interface has just three simple buttons: Power, volume up and down. The 1-inch thick design complements any type of side table in any room.

So, look no further. Go buy a set of these speakers. You can find a $30 back mail-in rebate on Kensington's site. It's the perfect bedroom or office accessory for your iPod and you will be satisfied with the quality of the sound.

The Kensington SX2000 speaker unit won't replace your high-end audio equipment but it will certainly be the best solution for a single room. It's simple design and compact form factor makes it one of the best slim-line iPod speaker docks that I've seen so far.

This article in its original format with all of the photographs taken by the author can be found on The TechCast Network Blog: http://www.techcastuk.co.uk/?p=49

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Onwah Tsang, guest contributor


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