A long while ago I described my experience comparing some low-end powered audio monitors for use around the home and office. We have had a mix of things in use since then, although in every case there’s a Logitech Squeezebox feeding a pair of powered monitors.
In the post-holiday exhale I’ve taken an opportunity to add a pair of M-Audio BX5 D2 5″ Active 2-Way Studio Monitor Speakers. These were offered on Amazon for $288. That’s a bargain price given the performance of the product.
I’ve had a pair of the earlier BX-5a’s for some time. Over time I’ve come to appreciate them above almost everything else on-site. Thus the decision to buy the updated version was very easy to make.
Continue reading “New Gear: M-Audio BX5 D2 Powered Audio Monitors”
At lasts years visit to Astricon it became clear that it would be good to “tool up” for having conference calls at remote locations. As I described previously, the ClearOne Chat 50 USB speakerphone that I had brought along was not really adequate to the task of a conference call with a number of people scattered around a hotel room.
I can’t fault the device as it, like most USB attached speakerphones, are intended as personal audio devices, to be used by an individual at a desk. It’s microphone pickup pattern describes a 120 degree arc across the front of the device. That means that fully two thirds of the room are off-mic and won’t be heard very well.
Continue reading “New Gear: ClearOne Chat 160”
A few months back I received a sample of a new USB attached personal speakerphone device made by Yamaha. It arrived about the same time that I started looking for a better solution for ad-hoc conference calls in small rooms, like hotel rooms. You may recall that I felt this need after the experience after hearing Zeeek trying to conduct a VUC call from the host hotel at Astricon 2009.
As is my usual strategy, I tossed the little PSG-01s into my suitcase thinking that I make use of it for a while and see how it handles the road. It’s been on the road quite a while now, and doesn’t seem to suffer the travel a bit. The device is a rugged little aluminum tube. It’s built to last.
Yamaha has a long and enviable history in pro audio products, many of which I’ve used in TV and recording studios over the years. The little PSG-01s is a more consumer oriented offering, but it seems like a well-considered design.
Continue reading “Review: Yamaha PSG-01s Personal USB Speakerphone”
Differentiating personal speakerphones from small workgroup devices is something that I’ve been pondering a bit lately. You may remember that just after the close of Astricon Randy used a ClearOne Chat 50 USB speakerphone to host a VUC session from his hotel room in Phoenix. That little device was not quite up the task of what was really the equivalent of a small conference room environment. That situation was well beyond the intent of it’s design. It has served me well as a desktop and traveling speakerphone for many months.
In related news, last week a new gadget arrived from the folks at In-Store Solutions. It’s a newly released entry into the USB personal speakerphone marketplace, the Yamaha PSG-01S. As such little USB devices have proven useful in the past I think I’ll be giving it a try for a few weeks to see how it compares those that I’ve used previously.