PSB Alpha IQ Speakers Review: Small and Mighty

You might not have heard of PSB, however the Canadian-based audio firm has been doing its factor for practically 50 years now. With all that apply targeted on a space-conscious product line, it’s no marvel the model has mastered the artwork of making massive sound in small packages.

Even so, the Alpha IQ powered audio system shock, providing sufficient muscle and presence to fill small-to-medium-size rooms with glorious sound, no amp required. The IQ have way more up their sleeves, too, with connections for all of your gear alongside Sonos-like multi-room streaming in high-resolution with Bluesound.

There are some quirks to utilizing the system, to not point out a fairly hefty price ticket. But for those who’re looking for a versatile pair of hi-fi streaming speakers, the Alpha IQ are a terrific choice.

Versatility, With a Learning Curve

Standing lower than 10 inches tall and 6 inches broad, the Alpha IQ appear shockingly small if you unbox them, giving an impression, false although it might be, that they’ll battle to usher forth convincing audio efficiency. The 4-inch polypropylene mid-bass drivers are set above the .75-inch tweeters for a particular configuration that enables them to be set on larger cabinets and desktops alongside common speaker stands and TV consoles.

The pair we acquired arrived with a good few scuffs alongside their matte exteriors, suggesting they’d been pushed exhausting and put away moist. Their design feels a bit extra blue-collar than even some cheaper choices like SVS’ Prime Wireless Pro, wanting extra like laptop audio system than bookshelves. But touches like a topside management bar and aluminum traces behind the baffles add some fashion factors, and their minimalism grew on me over time. I additionally love that every speaker requires solely a wall outlet, without having for a connecting wire between them, not to mention an amplifier.

Photograph: PSB

With a variety of obtainable inputs, from HDMI eARC to a turntable enter full with a moving-magnet cartridge, it’s straightforward to attach all of your supply gadgets to the first speaker’s bottom. But first, you’ll wish to obtain Bluesound’s BlueOS app to get the system related and able to stream.

Perhaps as a result of my assessment mannequin noticed some put on and tear forward of arrival, I had some issue getting the left speaker to search out my community at first. The flashing inexperienced gentle indicated a necessity for a manufacturing unit reset, which meant digging up a paperclip to push within the reset button and going by some rigmarole—a lot for Sonos-like simplicity.

Once performed, the audio system proved to be extraordinarily secure on my community it doesn’t matter what I performed. There are a variety of methods to stream, whether or not you go instantly from the app with providers like Spotify, Amazon Music, or Bluesound’s Radio Paradise (Apple Music isn’t supported), or by way of AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, or Tidal Connect. There’s additionally Bluetooth with aptX HD, however you’ll have to stream over Wi-Fi to get the advantage of the Alpha IQ’s 24-bit/192-kHz max decision.

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