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The BeoLab 4 PC is probably the best-sounding thing I’ve ever plugged into a computer.
Now let’s talk about that for a second.
At $1,000, these speakers cost more than the vast majority of desktop PCs on the market today.
Honestly, the speakers sound fantastic. You probably can’t buy something off the shelf that’s going to sound as good as the BeoLab 4.
Each speaker is powered and amplified (and as such, each speaker requires its own electrical outlet) and these pyramid-shaped speakers really crank. There are some small speakers that claim to reproduce full loudspeaker sound, and there are few that do. These do.
One issue I have with these speakers is that the BeoLab 4 is just a speaker. It’s designed to be plugged into stereos and amps and all kinds of cool products, but not necessarily computers. The BeoLab 4 PC is the same thing, but it’s designed with the right connectors to plug it into a computer sound card’s headphone jack. That does the job for the most part, but there’s no on and off switch, and there’s no volume control, so you’re relying totally on the computer’s volume control.
Each speaker is built on a 4-inch driver with a 3/4-inch fabric dome tweeter with 35 watts provided by the amp. Requiring two power outlets is a pain, but it’s mostly just an inconvenience because they only consume 7 watts of power. Don’t worry about the electrical bill. Frequency range is 50-20,000Hz.
There’s a lot of technical things I can say about these speakers, or you can read them here. The bottom line is, do you need these speakers?
Do you own a stock Dell? Yes? Then no, you don’t.
Are you an iTunes whore who’s always listening to your downloaded music? Yes? Then no, you don’t.
Watch the occasional DVD on your computer? Nah, still don’t need these.
Are you a music producer using expensive software and high end hardware? Yes? Oh. Well then yeah, these would be good.
Do you edit high definition video with multi-channel audio tracks? Yeah, these would do nicely.
Are you getting the picture?
These are awesome monitors. They sound great. They look good. They’re powered. You can even customize the colors.
The fact is, unless you need high-end speakers (and are equipped for them) you’re not going to notice the difference between these for $1,000 and a $100 set from Best Buy.
The BeoLab 4 is much more practical as a home theater speaker than it is as a desktop computer solution. They’re expensive toys for people who have a G-note to spare in this economy.