Bowers & Wilkins deliciously gorgeous MM-1 computer speakers
By Paul Ridden
November 19, 2009
The makers of the award-winning Zeppelin ipod dock will shortly release some true hi-fi quality computer speakers which break away from reliance on the output capabilities of a system soundcard and connect via high speed USB instead. Boasting a frequency range of -6dB at 57Hz and 22kHz, outputting audio at 4 times 18W and incorporating music studio technology, the fully active MM-1 system could be just what audiophile deskbound digital music junkies have been waiting for.
Bowers & Wilkins, the company famous for its eye-catching, award-winning Zeppelin dock which gave iPod users the ability to listen to true hi-fi quality audio reproduction for probably the first time, has now concentrated its almost half a century of audio experience - which has seen its equipment being used by Abbey Road studios and George Lucas - to the humble world of the computer speaker.
Scheduled for release in February 2010, the MM-1 speakers have been designed by the Zeppelin team and are claimed to turn a user's computer "into a superb hi-fi stereo sound system". The MM-1 speakers feature a dedicated f75mm bass and mid driver and a tube-loaded f25mm tweeter as used in the stunning Nautilus hi-fi speakers.
To ensure consistent sound quality, the MM-1's bypass a computer's (PC or Mac) sound card completely and opt for USB 2.0 connection instead. The digital audio sent to the speakers gets converted to high quality analog output after passing through some Digital Signal Processing technology called Dynamic EQ which "keeps bass effects powerful and music sounding rich and detailed, no matter how loud you play it" without the need of an additional subwoofer.
Everything about these speakers suggests something big but at just 170 x 100 x 100mm, they're not. It's as if someone has taken some massive high-end audio speakers and sat them in front of the electromagnetic shrink ray from Honey I shrunk the kids.
Should you not wish to share your musical pleasure with those around you, there is a 3.5mm headphone output. And although the MM-1 system is designed for computers, an aux line-in socket allows for numerous device connection options.
Those familiar with Bowers & Wilkins' products will no doubt be pleased to learn that the speakers can be controlled from a distance using the equally gorgeous polished pebble-like remote.
No pricing information is available at the time of writing. Check back to Gizmag for more info closer to the February 2010 release date or in the meantime, Bowers & Wilkins suggests following its Twitter page for updates.