Audica MPS-1 review

Small speakers for the iPod generation

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Our Verdict

This system fills a real niche for the music-lover who likes to listen at the computer and suchlike. Highly convincing

For

  • Great sounding

    Good value for money

Against

  • Aimed at the iPod generation

An amp and speakers in a box less than one foot long each way? Sounds cheap. Sounds nasty. But don't be hasty: on the one hand, its very presence here should reassure you that we're looking here for worthiness as a spare room/kitchen/office system; while on the other, the price tag gives hope that there may be more to this than the frankly dreadful plastic 'thousand watt' systems sold in computer shops the world over.

It's a good start that this isn't plastic. Both speaker and amp housings are aluminium, as is the remarkably funky remote control. Thanks to digital amp technology, 25 watts per channel is offered up to the tiny speakers, while inputs are three in number, each accessed via a 3.5mm stereo jack plug.

Yes, this is aimed at the iPod generation, but after all you can connect a 'real' CD player or radio with an adapter lead. USB sockets are only for battery-charging purposes.

While we take slight issue with Audica's assertion of 'room-filling' sound (okay, it fills the room, just not very loudly) there is enough volume there to make casual listening perfectly pleasant and at short range it's reasonably satisfying.

But it's quality more than quantity that interests us, because this is a highly convincing little set-up. Even in the bass it puts out a fair semblance of grunt, and in the midrange and treble it's really admirably clear and uncoloured.

Dynamically it's well behind a full-size system, but it has much to offer in the detail department and if one takes a little care over positioning there's some decent imaging going on too. Basically, it's a system that a diehard audiophile can listen to without losing the will to live, and that's meant as high praise.