Cute, tiny desktop pods, a flying saucer for an amp and a conga drum subwoofer make for superb stereo sound
Good at what they're meant to do
Best left as desktop speakers
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Scandyna is really into desktop audio. For PC and Mac users in particular, this Micropod SE 2.1 system offers far better sound quality than any regular computer speaker set-up and can even be used as good traditional end-of-the-room stereo. Better still, the equipment looks like something out of a sci-fi movie - in all the right ways.
It starts with the diminutive Micropod SE speakers. These stand just a hands-span high and feature a 19mm dome tweeter sitting on a pod beneath a 70mm Kevlar midrange driver, which also sits in its own pod. The speaker is a sealed box and very well constructed.
Station to station
The Bass Station reinforces the Micropod SE speakers. This looks like a small ABS footstool, with an up-firing 250mm bass unit coupled to a 70W power amp.
Completing the trio of distinctive looking products is The Amp, a 2x 50W Class D design looking like half a big plastic grapefruit, with a single centre knob that acts as combination selector the four stereo inputs and volume control. There's a cute little remote, too. All the products come with three little spiked feet - giving the whole caboodle 1950s sci-fi chic.
The Amp gives the game away with regard to desktop use: it's perfect for switching between computer and iPod, but the up-turned control surfaces are not so hot for across the room control.
Set up correctly, the integration between the speakers on top of the desk and the sub underneath is first-rate. The speakers present a big, unforced and attractive sound that doesn't hark on the limitations of compressed computer audio sound, but doesn't squash the life out of the sound of CD in the process.
When you move to mid-field stereo (you at one end of the room, speakers at the other), the Micropod system still fares well given the size of the speakers concerned.
The lower part of the midrange suffers, and this directly affects the articulation of deeper male voices - like a built-in Tom Waits impersonator. That said, the overall sound retains its larger than life presentation and if you place the subwoofer well, deep bass in normal living rooms is more than welcome.
Revolt into style
If you are looking for something distinctive to replace a pair of stereo speakers in a living room, you might be best looking elsewhere. In this context, the Scandyna system is more style than substance.
However, if you are comparing this system with the run-of-the-mill PC speaker systems, Scandyna's offering takes pride of place and turns good PC sound into excellent, if expensive, desktop hi-fi.
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