capsule review

Focal-JMlab iCub

At a Glance
  • Focal-JMlab iCub

    Macworld Rating

    Combines a powered subwoofer, remote-controlled integrated amplifier, and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in a compact and attractive package.

The iCub isn't your typical computer or iPod speaker system, nor will it replace a typical home theater system that switches between 12 different audio sources. Rather, it's a product that's clearly designed for a specific market: Those with one or two digital audio devices who are looking for a full-size speaker system, who are serious about sound quality, and who value good design. If you fit into these categories, the iCub is an impressive system that provides a glimpse into the emerging upscale end of the "digital lifestyle" market: products that sound great, look stylish, and are simple to use. It's also one of the first products we've seen that attempts to bring the often-crusty high-end audio market a few steps closer to today's iPod-using, convenience-loving music listeners. Finally, when you consider everything the iCub provides--a powered subwoofer, an integrated amplifier, and a good DAC--the $750 price tag is reasonable compared to the cost of buying components of similar quality separately. The iCub is an exciting and unique product that I suspect will inspire similar products from other companies.

--Dan Frakes

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Combines a powered subwoofer, remote-controlled integrated amplifier, and digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in a compact and attractive package.

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