At a Glance
USB-powered speakers for your laptop
The sound quality of the Notebook 500 is crisp and clear–to a fault. Although the system has the best detail of any of the USB-powered speakers we’ve, and decent midrange, it has virtually no bass response. (In a tacit, and a bit humorous, admission of this fact, the unit even provides a subwoofer-out jack. Not that I’m aware of any subwoofers that will fit in your laptop bag.) In terms of volume, the Notebook 500 is the loudest of the USB-powered systems we’ve tested, by a slight margin over the Altec Lansing XT1. In a nice touch, when you turn on the Notebook 500, its volume ramps up to the current level smoothly–you’re never blasted unexpectedly.