Bling It On: Accessories
Accessories used to be those little things that cranked you slightly over budget and cluttered up your desk. Now, you can get accessories to make your life easier, customise your look and make your electronic world a happier, more comfortable place.PC World Staff | Thursday, January 20 2011
With music streaming around your home, you want speakers that look good and deliver. The wireless ready Audioengine 5 (A5) is available in black and white, bamboo, and black to go with your decor and more importantly, is billed as delivering audiophile-quality sound.
The low end from the Audioengine 5 is real tight, punchy bass thanks to Kevlar woofers, while silk dome tweeters produce smooth highs.
It also features USB power charging (ComboPort), two audio inputs, built-in power amps in left speaker, a rear panel AC outlet and front panel volume control.
All cables are included and the Audioengine 5 is compatible with AirPort Express and other wireless systems, iPod and all other music players, internet radio and network music systems, computers, TVs and console players.
RRP: $599.99 (Black and White); $749.99 (Bamboo)
More info: audioengineusa.com
1. Looks are all. There really is no need to buy ugly, plain black accessories anymore. You can get mice, keyboards, iPad covers and other accessories in every colour to suit your look and style, whether you’re into bling or gaming.
2. Wireless: Try to get a webcam, mouse and keyboard from the same manufacturer and that are part of a set or compatible. That way you can have one tiny receiver controlling all three, rather than cluttering up valuable USB ports.
3. On the go. Decide whether you will primarily use your accessories for a laptop, travel, PC or gaming. This will affect the size and speed of your accessories.
4. Handsfree: Have an idea of how much talk time you need. Mono headsets’ batteries can only stand between about four and nine hours, but five is fairly typical. Some Bluetooth devices have limited range so make sure you buy a device with good range – some will go up to 100m, so you can still receive calls if your phone is obstructed by something or if you see something shiny and wander away. The best way to avoid buying a dud is to get recommendations through word-of-mouth. Actually talking to people might seem outdated, but it is effective.
5. Don’t be limited: Some speakers offer only a single audio connection, limiting you to listening to sound from your computer. If you'll want to listen to other audio sources, look for a system with additional inputs; these days, many speakers offer at least a second audio-input jack (preferably within reach for easy access, not under your desk) for connecting an iPod, iPhone, or other source. Also check for easily reachable controls – many computer speakers don’t have these.
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