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The Labtec Spin 95 speakers are a capable set of speakers which offer impressive sound for such a cheap sound solution.
Faced with the tinny and underwhelming sound offered by my Toshiba NB200-10Z netbook, I looked in earnest for a low price alternative to feed into my netbook and make listening to music a pleasure again, and not a chore. I stumbled across these Labtec speakers by total chance at a boot sale, and got them for the strikingly low price of only 50p! Having never heard of the make before, I was highly sceptical about their performance, but was more than willing to dish out this meagre amount of cash to give them a go.
Aesthetically, these speakers are incredibly impressive. Unlike many other low-cost speakers, these have the appearance of ones which are more upmarket. Each individual speaker stands 7 inches tall, and has a depth of around 4 inches. Together they look sleek, and despite having a flat base and flush rear have a nicely sloped design, with the front face falling back at a 45 degree angle. In the centre of the front face sits the speaker itself, which looks well-made and is finished in silver, while three simple additions are found at the bottom of the right speaker alone: a headphone jack, volume toggle and power switch with an LED. Both speakers are well made and can sustain drops resiliently, though the left speaker is considerably heavier than the other.
While searching for speakers, I really wanted ones which were truly plug and play and required no installation of any kind. I had looked at ones with USB input but with these speakers come a simple 3.5mm jack connection (coated in green plastic), exactly the same size as the jack on headphones. This means they're not only suited to PC use but can just as readily be used as a speaker solution for an MP3 player, and I've been very impressed with their performance working off a PSP console.
The cabling is more than long enough to allow for arrangement around PCs and this makes for a stress-free connection. Unfortunately, these do need a power supply to function, with a plug attachment included; though this reduces portability, for the price this was to be expected.
Where these cheap speakers really excel is in their sound quality. For those clued up on speaker attributes (I myself am not) the RMS (root mean square) rating of these speakers is 4W while their total peak power is 8W. What I can vouch for is their impressive handling of sound, with bass being incredibly rich and deep and thumping out with no distortion of any kind. Volume levels are balanced, and it's impressive how loud these speakers can actually be tuned to considering their relatively compact size. Layered songs are relayed well, with instruments, percussion and vocals captured perfectly and in equal measure. Listening on headphones is also surprisingly good, though I won't find myself listening like this often in all honesty. They are balanced speakers, and expertly pump out tunes for such a low cost audio solution, though they obviously don't match the pedigree of other high-cost speaker systems on the market.
For around £13 brand new from Amazon and with a 2 year warranty included to boot, these speakers come highly recommended for those looking to end the pain of listening to music on a laptop/netbook. The fact that these can also be used with any audio device with a headphone port is also a big plus, and I for one believe these speakers to be an ideal low-cost audio solution for those without overly high expectations.