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Simple Audio Listen

The humble desktop speaker gets an audiophile upgrade


  • Curtis Moldrich
  • 4 March 2014
Simple Audio Listen

Looking more like a piece of architecture than a music system, the BMW/Designworks USA designed Listens are made to be noticed. A superstructure of aluminium, high-quality polycarbonate and acoustic fabric, the Simple Audio Listen desktop speakers make a statement well before they're switched on.

Continuing the premium feel, a touch panel interface on the right speaker continues the theatre - but it's not just for show. Changing the volume of your music is as easy as swiping your finger and despite their sophisticated appearance, the Simple Audio's aren't fussy when it comes to inputs.

Audiophiles will go straight for the USB DAC connection, but the Listens will also pair to any Bluetooth device as easily as you'd expect. More traditional music lovers will also be happy to see a trusty, low-tech, 3.5mm jack present.

Once your source is selected, the Listen's produce a sound less like a desktop speaker and more like a high end hi-fi system. Instead of struggling at higher volumes like the boxy beige desktop speakers of the past, the Simple Audio Listens take louder volumes in their stride.

Essentially cutting the source audio up and delivering it to a 3" mid-range driver with rare-earth magnets, silk-domed, ferrofluid-cooled tweeters and a bass-reinforcing pressure driver, the Listens are able to deal with all frequencies accurately. When using the highest quality USB DAC input, this separation allows for increased clarity, meaning the Listens can belt out the cutting synths and the bright vocals of Matrix and Futurebound's 'Control', but are equally at home pumping out the bass intensive sounds of the Teddy Killerz.

Accurate and stylish, Simple Audio's are worth considering if you're looking for a bluetooth speaker system, Hi-fi speakers or even just a set of accomplished, traditional desktop speakers.

Simple Audio | RRP £399

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