Powered speakers you can sit next to your computer monitor, or play your iPod through, are a dime a dozen. But most of them fail to produce sound you'd want to live with. Focal are well recognised for their extensive range of domestic passive speakers, however they also manufacture some very classy powered speakers for professional studio applications. Drawing on this multi-faceted expertise they have now come up with a superb compact powered speaker, the XS Book - so named because of its slim design.
Each XS Book speaker is a two-way design, with a ported enclosure. The Right speaker is the active one, housing the amplifier (2 x 20w) and having two inputs: one "high level", which in this case means line level (via 2 x RCA sockets) from full-sized components (such as CD player, Tuner, Hard Drive Media Server or Record Out from amplifier), while the second one is "low level" via 3.5mm jack intended for portable sources. The Right speaker takes mains power, and outputs to the passive Left speaker via a speaker lead with an RCA plug on either end. The volume control is on the top of the Right speaker.
While attaching these speakers to your computer (of any size) is an obvious use, the possibilities are endless. Any full-size or portable audio source can be used to great effect, and you could also use these as a sound enhancement for any recent slimline flat panel TV. The size of the speakers in TVs these days is so small that getting good sound out of them is pretty unlikely. XS book to the rescue!
Or, attach these to a Sonos Connect (ZP90) for a very good compact sound system with all the access to music and Internet Radio that Sonos delivers.
NEW: XS Book Wireless in Gloss Black now available for $499/pair.