Audyssey Lower East Side Speakers: Desk-Small, TV-Brilliant

Audyssey's audio processing is phenomenal stuff, but it takes a lot to make run-of-the-mill desktop speakers exciting, let alone remotely amazing-sounding.


Each speaker in the LES duo is slightly over nine inches tall. They push out sound you'd expect from speakers that are much, much larger. Even crammed into my (admittedly awkward) cramped, apartment home theatre, Audyssey LES kicked arse all over my house. With the volume pushed to the near maximum, bass thudded and treble sliced without any noticeable distortion whatsoever.

Hooked up to an Apple TV, the speakers were more than adequate for movie viewing, when considering the tiny size. And for $US200, these are probably the most righteous setup for a dorm, bedroom, or other such small, budgety arrangement. I could stick 'em wherever and fill the room with good sound on the (relative) cheap.

Specs Price: $US200 Weight: 3.1kg Drivers: Two 0.75-inch silk-dome tweeters, two 3.5-inch woofers, two 4-inch passive bass radiators Dimensions: 8.125 H x 15.125 W x 5.25 D inches Inputs: analogue 3.5 mm, TOSLINK

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Why, why no AirPlay? Hooking the LES speakers to an Apple TV gives you streaming powers, but building in Apple streaming would have pushed the set from "great small speakers" into "great audio equipment, period" territory. Audyssey is pushing the LES primarily as an Apple TV accoutrement — which is viable, but a hindrance. Also, the exclusion of a remote is a pain — having to get up to adjust the volume knob for whatever reason is annoying, and the auto-sleep timer is overly conservative. [Audyssey]

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