Axiom Audio Audiobytes
Tiny speakers, huge amp
- No distortion, sweet sound
- Lacking bass at higher volumes, expensive
If you’ve got the money, it’s hard to go past the Audiobytes as a pre-built PC sound system. These speakers blow their mainstream competitors out of the water with clear, analytical sound — even though they are a little bass-shy at higher volumes.
Price$ 771.00 (AUD)
Axiom Audio’s Audiobytes speaker system, which is aimed at PC users, is a noticeable step-up from even premium mainstream models like Logitech’s Z-Cinema. Without a hint of distortion even at high volumes, these speakers are incredibly clear and analytical, revealing a lot of detail hidden within music. Our only gripe is that they’re slightly short of bass at high volumes — tending towards tight kicks rather than deep, floor-shaking power.
The system itself can be ordered from Axiom Audio directly in a wide range of finishes, from simple black to wooden veneers such as Burled Walnut Cherry. We found the 'real wood' finish on our test speakers to be quite aesthetically pleasing if, well, slightly unrealistic.
Available at an additional cost to the 2.0 speaker system is the Axiom Audio EP Zero subwoofer. Only available in a black finish, the EP Zero is designed to add some low frequency response capability to the system. It’s a slightly pricy addition, but its presence is welcome in both music and gaming.
Everything you need to set up the system is included — cables and all. The cables are quite long; you could conceivably set up the system’s amplifier some distance away from the speakers and subwoofer (not that you’d want to do this since the volume control is built into the amplifier’s chassis).
The speakers are tiny — smaller than even the diminutive JB3 speakers from JohnBlue — but the subwoofer is sizeable (approximately the size of a small PC case) and the amplifier is gargantuan. It’s 13 centimetres wide and 13 centimetres tall, but at a full 32 centimetres in depth it might be slightly difficult to place on your desk. It might find a home on top of your PC case, however.
Once you’ve found a home for all the components you can relax and enjoy the Audiobytes’ performance. They’re light-years ahead of the majority of PC-based systems we’ve heard, with a character that tends towards analysis rather than musicality.
The system is remarkably clear and clean. We were easily able to notice and identify compressed MP3s and their lossless equivalents — a difficult proposition with inferior speakers. This quality is again evident when listening to female vocals and brass instruments, where the speakers are able to reproduce high treble and mid-range admirably without any sibilance or distortion.
Mid-range is a strength of the system. At low volumes mid-range is balanced and smooth compared to treble, but this frequency range never becomes booming or emphasised. Even when we pushed these speakers to their limits — a painful task considering the beefy amplifier — the speakers remained analytical and even.
Without the EP Zero subwoofer included, the system’s bass response falls off after around 100 Hertz. This is a healthy cut-off point for these little speakers; they won’t be overstretched at any point. With the subwoofer activated, frequency response between 35 and 150Hz is bolstered.
It remains even, however. Dual 6.5in drivers in the subwoofer allow response to be somewhat uniform. The end result of this is that bass response is tight rather than booming. If you’re looking for a bass-heavy system you might want to look elsewhere, but if you can appreciate a system that exposes nuance and detail within music then this could be the right option.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Intel Coffee Lake 8th-gen Core processors release date rumours
- Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCIT Operations Centre EngineerQLD
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer with Strong SQL DevNSW
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- TPSenior Service Desk AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics DeveloperNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst / Security EngineerQLD
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD
- FTTelecommunications Services Manager - Voice/Data/UCQLD
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- CCERP Business Analyst (Time Capture/ Management) - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - Regulatory/Compliance - BankingNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- TPWinforms DevelopersWA
- TPe-Learning Developer (Captivate 8)VIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- CCProject SpecialistVIC
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- TPJava DeveloperVIC