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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Moto X (2nd Gen) review: Raising the bar
- 2 Xiaomi Mi4 review: Xiaomi's best yet
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: Lightly flawed, Undeniably special
- 4 Sony Xperia Z3 review: The no-frills flagship
- 5 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Androids will greet guests at Japanese smart hotel
- Wi-Fi growth set to drive sales of new Ethernet speeds
- Flying high, Apple readies Watch to ship in April
- Windows 10 Spartan browser will get extensions
- 'Ghost' vulnerability poses high risk to Linux distributions
GGG Evaluation Team
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.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.