Afineo is a richly-featured multimedia speaker, with high-sensitivity twin drivers that produce a combined 32W total RMS output! The downward-firing bass ports enhance lower-midrange and ensure the sound never gets distorted. A smart vertical speaker design means that they can be positioned with a minimal footprint, leaving desk or floor space clear – making them ideal as the best computer speakers you’ll hear at this price, or to enhance your SMART TV or MP3 playback.
And did we mention the looks? The stealth-like satin black front plate features touch-sensitive power on/standby, volume control and bass and treble adjustment – form and function in perfect harmony, just like the sounds that come out of them. Quite simply, these are the best 2.0 speakers in their class.
£90 [should have been 80] otoneaudio.co.uk
What's that noise?
Otone Audio is a new company, based in Manchester, which specialises in desktop and portable speakers. We're on home territiory then. These exotically-named speakers have a familiar 'PC speaker' design and only do so much to belie their knockdown price. A stereo input is your connection, and a 3.5mm to stereo cable is helpfully provided.
How does it sound?
Sound isn't really the issue. More of a problem are the touch controls on the front: they're inaccurate and unresponsive, feeling clnky and poorly thought through. Otherwise it's good news, especially at this price. There's sufficient scale to fill a room and decent detail, even if it's a little rough around the edges and loses composure at higher volumes.
We'd normally avoid adjusting soundtracks that have already been perfectly engineered, but the ability to turn down the bass is handy for stealth gaming.
Stuff says **** [4/5 stars]
Impressive sound and nice techie touches considering the price.
TECH * 32W * 3.5mm input * 86x87x570mm * 1.3kg
Afineo received a glowing video report from one of the leading tech and gadget video reviewers on YouTube.
Check out the review of Otone Audio's Afineo 2.0 speaker HERE.
Otone Audio is a new British company, based in Manchester, made up of people with years of experience in the audio industry, so you’d expect big things from their speakers. The company has created a range of desktop speakers, including 2.1 and 5.1, as well a number of 2.0 speaker systems, and we’ll be taking a look at the Afineo, the flagship of the company’s 2.0 range.
Priced at a not inconsiderable £79.99, the Afineo sits at the top end of the desktop speaker price range and for many people it will be hard to justify spending that sort of money on a mere 2.0 set up when for considerably less you could pick up a 2.1 or even 5.1 system, and that’s completely understandable. But, if you really enjoy your music and want to get the most out of it, a good 2.0 speaker system will always be superior to a 2.1 – of course, the inclusion of a sub with the 2.1 setup will mean an awful lot more bass, but the satellite speakers will struggle to reproduce a wide enough frequency range to do your music justice and as a result there will be a hole in your soundstage. By removing the sub but using a larger enclosure with larger drivers, a 2.0 set up might ultimately fall short on absolute bass but it will still pack a punch while delivering a level of involvement and clarity that a 2.1 system could never hope to match.
So, to the Afineo and the first thing that strikes you about these speakers is just how big they are – they measure 27.5cm tall and 12cm deep and they’re really substantial and weighty. While they look big in the hand and initially next to your monitor, they quickly blend into your desktop surroundings and the weight helps to add the to feel of quality. The Afineo is well built and the fit and finish of the enclosure are excellent. While the styling might be a bit dour, it’s a not unattractive looking speaker and I like the blend of matt and gloss surfaces, as well the flash of green within the downward firing bass port.
Lurking behind the large, wraparound grille you will find a single driver, which is located towards the lower portion of the speaker’s front end and considering the size of the enclosure it seems surprising that Otone has elected to use just a single driver. It doesn’t make for an especially impressive-looking speaker when you peer through the mesh and see that solitary driver tucked away and it feels like a bit of a waste of space. Otone has, however, used the size of the enclosure in order to boost the sound and bass produced by the speaker, so there’s science behind the styling.
Prior to sampling the Afineo, I had reservations about the touch panel controls, and while they are better than I had anticipated, I’m still not entirely convinced. They are responsive and I like that fact that turning the speakers on and off requires no more than a single tap of the power button. When it comes to making adjustments, a single tap will take the level up or down by one notch, while keeping your finger on either the plus or minus button will cause a rapid move of the level in your chosen direction. To alter either the bass or treble you simply tap one of them, which causes the display to flash, and you can then increase or lower the level, and if you leave the controls alone the display will flash again to let you know it is now back in volume mode. It’s fine but I would still much rather have some sort of visual reference point for the individual levels – there are 32 notches for the volume and 10 each for bass and treble levels. I know because I counted. The touch controls look and feel very modern, and Otone chose them specifically because of the current trend for touch control electronics, which is fine by me but I like to see what’s happening when I press a button and they just aren’t as tactile as some nicely damped rotary controls.