Name: Otone Audio Stilo
Type: 2.1 Desktop Speaker
Specifications: Click here for full specs
Price: £69.99 from Otone Audio
Otone Audio are the latest UK-based company to throw their hats into the home audio ring. As well as a range of 5.1 systems, they’re also launching a range of desktop PC speaker set ups. Today we’re taking a look at their Stilo 2.1 PC speakers. Read on for our thoughts.
Comprising two satellite speakers, a subwoofer and wired remote, the Stilo speakers are a bit of a missed opportunity when it comes to design. While the cube-shaped subwoofer is simple enough to be easy on the eye (measuring 220 x 211 x 230mm and making up a substantial portion of the package’s overall 3.65kg weight), the satellite speakers, measuring 253 x 65 x 106mm , look needlessly cheap. They’re a desktop friendly size, and we quite like the the cut-oval shape. However, the decision to make them from a mix of gloss black plastic and a matte silver/grey is a bit of a mess. Perhaps they’ll suit the tastes of others, but we’d have preferred just the gloss black, thank you very much.
The pebble-shaped wired remote, which plugs into the back of the powered subwoofer, is a little tidier, with the mix of blacks, silvers and a green LED (indicating the speakers are on) reminiscent of the Android smartphone colour scheme. A dial controls the volume levels, clicking from a low volume setting to off at the counter-clockwise extreme. There’s a little bit of a sharp spike in volume level when dialling past the halfway mark though. On the back is a handy pair of ports for auxiliary line in (letting you plug an MP3 player directly into the speakers and bypassing a PC) and a headphone port too, with a standard 3.5mm jack.
There are few other audio connectivity options on the subwoofer though beyond the 3.5mm line-in jack, so if you’re looking for a more complicated set up with a high-end sound card, these probably aren’t the speakers for you.
For everyone else though, they’ll perform very nicely. Using a space-age sounding patented Vortex Drive system, they’ll pump out 40W (2 x 10 + 20W) of power, easily reaching room-filling levels. 2 x 2″ high-sensitivity twin drivers sit in the satellite speakers, and while a little lacking at the treble end, were otherwise warm and clear. We did experience a little rattling in the subwoofer cabinet at maximum volume levels and with the subwoofer itself turned to its maximum bass setting, but we’re fairly sure that was down to a slightly loose fixture in our individual sample, and nothing that should worry any prospective buyers.
The Otone Audio Stilo 2.1 desktop speakers sound, for the most part, great, especially for the £69.99 asking price. You may need to scale the mid-levels back a little in your EQ settings, but our love of the odd spiky guitar shred and rattle of gunfire from Call of Duty wont likely line up with everyone’s tastes. They’re solid sonic performers either way. It’s a shame then that the satellite speakers themselves looks so underwhelming. Sat on a retailer’s shelf next to the sci-fi stylings of Harman Kardon’s Soundsticks, it’s unlikely the Otone Audio Stilo set will get a second look, which does the audio quality they’re capable of something of a disservice.
By Gerald Lynch | February 7th, 2012