Speakers Microlab Solo 11 – Shine, depth and a little bass
Recently widely known flagship series acoustic stereo Solo company Microlab Electronics added several models of the upper price range, are designed for different target audience, one of which was in our lab. We are talking about bookshelf acoustics Microlab Solo 11. This model received incredibly attractive appearance with unusual shape wooden cabinets and interesting technical characteristics. The range of use of such a system can be very wide: from the replacement of computer speakers to home stereo. What a novelty, we will try to find out today.
The product comes in a relatively small cardboard box. The kit is not too heavy, so it will be easy to convey to the machine or even to take home from the store by public transport, has attached to the box handle from tape. Speakers are Packed in to protect them from external influences foam, however each comes in a bag made of thin nonwoven material, and for protection from scratches still covered in film.
The package is also pleasing to the eye. Along with speakers in the box we found:
- remote control with battery CR2025;
- the interblock high-quality shielded cable to connect active and passive speakers;
- cable 2×RCA-jack 3,5 mm;
- cable 2×RCA-2×RCA;
- optical S/PDIF cable;
- coaxial cable;
- the printed manual.
The manufacturer has taken care to ensure that any user could connect the speakers out of the box. Later one or another cheap cable supplied can be replaced by any that in your opinion a worthy purchase, but the fact that the speaker system can be connected out of the box, can not but rejoice.
|Feature / Model||Microlab Solo 11|
|Type of acoustics||2.0 (stereo)
|Dynamics||Tweeter: 1 inch (6 Ohms);
WOOFER: 5 inch (4 Ohm)
|Power, W (RMS)||100 (2×20 + 2×30)|
|Frequency range, Hz||20 – 20 000|
|Signal-to-noise, more, dB||80|
|Channel separation, more, dB||45|
|Interfaces||Inputs||1 pair x RCA stereo
1× Optical S/PDIF
|Outputs||LFE (for subwoofer connection)
1× USB (for charging smartphones)
– volume, treble, bass;
– switching between inputs
|Dimensions, mm||216 × 180 × 300|
|The average retail price, RUB.||n/a (new)|
The new model is a two-way speaker system standard 2.0, which is based on high-frequency and mid-range speakers, which the manufacturer proudly mentions separately, noting the high quality of the components. Twitter, the new model dome type, made of silk. He fixed on a large round slab of plastic, which, in turn, is fixed with screws to the Cabinet. This speaker has a inch size and has a resistance of 6 Ohms. Magnetic shielding is not provided for him.
Mid-range speaker made from compositions of polymers and tissues. It has resistance of 4 Ohm and boasts a rather large 5 inch. Magnetic shielding in this case also not provided. Both speakers do look quite expensive. Sredneshirotnykh heavy that, in General, adds the acoustics of a sense of solidity. However, the sound is too early to say, although the frequency in the table of specifications Microlab Solo set 11 impressive: from 20 to 20 000 Hz.
Note that the design of the speaker provides a bass reflex with rear placement. It features the original l-shaped form. Trumpet it is horizontal, but the inside of the bass reflex tube is bent 90 degrees. Thus, inside the body of the bass is directed downwards – in the part column, where the mid-range speaker.
Novelty has a digital path is built on the TAS5342L amplifiers class D from the American company Texas Instruments. The output power of this amplifier is 100 watts on the stereo channels at 4 Ohms or 80 watts at a load of 6 Ohms.
The power supply from the Microlab Solo 11 built-in. It is placed on one metal base, together with the motherboard. With regard to the connection interfaces, for the user it provides not only all presently used versions, but still a little surprise. The first group includes four different type of connection of the source of the sound, three of which are wired (RCA inputs, optical S/PDIF and coaxial), and the fourth is for connection to the acoustics of a smartphone or any other mobile device through a wireless connection. For this purpose, the design Microlab Solo 11 includes a Bluetooth module 4.2. To recharge your smartphone while working on the active speaker includes a USB port (1 A). Well, the surprise is the audio output of LFE, which can only be found on the audio equipment enough high-class. It is intended to connect the subwoofer. Thus, the new speaker system is easy to convert from standard 2.0 to 2.1. The system itself could proudly rank as expandable, but the manufacturer, for whatever reason, did not widely advertise this interesting feature.
In General, all major components of acoustics fully consistent with its declared characteristics. With regard to the internal structure of the columns, but high-quality MDF boards, which are made of case, it is necessary to note the presence of a soft material, which is in the active column, including, a large partially closes the module with electronic components. In the passive column free space quite a lot, but in active, because of the volume module to the system Board and power supply, almost all proves to be somewhat busy. How will this affect the sound quality, we’ll find out later, but for now begin to get acquainted with appearance.
Appearance and design
Speakers Microlab Solo 11 best suited for installation on shelves or racks. If free space allows, the speakers can be set on the table, but the place they loan it a lot. Some elements of the design of new products is partly borrowed from other models speaker Microlab, but the size, and most importantly – the details differ very much. But the most interesting, as it is known, hides in details. Thus, the trapezoidal shape of the buildings Microlab Solo 11, made of MDF, met and earlier, but the style removable decorative lattices and appearance of the surfaces of the housing of the novelty is unique. In General, the new speaker manufacturer approached carefully, not making them faceless with the “universal” appearance. They look expensive and make any to fix his eyes on the sparkling black glossy side surfaces. Typically the black color makes any device faceless, but in this case everything is exactly the opposite. Add appeal and Central part of the housing covered with synthetic material, resembling in its structure the skin.
Well, the final chord in this riot of black tone are the front side speakers, fully enclosed in black mesh panels. The panels are made removable. They are mounted with quite a long plastic legs. And, although plastic from which they are made, not fragile, the length makes the legs very accurately to remove and install the panels in place. The probability of breaking a leg still there. Note that, when installed on the column, detachable panel is pushed far enough away from the front of the hull, which certainly has a positive effect on the sound quality.
To exploit the acoustics as you can with the panels, and without them – as you wish. But we must bear in mind that without panels on the front surfaces of the speakers will have to clean the dust. In General, the dust on the painted parts of the Microlab Solo 11, unfortunately, is visible very well, but when wiping any traces on the mirror surface almost does not remain, indicating a high quality of performance. It is noteworthy that a small display located at the bottom of the active speaker, was readable even through the nearly opaque mesh. It informs the user about the volume level, and the levels of high and low frequencies when adjusted. Next to the display is the receiver of infrared signals from the remote control.
One of the speakers from Microlab Solo 11 passive and the other active. Design latest a motherboard with interfaces for connecting sound sources and amplifiers, infrared receiver on the front panel combined with a display that informs the user about the volume and frequency level, and a control unit, placed on one side of the body. The latter consists of three controls – volume, bass and treble, as well as led indicator that informs the user about the switching between sound sources. Switching is accomplished by pressing the volume control, and the information about the selected sound source when you switch on the display of the active speaker. All three dials are valcoder, wherein a discrete speed and absence of restrictions on the angle of rotation.
All marked in the specification of new interfaces located on a metal panel attached to the rear of the active speaker case. Free space here quite a lot, so it easily split the interfaces into groups, and have not forgotten about the name of each connector. At the top is a separate USB port for charging a smartphone or any other mobile device. Below is unit with interfaces for connecting sound sources. Below that is the two output jacks to connect passive speakers and subwoofer. Here fixed non-removable power cable and button switch on/off the power. Note that between active and passive speakers are connected to a thick, but soft enough cable and four-pin connectors on each column have the threaded portion to secure the plug. The quality of all the elements in this case are close to perfect.
It remains to note that speakers rely on four soft feet that are simply glued onto the flat bottom surfaces of the cases by the user. Despite the fact that such a decision may look a little inconsistent with the price range of the product, it is fully justified. As shown by our further test, the speakers on these legs do not slip, do not jump or rattle at any possible volume level.
The remote control supplied has an original elongated shape of the body. Despite the small number of buttons, the manufacturer did not make the remote is tiny and flat, what you see in the kit to a variety of inexpensive devices. In this case, attention is paid to comfortable use. The remote has a small part of the body without buttons, designed for a comfortable grip with the hand, and in its upper part is a block with the most popular keys with which you can adjust the sound volume, mute, reset adjustment to factory, and choose the source of the sound. At the top of the remote control button power control. Well below the main control unit there are two dual key adjust high and low frequencies. The device is powered from the lithium coin battery form factor CR2025.
When connecting the speakers did not have any difficulties. Connections, interconnecting cables and speakers made just perfect, so we just need to turn on the power and wait about three seconds – that’s how you want acoustic on and the emergence of information about the volume level on the display. This enables the speakers silent, without any clicks and other audio artifacts. Background noise when connected to the audio source speakers also do not produce, as befits the acoustics of such level.
With wireless Bluetooth connection difficulties also arose. For this column you want to translate into the appropriate operation of the sound source, but on a smartphone or any other mobile device need to open the Manager for Bluetooth devices and select among the available Microlab Solo 11. The connection is made just a second, and then you can enjoy the sound of your favorite tracks and watching a film with the combination of your phone and a fairly powerful bookshelf speakers. Well, the phone itself is charging, you can connect directly to speakers.
Test sound quality, we were without connection to external amplifiers. In this case, the sound sources served as a computer sound card Creative SB Live! and external audio interface M-Audio Synchroscience Torq Connectiv for a wired connectivity option and the smartphone Xiomi Mi 4 Pro through a wired connection and the Bluetooth connection. Musical compositions we play various genres with a different degree of compression of the file (several formats). The speakers we had at the corners of the room at chest level or shoulder for the listener, placed sitting in a chair. The sloped front panel with this arrangement of columns allows to uniformly fill the space with sound even if speakers are not on the shelves and on the Desk.
The sound acoustics Microlab Solo 11 without any distortion at any volume level and any frequency settings. The sound is dense and bright. Perhaps this is some of the best sounding bookshelf speakers that we had a chance to listen to lately. But there is no hint of a rattle when sound, jingle, or other similar effects. Depth of audioscan and expressiveness of each individual sound.
Several upset possibilities of frequency adjustment. And high and low change in such a narrow range that have very little impact on the overall picture. Changes in this course occur, but they are not like other models from the same manufacturer. However, this is the only comment that for many users, in General, is unlikely to play a decisive role in choosing speakers, the main thing in this case is the sound quality.
This parameter was assessed subjectively we listened to a total of not less than one hundred songs and tracks with a variety of sounds: nature, the sound of bells, the sounds of different musical instruments and much more. However, about half of all the test compositions accounted for high definition audio Hi-Res Audio recorded in formats FLAC and WAV. As expected, most clearly in the speakers Microlab Solo 11 jazz, rock and various electronic music. The music of these genres column fully reveal its potential, causing its owner the pleasure of each individual sound. High detail allows you to hear each instrument and the spatial scene creates a sense of presence at the concert. This effect does not always work, but when the recording is really high quality.
In addition to detailing, acoustics Microlab Solo 11 can boast with its outstanding dynamics. The different vibrato options, including solo performance, clearly audible and not less bright than the rest of the song. All this makes it fun to listen to on these speakers even symphonic music or almost any vocals. But there is one thing that you need to keep in mind when buying this device. If you are a lover of the classics, and things of little interest to you, then this model is definitely not for you. The fact that the mid-range sound from Microlab Solo 11 often turns bass. While the sound is still bright and clear, but it seems that the bass is too much. For jazz, rock and electronic music is even good, but for vocals or classics such coloration is not always appropriate.
However, the bass Solo from Microlab 11 is more an advantage than a disadvantage. It is a colorful, deep and very dense. It is ideal not only for music of most genres, but games. For these purposes, the new product will fit perfectly. Even without being equipped with a subwoofer for movies and games these speakers will be given the deafening roar of the engine and provide a realistic grenade explosion. And the depth of bass and power of the audio system for these purposes enough. Also worth noting is the realism of a stereo picture. As for power, it is enough to fill a very big room, so for a noisy party the acoustics too.
For the latter use case will certainly be a useful feature of a wireless Bluetooth connection, because in this case the column can be moved to any place away from the main wired sound source. The sound quality in this embodiment, the connection is still on top. To him fairly absolutely everything that was described previously, with the exception, maybe, of detail. This figure partly depends on the quality of the track, the bitrate, the bandwidth of the channel. For the noisy company details are not important, but in silence and quiet listening to music in FLAC, it is easy to notice the difference between the two connection methods, so it is preferable in this case will be of course a version with high-quality audio cable.
Speakers Microlab Solo 11 – is a worthy continuation of the flagship series Solo. To expect from these speakers lack of performance or bad sound is not necessary, and therefore the advantages of the new product did not come as a surprise for us. Among them should be noted:
- unusual fresh design and excellent quality lacquered body;
- high quality electronic component base;
- port for connecting the LFE subwoofer;
- bright and detailed sound for music of most genres;
- realistic volumetric audioscan;
- the lack of background noise and clicks when turning on.
On the downside, they are all related more to cavils, than to problems. The most notable of them is not too wide adjustment range, high and low frequencies. You can also note the excessive thoughtfulness of the speakers after turning too easily soiled surface of the columns, which attracts dust. In the rest of the Microlab Solo 11 close to the ideal in its class. As for bass painting part of the playable tracks, this feature some may not like it, but for someone it may be a decisive factor for the purchase. That is why Microlab Solo 11 can be a universal home acoustics, but with a small caveat about the bass. Well, connecting the subwoofer to the LFE port will certainly make your existing Microlab Solo 11 bass even deeper. However, due to the lack in our lab right subwoofer in this embodiment, this speaker system we have not tested.
The cost of new items on the Russian market is still unknown, but foreign platforms for acoustics I ask around 350 $, that on the day of this writing, amounted to about 23 thousand rubles. This is not the small price for bookshelf speakers, but they are worth it. For this amount you will get the opportunity to unwind in the evening with relaxing music after a hard day, and get a charge of vivacity from a much more difficult song, or viewing a favorite movie.