Q: I just completed a home music studio for practicing drums. It is small, about 12 by 7 feet, and I need to install speakers so I can play the songs while drumming because I don't always like practicing with headphones on. Is there a set of speakers you could recommend with big sound and quality that will work through Bluetooth from my Mac? I own a pair of Polk Audio speakers from about 30 years ago, but I think they are too big for this room, and one of them needs repair, anyway. I'd like to spend less than $300 if possible.
A: You are definitely going to need big sound if you are playing drums in a small room, and you also do not want everything but the high frequencies drowned out by your drumming. I recently tested a powered-speaker ensemble that will do what you want while sounding great. And it comes in just under your price limit.
The Edifier S350DB includes two full-sized bookshelf speakers and a powered subwoofer. You can connect them with Bluetooth, RCA stereo inputs, a 3.5mm auxiliary input or an optical digital connection. Although you have a specific application using Bluetooth in mind, the different inputs make this a good choice for use in a home music system with multiple source components. For example, you could connect your phone with Bluetooth, a turntable (with a phono preamp) to the RCA connections and a television to the optical connection. It even comes with the cables you need and a remote.
Buying a system with a powered subwoofer not only provides deeper bass, but it allows you to get bigger and louder sound than you can get out of a pair of small bookshelf speakers alone. Bass frequencies are nondirectional, which means you cannot locate where they are coming from so long as you set up the subwoofer correctly. This gives you a lot of options for placement in your small room. You also could put the subwoofer in a corner for increased bass output should you need it.
Edifier (edifier.com) is a leading powered-speaker brand for good reason, and the S350DB does not disappoint. The speakers are hefty and look and feel solid. Sound quality is excellent, as well. If you spend any time in your music studio just listening to music rather than practicing, you will enjoy them. (I know I've said this before, but it's wroth repeating: If you're using bookshelf speakers with a turntable, put them on different surfaces. Otherwise, vibrations from the speakers can disrupt the turntable.)
The last laugh?
Q: A couple of weeks ago you wrote about a CD player that refuses to play a disc anymore after playing it 3,000 times. Is this a real problem, or did you fall victim to an April Fool's prank?
A: I received quite a few e-mails suggesting it was a joke and that the disc would play again on April 2. However, the question arrived in March. But because I often fall behind in answering my mail, I didn't get to it until April. I'm convinced that it is a real problem.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.