XtremeMac Tango Bar

    Made to fit right underneath your iMac, Cinema Display, or Thunderbolt Display, XtremeMac’s just announced Tango Bar ($100), a good-looking way to pump some more sound into your home or office. While it can connect to any computer—or any other audio source, for that matter—the speaker is particularly well-suited for using that otherwise unoccupied space under Apple monitors, and is designed to match their aluminum bodies. Updated December 20, 2011: We’ve now had the opportunity to test the Tango Bar in person, and have added some new details below.

    Tango Bar has a six speaker configuration: dual dome tweeters, midrange/bass drivers, and passive radiators for bass. It carries audio from your computer via USB, and that’s how it’s powered, too. If you want to hook up to a device that doesn’t perform music over USB, there’s a line-in port, though USB power will still be required to operate the speakers. XtremeMac also built headphone output and sub-out ports into the back, though the actual need for such things is sort of a question mark. The speaker is made from silver plastic with black end caps and an orange-ringed volume dial, with two rubberized feet on the bottom and a gap large enough to let any iMac/Cinema Display leg sit comfortably in the middle. Audio quality is good for a $100 all-in-one speaker, with a higher maximum volume than is possible from even the 27” iMac’s integrated speakers, and substantially better audio balance—fuller sound with noticeably better bass and midrange performance, plus competent treble; the iMac’s integrated hardware sounds very shallow and directionally challenged when compared to Tango Bar. It’s definitely a nice match for Apple’s industrial designs, a very good use of space, and a solid value for the price.

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