In recent years, Bowers & Wilkins, one of the legendary names in British hi-fi audio, has been branching out beyond its high-end speakers that have long appealed to audiophiles. It has created a line of uniquely styled Zeppelin iPod speaker systems and now it is offering the highly rated P5, a $300 pair of headphones as well as the $500 MM-1 multimedia speakers.
The first thing you're probably saying to yourself is: wow, $500 for a pair of PC speakers. What do I get for that?
For starters, these speakers are slick-looking with black cloth grilles and brushed metal trim. For relatively compact speakers--they measure 6.7 inches high by 3.9 inches wide by 3.9 inches deep and have a 3-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter--the MM1s have a nice heft to them. The right speaker--which houses four 18-watt Class D amplifiers, two of which power the left speaker--weighs 2.1 pounds, while the left speaker comes in at 1.9 pounds. The amplifiers make the aluminum top on the right speaker warm to the point where we became concerned--maybe it's not quite warm enough to keep a cup of coffee hot, but pretty warm nevertheless. That said, the speakers worked fine during our tests--we left them on for a few hours straight without any problems.