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Manufacturer: Monsoon
Min OS X: Not Supported    Requires: Minijack Audio Port

Monsoon iM-700
March 2, 2001 | Brehan Crawford

Much of the hubbub in the gaming world these days seems to surround more polygons, more RAM, faster processors, and larger monitors. And yet one thing is severely missing from the “complete” gaming systems of thousands of people: a good sound setup.

Once the kings of sound in the computing world, Macs have fallen in recent years to the middle of the road, especially with the advent of high-end multi-directional hardware-accelerated consumer sound boards on the PC side of things. But every Macintosh still ships with something that many PC owners still must add themselves: high-quality stereo sound output, right on the motherboard.

Of course, to take advantage of that high-quality stereo sound a user must have a good set of speakers; Apple appears to be just now noticing this, and ships new iMacs and G4 cubes with respectable, if not incredible, speaker systems. Nevertheless, the third-party market for add-on computer speakers is huge, and is one of the few areas in computing that does not generally require special drivers to be written for one set of speakers to be used on multiple computing platforms.

Monsoon Audio, long known for their excellent sound systems in cars such as the Pontiac Firebird and the AM General Hummer, have somewhat recently entered the consumer multimedia market for computer speakers. And, not to miss out on any trends passing through the industry, they have taken one of their lines of speakers, added some transparent plastic which sort of matches a blueberry iMac, and put an “i” in front of the name. Hence, the iM-700. Note that in this case, possibly to make these speakers “collectors’ items” or something, Monsoon has also added $20 to the price tag, while offering no technical improvements over the MM-700 speakers, which come in black rather than bondi.

The speakers themselves are impressive to look at, as they are, as the box and web site eagerly say, flat, and feature an industrial-tech sort of metal grate on the front. Monsoon has not done anything cosmetically to the subwoofer to differentiate it from the MM-700 as it is meant to be stored under the desk or behind a file cabinet or something. Nevertheless, the speakers take up the same amount of space as most every other pair of satellites, as they each utilize a metal base for stability which protrudes a good four inches or so from the back of the speakers themselves.


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