Ferguson Hill FHOO7

When it comes to buying an audio system for a home computer, serious audio enthusiasts have two options: pick a “top-of-the-line” system from any number of companies that also make joysticks and webcams, or build a custom system from recognized audio companies that isn’t really tailored to a PC. Neither scenario is really ideal, sacrificing either audio quality or convenience and size. Fortunately, a handful of high-end audio companies have recently reached down and created a third path: audiophile systems intended for desktops.

Ferguson Hill’s FHOO7 mini speaker system is just such a setup. Combining elements from the company’s other high-end product lines and shrinking them down, the FHOO7 includes two ball-shaped bass units and two long di-polar horn speakers, all cast in transparent acrylic. The look of such a system is, not surprisingly, unique.

Image Courtesy of Ferguson Hill

Beyond its aesthetic value, the speakers’ unusual acrylic construction also serves a utilitarian purpose. According to the company, the design eliminates sound interference usually caused by sound waves bouncing around as they do in a more common cabinet: the undampened MDF box. Horn speakers also allegedly excel at reproducing voice frequencies, and are highly directional, providing enhanced sound staging.

Unlike almost all consumer-level desktop speaker systems which use cheap class D amplifiers, the FHOO7 uses a heavier and less efficient class AB amp, the same type commonly found in higher-end home audio systems. Despite less power efficiency, the tiny amp (which is built into a 5.5-inch cube) still manages to produce 16 watts for each of its four channels.

Of course, part of the promise of a mini system is its ease of setup, and the FHOO7 delivers in that capacity. Using extremely common mini-jack leads, the system can be connected to iPods, televisions, and of course, desktop computers. Traditional RCA jacks are also included for backwards compatibility with traditional stereo systems.

Given the quality of the components thrown into the FHOO7 and the distinguished name plate of its manufacturer, it should come as no surprise that the price tag on the system is in decidedly audiophile territory, and not anywhere near an ordinary set of computer speakers. It runs for £495 in UK retailers, making it about around $988 USD for anyone with the means and coinage to have one shipped stateside. While you could easily assemble a similarly specced bookshelf-sized system out of more common components for that price, the FHOO7’s over-the-top style will be the deciding factor for anyone deciding to make the considerable investment. You can find out more information on the FH007 from the company’s website.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Smart speakers are about to get an IQ bump thanks to new Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm announced a new chipset that is designed to make the next generation of smart speakers sound, listen, and connect better than ever before, and it could soon be in your living room.

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.
Smart Home

Which is better, the original Echo or the Echo Dot? We compare them

Amazon Echo vs. Dot: Having Alexa answer your questions is nothing short of futuristic, but which device should you get? There are some big differences between the two, especially in size, sound, and cost.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Emerging Tech

Desk lamps take on a new task by converting their light to power

What if we could charge devices using light from indoor sources like desk lamps? A group of scientists working on a technology called organic photovoltaics (OPVs) aim to do just that.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.
Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: Scientists find unexpected ring around Mercury

A pair of scientists searching for a dust-free region near the Sun have made an unexpected discovery: a vast cosmic dust ring millions of miles wide around the tiny planet Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Take a dip in the Lagoon Nebula in first image from SPECULOOS instrument

The European Southern Observatory has released the first image collected by their new SPECULOOS instrument, and it's a stunning portrait of the Lagoon Nebula, a swirling cloud of dust and gas where new stars are born.
Emerging Tech

Robot assistants from Toyota and Panasonic gear up for the Tokyo Olympics

Japan plans to use the 2020 Olympics to showcase a range of its advanced technologies. Toyota and Panasonic are already getting in on the act, recently unveiling several robotic designs that they intend to deploy at the event.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.