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.