Review: Foldable USB Speakers (Tech-Com SSD-510U)

Most laptop don’t usually boast of robust sound and therefore external accessories like headphones/earphones or a set of speakers become a necessity for an optimal listening experience.

But then laptop are meant to be portable but most speakers aren’t and earphones don’t lend themselves to group listening. So when I came across this set of USB powered speakers from Tech-Com (SSD-510U), I was immediately interested. Did a bit of testing and bought it home (as an additional accessory for my Asus Eee PC 1000H).

The biggest advantage is the size and the fact that it folds into two (like a clamshell) to make itself even more portable (see images below).

It doesn’t need a driver in modern operating systems (though it comes equipped with a CD) to run and you can simply plug in to your USB post and listen. And also has a little stand to help keep it upright. But there is always a chance of misplacing the little stand.

The sound quality isn’t that great, but better than most in-built laptop speaker output (and louder too, but not party loud). It is also more of treble and less of bass. If it is bass that gives you the boost, then this might not be the best choice.

Moreover it doesn’t come with volume controls so all the controlling has to be done through the laptop/PC.

Tech-Com USB Speakers
Open and plugged in (notice the red right glowing). Compared to a DVD.

Tech-Com USB Speakers
Closed. The stand and a DVD lie besides.

Tech-Com USB Speakers
Held in the palm of my hand for a better idea of the size.

Being USB powered means that it is a bit different from other speakers that you plug into the headphones socket. If you are listening to something while you plug the USB speakers, the sound wouldn’t get transferred from your internal speakers to the external speakers. For that you have to shut the application and restart it again. A small pain.

But for a price of Rs 400 (the printed price reads Rs 699), it seems paisa-wasool.

The packaging says 460 Watts PMPO and doesn’t mention any RMS rating. PMPO is dubious, we all know that. And it is manufactured in China.

If you aren’t very finicky about the quality of your sound and are looking for portable speakers that you can carry around in your laptop bag, it might be a worthwhile purchase. But the timbre conscious might have to look elsewhere.

[Dealer details: Spiral Systems & Networks, 120 Mansarovar, 90 Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019 | Phone +91 11 2629 2660 | Mobile +91 11 1126 6280]