Hey folks, Valkor here with a CES 2011 throwback from the folks at Zalman. Last round we took their ZM-RS6F 5.1 Surround Sound Headphones, which earned 4 stars here in the Val-Cave. This round we're taking things back from 5.1 headphones to portable speakers. Check it out, its Zalman's ZM-NSP100 Clip-On Notebook Speakers.
The ZM-NSP100 is as stated – clip-on speakers that attach to your laptop or netbook. Each speaker clips on to either side of your laptop and is powered by USB. Once your system has recognized it, then you're ready to go. If clipping anything onto your laptop is a no go, you can always position the speakers either horizontal or vertical on either side of your laptop. Heck you can even lie them flat; however you choose to position them, you can't go wrong. The speakers comes in two colors – black or white. Finally the ZM-NSP100 come with a carrying case for when they're not in use or for your travel needs.
When testing the speakers, I put them through the usual gamut minus DVD playback. These are portable speakers and are meant for simpler needs rather than anything heavy duty. So with that out the way, let's move on into the TOV Breakdown.
For portable speakers, sound quality isn't all that bad, especially if you consider the alternative of having to deal with the internal speakers of your laptop, which is never of any good quality. Sure you can go the headphone route, but that's more or less if you're stationary. If you wanna move about then I'd consider the ZM-NSP100. When dealing with music, sound quality isn't bad and vocals come across crystal clear. The same can be said when watching vids like on YouTube or those that are local on a hard drive. Also the speakers do a great job handling the separation of the left/right channels. And finally the overall design is rock solid, very simple, nothing too fancy, in addition the clips hold the speakers in place firmly.
First off, the vocals outshine the background music when listening to MP3s. That's not a huge complaint, but there are songs where you wanna embrace the music, but the vocals overshadow it. Also if you need some serious bass, then definitely pass on these. Anything bass heavy gets muffled.
Overall, I'll admit I'm impressed with Zalman's ZM-NSP100 portable speakers – they're simple and effective, giving you great audio on the go. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give the ZM-NSP100 a 3.5 and they've been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!