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Axiom Audiobyte: The Bentley of PC speakers?

New high-end luxury speakers aim to deliver an audiophile alternative to PC audio.

Axiom Audiobyte PC speakers (real burled wood lacquered finish)
Axiom Audio's new Audiobyte PC speakers: the lacquered walnut version runs $559 a pair
Axiom Audio

Most PC speakers are afterthoughts--the computer equivalent of those awful earbud headphones that come bundled "for free" with portable media players. But Canada's Axiom Audio is offering a high-end alternative with its new Audiobyte PC speakers. At 6.5 inches high by 5.5 inches wide by 4 inches deep, the stereo speakers aren't too much larger than standard computer audio offerings, but they're effectively miniaturized versions of high-quality bookshelf speakers, sporting two-way designs with a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter and 3-inch aluminum cone woofer.

The Audiobyte is now available in a variety of finishes and price points: silver, charcoal, black or white standard synthetic matte finish ($349); cherry or burled walnut high-gloss synthetic ($399); and lacquered real-wood burled cherry or walnut ($559). Each package includes a pair of stereo speakers and a separate amplifier module, that latter of which can also accept direct iPod connections via USB. An optional EPZero subwoofer runs $179. Those price tags aren't cheap, especially compared to most offerings from PC audio stalwarts like Logitech and Altec Lansing--and not having yet heard the Audiobytes in action, we can't make any claims as to whether or not they live up to their audiophile billing. But Axiom is betting that more refined listeners--those who might be considering the $400 Bose Companion 5 speakers, for instance--would be willing to give the Audiobytes an audition.