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N55SF SonicMaster

The N55SF speaker grille spans the width of the keyboard

Bang & Olufsen ICEpower

The entire electronics design has to be qualified by Bang & Olufsen’s ICEpower division for it to bare the name. This combines an approved high-quality codec, while underneath the grille are two 32mm speakers which are each attached to an 11W amplifier. These not only increase the amplitude of sound but also the dynamic range too; basically it sounds less like someone talking in a tin-can and more like the real world. In comparison, typical notebooks use just 20mm speakers and a tiny 2W amplifier.

Speaker grille closeup

Speaker grille design closeup

The perforations on the aluminum grille allow the sound to escape without it looking too much like a speaker, which would obviously be a distracting feature.

Subwoofer port

Special subwoofer port (in orange)

SonicMaster Subwoofer

On the side there’s an orange port that is exclusively for the bundled SonicMaster subwoofer. This port separates the low frequency tones for the subwoofer, while the new N series speakers take care of the medium and high ones. Ultimately this creates a full sound experience like no other notebook.

The N-team explained that they co-oped specifically with Microsoft to enable this, as normally plugging in any speakers, headphones or microphone into a laptop will cause Windows to disable the onboard hardware.

The SonicMaster subwoofer is a patented design by the ASUS Sound and Sensitivity lab.

The entire thing is powered by a single cable, so there’s no extra batteries or power cord required. At just 8cm tall and 7cm in diameter, it’s also not much larger than many PC mice making it easy to chuck in your bag and take away with you.

Ideally you have to use it on a hard surface like a desk to deflect the sound, rather than your leg, the bed or the carpet, while its clover-leaf base helps prevent distracting vibrations from transmitting downwards.

The base also pops off to reveal a storage spot for the plug, so the cable doesn’t get damaged in the bottom of your bag or luggage.

subwoofer and N55SF connected up

subwoofer and N55SF connected up

It’s laptop audio you can finally be proud of! Let us know what you think of the SonicMaster goodies in the comments below.

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