SilverStone Ensemble EB01 & EB02 Audio System Review
Manufacturer's Product Page: SilverStone Technology Co., Ltd - Designing Inspiration
Price Compare: EB01, EB02
Availability: In stores now
This is truly an exceptional time to be involved in computer based audio. Never before have there been such quality products offering such high resolution sound fidelity and modern output options to audio lovers. We have many different types of devices available from DAC’s, ADC’s, desktop amplifiers and high resolution soundcards. The available audio components make the area of PC audio greatly entertaining and enjoyable for many people' so much so that here are countless forums and discussions groups dedicated to the task of attaining the ever elusive "perfect" sound. Many companies are now realizing how large this market actually is and they are eagerly jumping in with both feet offering new and exciting product to the end users.
Today in our HWC Audio Labs we have the Ensemble audio system from SilverStone. Their Ensemble audio system is a premium set of audio components consisting of a USB DAC audio source and a Tripath powered discrete amplifier. SilverStone is well known for high quality components in other areas of the PC marketplace but the Ensemble series of audio components marks their first attempt at breaking into the desktop audio segment of the PC peripheral market. The Silverstone EB01 was originally released a few years ago and the EB02 was just announced and displayed at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show so while one is quite new, the other is part of the Old Guard. Nonetheless, the EB02 T-Amplifier is meant to complement the EB01 DAC thus offering users a quality power amplifier section for the EB01 digital to analog converter. Both of these products are available in both Black and Silver so they are sure to go with almost any decor.
In a nutshell, the EB01 plugs into your PC via a USB cable and provides high quality stereo sound which can then be passed through to your desktop speakers. This seems to be a perfect solution for those of you without the place or time to install a stand-alone sound card in your computer. Meanwhile, the EB02 is made to be used in conjunction with the EB01 or can be used as a stand-along amplifier in order to increase the sound quality generated by an external device (MP-3 player, satellite radio, etc). The EB02 also provides outputs so it can be used with literally any home speakers on the market.
The current audio market is full of high quality components and if a company wants to make a name in this market segment they need some serious audio muscle with a solid product that better have serious sound quality. However, $90 for the EB01 and nearly $150 for the EB-02, these units don't come cheap but if they can provide the sound quality they claim to they will be well worth the money. Does the Ensemble audio system have what it takes to make a significant contribution to this market and to their potential audio customers? We are about to find out….
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