PSB Alpha iQ
PSB Speakers announced the Alpha iQ, Streaming Powered Speakers with BluOS, an all-in-one audio system that sets a new benchmark for modern, tangle-free, audiophile-grade listening. Comprising two bookshelf speakers with built-in amplifiers and a network streamer based on the award-winning BluOS multi-room music platform, the Alpha iQ lets listeners enjoy PSB's acclaimed “True to Nature” sound with more than 20 streaming services and hundreds of Internet radio stations. The Alpha iQ has a wide array of inputs so users can connect source components such as a turntable, TV, disc player, or game console. Listeners can share their music over a home network with up to 63 other BluOS-enabled components.
Setting up and using the Alpha iQ is simple. Plug the speakers into power outlets, then connect the Alpha iQ to a home network using the intuitive BluOS Controller app on a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. Now the speakers are ready to play music from more than 20 streaming services supported by BluOS, including several that offer high-resolution audio, such as Amazon Music Ultra HD, Deezer, Qobuz, and Tidal. BluOS also provides access to hundreds of Internet radio stations around the world, covering all musical genres.
The Alpha iQ has built-in two-way Bluetooth, with support for the high-quality aptX-HD codec for wireless streaming from any mobile device. Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility allows listeners to stream CD-resolution music from any app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect are both supported, so listeners can cue up music in the apps for those services, then transfer playback to the Alpha iQ. Users don't have to clutter their living spaces with speaker wires to enjoy "True to Nature" sound from the Alpha iQ. The left and right speakers communicate via a wireless link that can cover most rooms in an average-size home, so that music stays synched and clear regardless of speaker placement.
Available in satin white and satin black finishes, the Alpha iQ has a sleek, modern design. Inside each enclosure is a 4" polypropylene mid-bass driver with steel basket and rubber surround, and a 0.75" aluminum dome tweeter with neodymium magnet and ferrofluid damping. Each woofer has its own 60W class-D amplifier, and each tweeter its own 30W class-D amp, for total system output of 180W. Thanks to their powerful amplifiers, tuned bass ports, and DSP-enabled low-frequency extension, PSB's Alpha iQ speakers can deliver bass output that completely belies their diminutive size. The Alpha iQ employs a DSP-based active crossover. As with many PSB designs, the tweeter is placed below the woofer. This arrangement provides greater flexibility in listener position because the blend between woofer and tweeter remains consistent whether one is sitting or standing.
The Alpha iQ's audiophile-grade DAC supports resolution to 24-bit/192kHz and has full MQA decoding and rendering capability for high-res streaming from Tidal. BluOS also lets listeners enjoy four stations with MQA-encoded high-resolution music from Radio Paradise. The Alpha iQ boasts an extensive range of input and outputs. The primary speaker has a built-in MM phono preamp and RCA jacks plus ground terminal, so vinyl fans can connect a turntable. An HDMI ARC port lets users experience sound with TV and movies. There's also an optical input for connecting a disc player or game console, and a 3.5mm auxiliary input for connecting analogue sources. Listeners can also use the BluOS app to play music files stored on an external drive connected to the Alpha iQ's USB port.
For late-night listening, listeners can connect a pair of headphones to the combined optical/headphone jack or via two-way Bluetooth. For enhanced bass, there's a subwoofer output. When a subwoofer is connected, BluOS engages a low-pass filter for the sub and a high-pass filter for the mains, which frees the Alpha iQ from having to produce deep bass sounds. Listeners can manage every aspect of the Alpha iQ's operation using the rich, robust BluOS Controller app, which is available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. For making quick adjustments without using the app, there are touch controls on the top of the primary speaker for changing volume and pausing and resuming playback. Voice control is also possible using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri (via AirPlay 2). Like all BluOS-enabled components, PSB's Alpha iQ BluOS Powered Speakers can be integrated into popular smart-home systems, including Control4, Crestron, ELAN, RTI, and URC. IR command learning is available for listeners who use harmonized remote controls to operate multiple A/V devices. PSB's Alpha iQ will be available for $1,499/£1,299/€1,499. Info and photos by PSB Speakers via OLEX Communications.