Review: LaCie USB Speakers


Shawn Powers reviews the La Cie USB speakers, and looks at their Linux compatibility.

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They just work by default

tracyanne's picture

They should be very Linux compatible, after all LaCie are one of Mandriva's Technology partners.

USB Speakers

Lawrence H. Bulk's picture

Go to either Amazon or MCM Electronics. Search for Kinyo UC-270. It is a USB-powered speaker. In addition to the USB cable, it requires a connection, via 3.5mm plug, to your headphone or line output. Both of those cables, along with the connection cable from right speaker to left speaker, come with the speaker and all are permanently attached at the speakers. You need only to plug the two jacks (USB and 3.5mm) into your computer, turn the speakers on, adjust the volume and the tone to your liking, and enjoy.

They are really nice speakers, amplified of course, and supply very good sound.

How much do they cost? Not $59.99, not $49.99, not even $9.99. They cost only $3.99 and I have to tell you that you will NEVER spend a better $3.99! After I received my first pair, I ordered six (6) more pairs! What the heck? They only cost $3.99!!

Good review

Vince's picture

I enjoyed the review, and enjoy the fact that it's not boringly dry. I can always get that anywhere. Linux is still a learning process for me, and I enjoy seeing what does and doesn't work for you. Keep up the good work

could have been one minute

Anonymous's picture

Well, that was a one-minute review fluffed out to five minutes. "Plug them in and they work. Sound pretty OK too. They look like macaroni."

Some additional details I would have liked:

-Virtually all USB speakers just work on Linux. Just because La Cie gave you speakers is not a good reason to give them a free commercial. USB audio has been built in to the kernel for several years.
-You mention windows-only USB device drivers, Some actual examples would have been good. AFAIK there are few USB devices that are not cross-platform.
-Webcams have issues other than USB, which a reviewer who did their homework would talk about.
-A script might be helpful. "Um, La Cie, um, USB, um, speakers. Yeah, speakers!"
-If you're going to mention the name of the designer, maybe spend two minutes googling on his name?

I like videocasts, though quite honestly I find yours to be more self-indulgent than informative. Less fluff and more information if you please.

thanks, fred

Learning can be fun, too

ProfBib's picture


Though I agree that it would be nice to know a little bit more about the intricacies of webcams in Linux, that is really outside the scope of this review. Please keep in mind that Shawn is reviewing a pair of speakers, not the generally compatibility of all USB devices in Linux. His mention of webcams was (correct me if I'm wrong Shawn), meant to illustrate a field of devices that, quite often do not "just work" when plugged into a Linux box.

As for a "free commercial" for LaCie, they probably deserve at least some measure of praise for their efforts (yes, plural) to support Linux in their product lines. I have a LaCie NAS that not only works on my Linux machine at home, but that also came with a Linux version of the NAS administration/setup software, something that is not always the case, even if a device itself happens to work on Linux. It's a minor step, but one that a great many other companies have not even tried to make. In a larger sense, supporting the 'little guy' has always been part of LaCie's marketing, having been involved in the peripheral market for Macs from the very early days of Apple.

Finally, I like to have a little fun while I learn: Shawn's video podcasts are part of my lunch hour viewing and I enjoy a little bit of craziness and humor to break up the day.


Evan, a little entertainment

Anonymous's picture

Evan, a little entertainment is always nice. I prefer the reverse ratio to this supposed review- 95% meat to 5% fun stuff. Shawn made it sound like compatibility is an issue with USB speakers, which is not accurate. And he mentioned webcams, again a throwaway comment that he had plenty of time to give some useful information on.

If LaCie is as Linux-friendly as you say, that would have been a valid part of a review too. Sorry, but this review gets a D+. This was not a review, it was a bare outline of a review. LJ can do better.

Unsolicited adulation

AnonymousCoward's picture

Man, do I love the way you always manage to make your reviews funny AND informative.

And I was going to get a set of BX5as!

David Lane's picture


And here I was all set to drop $200 on a pair of M-Audio Studiophile BX5a. :-) Oh, wait, I don't think they are Linux ready. Something about needing a XLR jack. Well I am sure Dave Philips can talk about them in his column.

The Le Cie's look cool. I have friends that have used the Firewire versions for years so I look forward to hearing if the USBs have the same frequencies and response. Not that I would use them for studio work, but it does get boring in the server room sometimes :-)

David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack