PSB Alpha iQ Streaming Powered Speakers Launched
PSB announces its Alpha iQ BluOS-enhanced, powered, wirelessly linked, massively connected bookshelf speakers.
The PSB Alpha iQ powered bookshelf speakers could prove very attractive to the modern music lover who wants the flexibility of a stereo hi-fi but doesn't want the clutter or the cables.
PSB Speakers has long been renowned for excellent loudspeaker design, and now the Canadian firm offers a pair of its bookshelf speakers that it has skillfully turned into an all-in-one audio system complete with BluOS streaming capabilities.
The Alpha iQ packs a 4-inch polypropylene mid-bass driver with a steel basket and rubber surround and a 0.75-inch aluminium dome tweeter with neodymium magnet and ferrofluid damping in each cabinet.
The woofers are powered by their own 60W class-D amplifier, and each tweeter has the same arrangement with a 30W class-D amp for a total system output of 180W. Thanks to their powerful amplifiers, tuned bass ports, and DSP-enabled low-frequency extension, PSB's Alpha iQ promises bass output that 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. The company states that this arrangement provides greater flexibility in listener position because the blend between woofer and tweeter remains consistent whether one is sitting or standing. The speakers are linked wirelessly, so all you need is a couple of power sockets, connect them to your network via Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi, and you're good to go.
The Alpha iQ's DAC supports resolution to 24-bit/192kHz and has full MQA decoding and rendering capability for high-res streaming from TIDAL. BluOS also gives you access to four stations with MQA-encoded high-resolution music from Radio Paradise and more than twenty other streaming services, including Amazon Music Ultra HD, Deezer, and Qobuz.
Furthermore, the Alpha iQ boasts an extensive range of input and outputs if you're looking to do more than stream. For instance, the primary speaker has a built-in MM phono preamp, RCA jacks, and a ground terminal, so you can add a turntable.
Meanwhile, an HDMI ARC port lets you bolster your TV sound, whereas the optical input offers a connection for a disc player or game console. Finally, a 3.5mm auxiliary input is another analogue source option. Of course, the BluOS app can also be used to play music files stored on an external drive connected to the Alpha iQ's USB port. They can even be integrated into popular smart-home systems, including Control4, Crestron, ELAN, RTI, and URC. Apple Airplay 2 is also onboard.
For late-night listening, you can connect a pair of headphones to the combined optical / headphone jack or via two-way aptXHD Bluetooth. For enhanced bass, there's a subwoofer output, and when connected, BluOS engages a low-pass filter for the sub and a high-pass filter for the mains, which allows the Alpha iQ to concentrate on higher frequencies.
PSB's Alpha iQ is priced at US$1,299 (local pricing will be announced soon), comes in satin white and satin black finishes. Retail availability will begin in late November 2022.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.