The JBL Duet II PC speakers are decent but rather short on bass. The step-up JBL Duet III speakers offer the same design but are bigger by about 25 per cent. The Duet III speakers are available online for around £120.
The zeppelin-shaped speakers measure 117 by 305 by 117mm. Their fronts have a metallic silver, cloth mesh covering the speaker grilles, and their backs have a glossy black finish. They're attractive, look modern and go particularly well with iMac models that feature an aluminium finish.
The speakers themselves are fairly lightweight -- the left speaker weighs in at 553g and the right at 638g. JBL has conveniently placed a volume control on the top of the right speaker. When turned all the way to the left, it shuts off the speaker.
Coming off the left speaker, there are three cables: one for power, one to attach to the right speaker and one for the audio source. The right tower has just one cable to connect it to the left. The 2.3m length of the speaker-to-speaker cable should be plenty for most set-ups, but it connects with a standard RCA plug, so you could theoretically extend it further. The audio-source cable, which terminates in a silver-plated, 3.5mm straight plug, measures 1.7m.
It's a shame that the speakers don't have an auxiliary input for a second audio device. To use the audio-source cable with another device, you'll have to unplug it from your computer. Many PC speakers offer both an audio-source cable for connecting to your computer, as well as auxiliary input for attaching a second device.
Lack of oomph
The Duet III speakers exhibit similar traits to the Duet II speakers in terms of performance. Overall, the speakers sound good and offer decent clarity, but they're slightly short on bass and don't have much oomph to them, even at high volumes. That said, because of their bigger size, they do offer more bass than the Duet IIs and sound better overall. We like their sound but weren't wowed by it.
Despite a lack of oomph, the JBL Duet III PC speakers produce decent audio overall, and look good too. Bass aficionados should, however, consider a 2.1-channel speaker package that has a dedicated subwoofer.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet