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August 27, 2023 4 minutes to read ∙ 1000 words

Product Note: The Surprising Sound from the Cyber Acoustics USB and Bluetooth Speaker Bar

By Ashley Hallene
Cyber Acoustics USB and Bluetooth Speaker Bar

Cyber Acoustics USB and Bluetooth Speaker Bar

Courtesy of Cyber Acoustics

Most computers you buy don’t come with a great sound system. On laptops, for example, there is little real estate to accommodate the magnets and cones built into large speakers to work their magic. Manufacturers tend not to invest a lot of money in acoustic design. In almost every instance, you are better served by adding a speaker to your setup. One great option on the market is the Cyber Acoustics USB and Bluetooth Speaker Bar (CA-2890BT, $29.99 on Amazon).

This speaker bar is a simple, elegant device that does a great job with minimal fuss. It can pair with your PC or Mac or with a smartphone via Bluetooth, making it flexible for hands-free calls on your phone or for meetings on your digital platform of choice. I was in awe the first time I connected the speaker to my computer via the USB and within seconds heard a ding and “PC connected.” That was it. Installation done. There was no need to download a separate program or application to configure the device. You just plug it in, it connects, and then it gets to work. You will need to designate it as your speaker the first time you connect it. To do this on a Windows computer, right-click on the speaker icon at the bottom right of your screen and select “Sound Settings” from the menu. Under Output Settings, you will select the one that reads “CA-2890BT Speaker Bar,” and you are good to go.

If you don’t have a free USB port, you will still need to use the USB plug to connect it to a power outlet, but you can then connect the device to your system via Bluetooth.

The design is simple: a minimalist bar measuring 8.5” with a built-in clip/stand that allows it to be freestanding on your desktop or clamped to your monitor or laptop. It feels solid and well-constructed. The built-in clamp and simple design make it easy to pack along with your laptop for great sound anywhere you are working. Cyber Acoustics even includes a USB-A to USB-C adapter to accommodate newer model laptops that may not have a USB-A outlet.

Bottom buttons and lights on the speaker bar

Bottom buttons and lights on the speaker bar

Courtesy of Cyber Acoustics

There are four buttons on the long bottom edge of the bar. The buttons are Volume Down, Volume Up, Mute, and Multi-Function. There are two indicator lights to let you know the status. The first light is a call/microphone/mute indicator, either purple or red or off entirely. If it is flashing red, then you have an incoming call from your smartphone. Solid purple indicates that a call is in progress. Solid red indicates that the microphone is muted. If the red light is off, the microphone is unmuted. The second light is a source connection indicator and will be either green or blue. If you use the device in USB mode, you will see a solid green light when connected. If you use it in Bluetooth mode, you will see either a flashing blue light when it is ready to pair with a smartphone or tablet, or a solid blue light when it has successfully connected.

The speaker bar continued to impress me with its surprisingly crisp sound when playing videos or music. Prior to this, I used the Marboo USB Powered Soundbar, a bulkier, freestanding bar that produced a tinny sound and had a constant high-pitched whine to it that no amount of switching cables or position could remedy. Now that I am using the Cyber Acoustics Speaker Bar, that problem is gone. The built-in dual speakers produce a clear sound at an impressively low price point. One way to look at sound quality is by examining the speaker’s frequency response range (measured in Hz). Humans have an audio frequency range between 20 Hz and 20 kHz (20,000 Hz). When audio equipment is in this range, it is usually referred to as “full-range response.” Most high-end speakers, such as the Sonos Ray Essential Soundbar ($279 on Amazon), offer full-range response. The Cyber Acoustic Speaker Bar has an audio frequency range of 80 Hz to 16,000 Hz, which covers most of the audible spectrum and can be considered decent for a computer speaker. The range is like other speaker bars around this price point. It will not provide the full range of audio frequencies that some high-quality speakers can produce. The lower end of the frequency range (80 Hz) can produce bass frequencies, which are important for a rich and immersive audio experience. However, if you are looking for deep, rumbling bass, you may want to consider a speaker that can reproduce frequencies lower than 80 Hz. The upper end of the frequency range (16,000 Hz) should be able to reproduce most of the treble frequencies and provide clarity in the higher range. However, if you are looking for extremely detailed and extended high frequencies, you might want to consider speakers that can reproduce frequencies higher than 16,000 Hz.

The perceived sound quality is not solely determined by the frequency range. Other factors such as speaker design and room acoustics also play significant roles in the overall audio performance. Ultimately, I was satisfied with the sound quality produced by this device.

The speaker bar arrives in a very no-frills package. Cyber Acoustics saved money on the “un-boxing” experience, and I’m okay with it, given the quality of audio they provide. It is a great, portable speaker that is easy to use with good sound quality.

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Ashley Hallene ([email protected]) is an attorney and land manager with Demeter Renewable in Houston, Texas, and is Editor-in-Chief of the GPSolo eReport. She frequently speaks in technology CLEs and has published articles on legal technology in GPSolo magazine, the GPSolo eReport, and the TechnoLawyer Newsletter. Ashley is an active member of the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and the Senior Lawyers Division.

Published in GPSolo eReport, Volume 13, Number 1, August 2023. © 2023 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association or the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.