JLab B-Flex USB Laptop Speaker Review
Laptops are getting more powerful every day, and it’s becoming more and more affordable to get one that’s suitable for gaming. Other than a few performance trade-offs, the biggest let-down when gaming on a laptop is the sound. Those little speakers they tuck into laptops just don’t produce the sort explosions and effects that we’re used to. If you’re looking for something a little better, JLab offers up the B-Flex, a USB powered external speaker that works with any Windows, Mac, or Linux box.
The B-Flex is simple enough in design. You’ve got a USB plug, a flexible length of metal, and a head with 2 speakers in it. Basically, when you plug the B-Flex in, it becomes your sound card, and all your laptop’s sound is directed through it. It’s plug-and-play, with no drivers needed for Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista/7, MAC OS, and GNU/LINUX Kernel 2.4 and above.
I won’t bore you with all the specifics of things like signal-to-noise ratio. Instead, I’ll just tell you this: the B-Flex drastically improves the sound of both music and gaming on laptops. The range of sounds that are reproduced is far greater using this speaker than any laptop I’ve ever played on. There’s less distortion at higher volumes, and the swivel-mounted head means you can direct the sound wherever you like.
Setup was a breeze, just as was promised in the packaging, and within seconds I was jamming to tunes at a higher quality level than I’ve ever experienced from a laptop. Playing games (I used The Witcher, since it was already installed) yields much better sound quality and definition than you’re used to from a laptop.
The B-Flex won’t replace an awesome set of headphones, but if you want to share some music, or let some hear what’s going on in a game you’re playing, I haven’t seen a better option that’s this compact and simple. It’s even available in a number of colors to match your laptop of choice. It will set you back around $40 on the JLab site, but if you’re a big laptop gamer, this is one purchase you can feel perfectly secure making.