Microlab SOLO-6 Stereo Amplified Speaker System Review
There are a lot of companies who go under the radar when you have the bigger companies controlling the market. One of these companies is Microlab Technology Co. LTD operating out of China. You’ve probably never heard of Microlab before but this review will introduce you to this relatively unknown manufacturer that has been producing some very good products overseas and has even famous loudspeaker specialist Peter Larson working as an acoustic consultant.
Today we look at one of the pieces Peter Larsen helped develop, namely the Microlab SOLO-6. The SOLO-6 is a versatile speaker system with a competitive price point in mind. But don’t let that fool you because this thing can belt out!
About Microlab Technology Co. LTD (from their website)
“Microlab Technology Co., Ltd. is an ISO 9001 certified manufacturer. It was established in Jan, 1998 as a Sino-America Joint Venture invested by Shenzhen Microlab Technology Inc. and International Microlab in USA. It specializes in the R&D, Production and Marketing of AV products and computer peripherals. Through years of development, Microlab has set up over 40 production lines to produce Speaker, Case & Power Supply, Keyboard, DVD Player, MP3, USB Flash Drive and Card Readers.
Features and Specifications
The SOLO-6 is a 100W RMS two-speaker bass reflex system constructed out of MDF and consisting of two different driver systems involved in handling low-frequency and high-frequency of the sound spectrum. The SOLO-6 is powered by an amplifier that changes the amplitude (height and power) of the sound waves accordingly between the ranges of the 55Hz to 20 KHz. These speakers are magnetically shielded to prevent any interference to your electronics.
For your low-frequencies, the SOLO-6 utilizes a 6.5-inch polypropylene woofer. Your high frequencies are powered by a 1” silk dome tweeter which is situated at the top of the speaker system. Combining all these components will allow the SOLO-6 to easily fill up large rooms and provide good to great bass coming from the 6.5-inch woofers. Positioning these properly will allow for even more feel of bass.
The Microlab SOLO-6 does contain both standard left and right RCA line inputs for use on your PC and other devices utilizing the RCA standard. Unfortunately, no digital optical exists and there is no headphone jack present.
You can control which inputs you want to use with the included remote. This small remote controls the volume, inputs, bass, treble and mute functions. The remote is powered by a small button cell which can easily be found and replaced at almost any store.
The Microlab SOLO-6 speaker system is big, solid and weighs a hefty bunch (about 30lbs total). The build quality is top notch from what I see. These things can handle a beating, which is evident in the small bumps and bruises these speakers have from being shipped all the way from China to here in Canada. The box was mangled, so I suggest that Microlab add more foam to their packaging to protect from further damage.
Purchasing the Microlab SOLO-6 will provide you with the following items…
The only other thing that would have made the bundle complete is a RCA to RCA cable. Thankfully it’s not too expensive to purchase so it’s not really a big deal.
How it looks
The first time I opened the box and laid the Microlab SOLO-6 on the table, I noticed how nice these looked. Again these are made from MDF so they have a bulk to them and are covered with wooden vinyl accent which gives it a nice dark cherry wood look; an upscale look.
The rear of the SOLO-6 contains the bass-reflex port, amplifier, speaker terminals, RCA inputs, volume control and power switch. Usually at this time, I would nitpick with the fact that the volume control is located at the back of the speaker but in this case, with the SOLO-6 having a remote, I won’t have to.
The only other small thing to point out is the actual power cord which isn’t the North American type but all you need is an adapter (you don’t need a transformer) since the voltages are the same; 110v.
How does it sound?
Honestly, I think the Microlab SOLO-6 is an amazing performer. They look big, but they sound even bigger than they look! They fit perfectly at replacing cluttered home theatre speaker systems. Honestly you don’t need 5.1 or whatever, 2.0 is really all you need and the SOLO-6 can fit perfectly for this application as it does really well in this department giving big sound and great bass.
The soundstage of the SOLO-6 is rich, beautiful, full, soft, vibrant, and detailed. The SOLO-6 can be heard far away meaning they can be loud when needed. The SOLO-6 containing its 6.5” woofer basically eliminates the need for an external subwoofer, in my opinion. The single 6.5” woofer provides good to great bass (I notice the bass sounds a bit soft, which can be a good thing) and with the options of tweaking either bass or treble functions, you’ll always find the settings to suit your tastes. Positioning, as usual, plays a big part in the way the bass can sound. It’s best to position the speaker close to a wall so it can reflect. In the event you want even more bass, Microlab offers the SOLO-7 which contains two 6.5” woofers. But seriously the bass on the SOLO-6 already pounds with good force.
The Microlab SOLO-6 is almost neutral in the way it sounds, although I did notice that the treble is more prominent over the bass under stock settings. Additionally, you can’t really hear the bass pound until you set the bass setting up to 4 (out of a possible 8). Again you bring down the treble down one notch with the remote to make the sound neutral.
The Microlab SOLO-6 can handle anything thrown at it. They did sound however, simply beautiful for genres such as instrumental, jazz, classical, the calm types of music, and I guess this is what they were looking to achieve as they wanted to focus on European musical culture. It really provides great detail to these types of music.
I also noticed that the Microlab SOLO-6 made sources that are known to be poor, feel like so. The Sony PSP didn’t sound nice on these speakers like it did on the Edifier R1200T, and you could tell the differences between high bit-rate and low bit-rate audio through the M-Audio soundcard I’m reviewing (review will be up ASAP).
I came away very impressed by the Microlab SOLO-6 and cannot wait to see more of what Microlab has in store. The Microlab SOLO-6 is built tough and gives off beautiful sound. They are almost well balanced but this can be fixed with a decrease in treble. If you haven’t heard of Microlab, well now you have.
Pros and Cons