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Green House Speaker Review
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RJT
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Green House Speaker Review Reply with quote

Green House Mini Speaker System – My Review
January 16, 2006

Recently I acquired both the Green House Model 204-SP speaker with USB hub and the companion Model WF subwoofer system. Shipment was not direct from Green House, Tokyo. Rather it went Tokyo to Hiroshima, on to Miami and then to Boston and involved both friends and family. Both speakers were well packaged in boxes very similar in size and design to the Apple mini box.

Pic 1

Internal packaging was excellent. It involved unique egg crate sections designed to support and protect the speakers and hold the accessories securely. There was no damage whatsoever. Both speakers were wrapped in plastic before packaging.

What you get:

The 204-SP accessories include a USB cable, a small power transformer with a six foot cords on both ends (110 V AC and 12V DC) and a 12 inch cable with 1/8th inch mini stereo phone plugs to connect the speaker to the Mini. This unit has two 5 watt speakers placed on an angle at each front corner beneath a synthetic fabric cover. The frequency range is 200 – 18K Hz. There is a volume control on the front, which also serves as the on/off switch. There are also two very convenient USB 2.0 ports on the front as well as a small LED power-on indicator. This lamp is on the left side, probably because of a conflict with the speakers. Weight is 1.6 lbs and the height is 2 inches. On the back can be found two more USB ports and a mini USB port (used to connect to the Mini), an audio-in mini jack and a jack for power. There is also a RCA jack for audio-out to the sub woofer.

The sub woofer accessories include an identical power transformer and a short cable (18”) with RCA plugs to connect audio from the 204-SP. There is a volume control on the back that also serves as a way to turn the speaker on/off. On the front there is only the power LCD. Frequency range is rated as 40 – 250 Hz. Weight is 2.5 lb and the height is 3.2 inches.

The color match of both units, despite what my pictures show, is very close to the Apple mini. No logos on the front is a definite plus. With the addition of a LaCie Mini HD the total height is 9 inches, well under that of the original Mac Cube. These pictures give a sense of what the stack looks like. Both have a tough rubber base that works well to prevent slipping. And both have a white plastic top that matches the mini.

Pic 2

Pic 3

So, how does it sound? Good, not super great. Not better than my JBL Creature system, but so much more convenient to use. Previously each time I needed 2.1 analogue sound, I had to reassemble the Creature speakers and all that entails. With the Green House speakers, they are always on and ready – a huge plus for me. And they look COOL. To test frequency response I used the freeware utility Perfect Tone (http://los.dtcurrie.net/projects/) to check frequency response. The sub woofer was within specs; I was unable to detect a response from the 204SP at frequencies above 11,000Hz. For my purposes this is a sufficient range as my ear is far from audiophile quality. Finally, understand that the “grill effect” seen with the 204SP is the result of my amateur photography and is not present under normal light conditions.

At this time I understand Green House has plans to market these speakers in the USA. Exactly how remains undecided, but the price will be about $90 per unit.

Pros:
Good sound and very convenient. Volume control on the front as well as two USB 2.0 ports. Speaker does not need to be powered up for the USB hub to function. No logos on front. Easy setup. Matches the mini color really well.

Cons:
Sub woofer volume control (and on/off switch) is on the back (but so is the mini and LaCie HD). Even though the included cables are shorter than normal, I’d like to see them at a custom length just sufficient to connect the various components. This would help to reduce clutter behind the four modules. I ended up making a set of custom cables and it does help.

Conclusion:
The mini, LaCie HD, and Green House speakers combo is smaller than the original Mac Cube. It contains a 1.5 Ghz processor, a 1/3 TB of HD space as well as the ability the burn double layer DVDs. As a modest home theater system it is great for watching DVDs and listening to iTunes audio. Happy to answer questions.
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Weee
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they made out of plastic or metal?
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RJT
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weee wrote:
Are they made out of plastic or metal?


Both speakers appear to be plastic on all six sides. Looks like aluminum, but too light to be metal.
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devo
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those look way cool! Cool

Do you have any concerns with shielding or vibrations from the sub woofer? Are the speakers shielded?
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I'm trying to stay away from with my mini. Why turn it into a tower, with a bunch of power supplies and expensive cases.

I'm not saying this product is not cool, it is. I'm just personally debating whether I should keep on buying expensive accessories for my mini or just buy and iMac or PowerMac.
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RJT
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


No concerns about shielding or vibrations. The Sub Woofer would have the largest magnet and it is seperated by the USB hub/mid-range speakers. There is just not enough power to create meaningful vibration. Still, it sounds good, real good for two mid-range speakers that are located so close.



Fair observation. Honestly, if I removed the Sub Woofer, it would be a perfect cube and probably would be a high attration factor (at least for me). But the audio would suffer measurably so I leave it at nine inches. Too bad Green House could not have come up with a combo unit that was just the physical size of the Sub Woofer.

In my eyes the Mini and the Lacie HD, as a pair, are about the perfect height (read: nice visual factor). But the added convience of having decent sound immediately available is a huge add-on for me. Each of us has our own set-up, and for many their speaker systems are nicely incorperated into the computing area. That was not the case for me so I welcomed this solution whiuch works well and looks good.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
This is what I'm trying to stay away from with my mini. Why turn it into a tower, with a bunch of power supplies and expensive cases.


I know what you're saying, but it's cool to have the option of expanding this way. I'm not sure speakers are the best thing to stack, but things like the Mac mini hard drives and hubs are pretty cool. I'm with you on power supplies. I hate those things!
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RJT
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I sure messed up that dual post to devo and to Bandit Bill.

Hope you, the reader, can straighten out my mistake.

BTW, the transformers (a.k.a. power supplies) are six feet away from the speakers in a cabinet. That is not a problem, at least for me.
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warlock
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm an old fashioned kinda guy, I still listen to CD! Laughing
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GrendelPrime
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OGN wrote:

I know what you're saying, but it's cool to have the option of expanding this way. I'm not sure speakers are the best thing to stack, but things like the Mac mini hard drives and hubs are pretty cool. I'm with you on power supplies. I hate those things!


Perhaps someday we can do away with the wires for power too.

This looks promising, imagine a BT iPod, you lay your bag down, it would update and charge while still packed away.
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CaptHowdy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:49 pm    Post subject: Okay So How Do I Get This? Reply with quote

Okay, so heres the question... how the heck do I buy this? I want this n' I can't read that website at all.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is a year old. It's possible that the company went out of business.
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TyPod
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
This thread is a year old.


That's why I wasn't familair with some of the people that posted here... Confused
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Cory Cooper
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That company is based in Japan...only available there:

Green House
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
I'm not saying this product is not cool, it is. I'm just personally debating whether I should keep on buying expensive accessories for my mini or just buy and iMac or PowerMac.


Even if you had either of the above, you'd still need to buy speakers for quality sound, and increasing the storage capacity would involve purchasing more, or larger hard drives.
So in my opinion, it would be hard to say one idea is better then the other.

jb
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