The S-1 is a desktop speaker designed to coordinate with the Nuforce Icon. Specifically, a standard RJ-45 Cat 5 cable signals the Icon’s equalizer to optimize the S-1’s response characteristics.
The tight integration with Icon and unique design enable S-1 to achieve sonic performance equivalent to speakers costing several times its price.
The S-1’s full-range, Nuforce-engineered driver utilizes a lightweight yet rigid titanium cone, a die-cast basket with a vented voice coil, and a neodymium motor structure, all of which contribute to the speaker’s excellent linearity and power-handling capabilities.
A waveguide feature similar to that of NuForce’s top-of-the-line S-9 loudspeaker accounts for the S-1’s exemplary midrange gain, dispersion pattern and eradication of diffraction artifacts.
There are three basic benefits to the waveguide:
2. It reduces speaker cone excursion and therefore distortion, while increasing dynamic headroom.
3. It reduces power demand from the amplifier and therefore lowers distortion while increasing dynamic headroom.
4. The S-1’s well-damped enclosure consists of audio-grade MDF (medium-density fiberboard).
To optimize the S-1’s bass, position the speakers close to some manner of back panel: hanging on a wall, for example, or on a stand close to a wall. However, the wall should not be too far from the sitting position.
Many desktop speakers provide decent sound. What they don’t offer is the S-1’s finesse, resolution, clarity and lifelike midrange.
With an uncompressed source, e.g., a high-bit-rate file, you can push the S-1 / Icon system remarkably far into audiophile sound. Try listening to some good vocal, piano, saxophone or stringed instruments and you’ll discover what I mean.
We regard the S-1 as a high-fidelity component. As with most hi-fi equipment, if your source is mediocre, the S-1 probably won’t sound better than other desktop speakers.
It’s the old story: garbage in, garbage out. On the other hand — and to say it again — if you’re listening to a high-quality source, you’ll be delighted with the S-1’s performance.
If you like to watch movies on your PC or Mac, adding a sub-woofer will give you the bass you’re looking for. Some desktop speakers may offer deeper — though rarely better-quality — bass than the S-1.
We much prefer to provide the consumer with a solid 100Hz, which can be somewhat enhanced by wall placement, than an ill-defined and muddy 80Hz.