Are USB speakers like the "Logitech S150 Digital USB Speaker System" supposed to work out of the box on a modern Linux distribution? I'm planning to buy one to get rid of the cabling mess of my present low-power speaker system.
Well, since I had some extra cash lying around, I just went out and bought these speakers. They "appear" to work out of the box. My Debian system running kernel 2.6.29 recognizes it (according to lsusb) as:
Originally Posted by 0x791e
Bus 003 Device 004: ID 1130:1620 Tenx Technology, Inc.
I say "appear" because I had to configure my main media players (MPlayer and VLC) to use the proper sound card. Yes, USB audio speakers appear to be combination of sound card plus low-power speakers. For the ALSA OSS emulation an additional /dev/dsp1 was added to the /dev/dsp of the onboard audio chip. I had to point VLC to use this as VLC appears not to recognize the speaker's direct ALSA interface. With MPlayer I had to put "ao=alsa:device=hw=1.0" in my ~/.mplayer/config.
I haven't bothered (yet) configuring the speakers for use by the Gnome desktop since between MPlayer and VLC I can play all media files I care to watch or listen to.
As for audio quality, don't bother playing your loudest heavy metal music or, correspondingly, most thundering symphonies on these little babies. They simply can't handle them. But they're great for watching movies in a quiet room. I might even describe the sound as "crystal clear" at low volumes. This is the least I could probably expect. The orange LED on the right speaker, after all, spells out the word "DIGITAL".
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