PSB Alpha IQ
PSB Alpha IQ
PSB Alpha IQ

PSB Alpha IQ: Roon Ready bookshelf speakers with BluOS streaming

PSB Speakers has long been renowned for its excellent speaker design, and now the Canadian firm is offering a pair of its bookshelf speakers, which it has cleverly transformed into an all-in-one audio system with Roon Ready certification and BluOS streaming capabilities. The PSB Alpha IQ active speakers include a 4-inch polypropylene midrange driver with a steel basket and rubber cover, and a 0.75-inch aluminum dome tweeter with neodymium magnet and ferrofluid damping in each cabinet.

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The woofers are powered by their own 60W Class D amplifier, and each tweeter shares the same layout with a 30W Class D amplifier, resulting in a total system power of 180W. Featuring powerful amplifiers, tuned bass ports, and DSP-assisted low-frequency extension, PSB’s Alpha iQ delivers bass punch that belies their diminutive size. The PSB Alpha IQ speakers use a DSP-based active crossover. As with many PSB models, the tweeter is located below the woofer. The company says this arrangement allows for greater flexibility in listening position because the woofer and tweeter combination remains the same whether you’re sitting or standing. The speakers are wirelessly connected, so all you need is a couple of power outlets, connect them to your network via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi, and you’re good to go.

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The PSB Alpha IQ speaker DAC supports resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz and has full MQA decoding and rendering capability for high-resolution streaming from TIDAL. BluOS also gives you access to four stations featuring high-definition MQA-encoded music from Radio Paradise and over twenty other streaming services, including Amazon Music Ultra HD, Deezer and Qobuz. Plus, PSB Alpha IQ boasts a wide range of inputs and outputs if you want to do more than just stream. For example, the main speaker has a built-in MM phono preamp, RCA connectors and a ground terminal so you can add a turntable.

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Meanwhile, the HDMI ARC port allows you to amplify your TV’s sound, while the optical input allows you to connect a disc player or games console. Finally, the 3.5mm auxiliary input is another analog source option. Of course, the BluOS app can also be used to play music files stored on an external drive connected to the Alpha iQ’s USB port. They can even be integrated into popular smart home systems including Control4, Crestron, ELAN, RTI and URC. Apple Airplay 2 is also on board.

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For late-night listening, you can connect a pair of headphones to the optical/headphone combo jack or via two-way aptXHD Bluetooth. There’s a subwoofer output for enhanced bass, and when connected, BluOS includes a low-pass filter for the subwoofer and a high-pass filter for the mains, allowing the PSB Alpha IQ to concentrate on higher frequencies.

Specifications PSB Alpha IQ

Frequency response ±3 dB 64 Hz-20 kHz
Amplifier power (per speaker) Tweeter = 30 W, Woofer = 60 W
Tweeter (19 mm), Woofer (100 mm)
Wireless technology Bluetooth, Wi-Fi , AirPlay 2
Spotify Streaming, Tidal (MA), Roon Ready
BluOS App Control
Inputs: Analog 3.5mm, Phono MM, Digital Plus, HDMI arc, Optical
Wireless aptX™ HD Bluetooth
Size (WxHxD) 145 x 246 x 192 mm
Net weight 7.36 kg