The latest product from celebrated British audio name Quad is an active speaker design, aimed as much at living-room use as those who want to play music from their computers. The Quad 9AS is smaller than the previous Quad active model, the 11L Active, at just over 30cm tall, and comes in a choice of high-gloss finishes at £599.95 a pair. Each speaker has 100W of amplification built-in – 35W to drive the 25mm fabric-dome tweeter and 65W for the 10cm woven Kevlar cone mid/bass unit, with peak outputs of double those figures – and the active electronic crossover is set at 2.5kHz. The speakers are said to have a frequency range of 65Hz-23kHz (+/-3dB), and claim -6dB bass extension down to 47Hz, thanks to reflex-port loading. As well as standard RCA phono and 3.5mm stereo line-ins, the 9AS speakers have a choice of three digital inputs: optical and coaxial/electrical S/PDIF inputs are provided, and there’s also an asynchronous USB input for direct connection to a computer, capable of handling content at up to 24-bit/192kHz. The ‘master’ speaker also has an output for an external active subwoofer such as Quad’s L-ite Plus model, and this speaker connects to the ’slave’ via conventional line-level cable. To ensure all the internal volume of the compact cabinets is used to the best effect, the amplifier sections are in separate housings bonded to the base of each speaker. Class AB amplification is used, simply because the Quad designers say it sounds better than the Class D amps commonly found in such applications, and the speakers have a three-position bass equalisation switch, allowing their low-frequency response to be adjusted for free-standing, shelf-mounted and close-to-wall use. Removable grilles are supplied, with magnetic fixings ensuring a ‘clean’ look to the front baffles when they’re removed, and settings such as volume and input selection can be controlled via a touch-sensitive panel on the ‘master’ speaker, or using the remote control supplied. Completing the specification is 12V trigger switching, allowing the speakers to be switched in and out of standby in custom installations. The Quad 9AS speakers are available now in a choice of high-gloss white, black or ruby red.