How Small Powered Speakers Deliver Big Audio

If you need to get great audio out of a small space you’re not alone. Many industries–from gaming to automotive to aerospace–come to MISCO in search of smaller, better speakers all the time. To understand what it takes to achieve these goals, we’ll share the story of our new mighty (but mouse-sized) 2.1 system.

This super compact system, which delivers exceptional audio quality and big sound, is the result of decades of engineering expertise. The system was designed to fit easily into gaming cabinets and consumer kiosks. It is a great option for mobile musicians, studio monitoring, and any product or device that needs high-quality audio but doesn’t have a lot of spare space.

“That little thing is doing all this?” is the reaction from almost anyone who hears the system in action. It was first unveiled to listeners during the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas in late 2022. It’s so small it was easy to carry in an overnight bag from one interested customer’s booth to another. 

System Specs

The 2.1 system combines two, super-small, full-range satellite speakers with a 5.25” subwoofer. The full range speakers are just 1.5” (40mm) in diameter. They are housed in proprietary dual tuned-port enclosures. The engineering wizardry of using two ports allows the speakers to handle lower frequencies better and kick out more volume at the same time. In essence, the two ports work together to mimic one much longer port, which wouldn’t fit by itself in such a small space.

The robust subwoofer in the system is designed for maximum sensitivity. Its lightweight paper cone is attached to a compliant polyether foam surround that offers great dynamics and punch. The voice coil has an aluminum former for maximum heat dissipation and a power rating of 80 watts. It’s also housed in a ported enclosure and is tuned to 65 Hz (with a realistic response all the way down to 40 Hz).

You can see exactly how the subwoofer was designed and built  in our five-part video series on Designing and Building a Loudspeaker. Here’s the first video in that series.


Amped Up Right

Pairing the right speakers together is only half of what makes this new system so powerful. The other half of delivering this level of sound from such a small package is achieved by the plate amplifier mounted into the subwoofer. It’s a feature-rich, DSP-enabled, Class D amp (MISCO’s MA-2105P). This feature-packed amp delivers up to 90 watts of system power (25Wx2 + 40Wx1), and offers system tuning on 10 bands of parametric EQ and multiple adjustable crossovers. You can plug into it via analog (using a 3.5mm, ⅛”, stereo cable) or digital USB-B inputs.

The beauty of this amp is that it allows the system to be finely tuned to deliver exactly the performance parameters you need. You can set it for as flat a response as you’ll ever find on such a small system (which is perfect for pro audio applications) or a Fletcher-Munson curve so it delivers the equal-loudness contours most listeners will appreciate.

When you’re considering an audio system with DSP built into it, make sure the manufacturer you are working with will provide you with the configuration files and the ability to alter the settings in the future. This isn’t a given and is something you should bring up to make sure you get it.

With MISCO’s new small powered speakers solution, you can use either the preset in the amplifier’s software or customize it yourself by connecting it to any device using the Windows OS and make adjustments immediately. The GUI (graphic user interface) for the software is pretty straightforward.

Smaller and Better

MISCO engineers pride themselves on taking on big challenges and finding ways to meet customer needs. If you are not happy with the sound your small system is creating or need a new audio solution altogether, please reach out to us.

download this resource for creating speaker systems


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