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PSB Alpha PS1

Powered desktop stereo speaker system

20 Reviews | 1 question - 7 answers

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Our take on the PSB Alpha PS1

The compact PSB Alpha PS1 powered speaker system can fit on even the most space-challenged desks and bring your music to life with surprising punch. To be honest, we're not really too surprised. That's because PSB conducts rigorous testing and research at Canada's National Research Council to ensure all their speakers deliver outstanding performance in the real world. No tricks here, just solid, thoughtful engineering for refined, true-to-life sound. Add in the beautiful high-gloss finish, and you have a speaker that's ready to impress.

Fantastic PSB sound in a compact design

The compact PSB Alpha PS1 powered speaker system can fit on even the most space-challenged desks and bring your music to life with surprising punch. To be honest, we're not really too surprised. That's because PSB conducts rigorous testing and research at Canada's National Research Council to ensure all their speakers deliver outstanding performance in the real world. No tricks here, just solid, thoughtful engineering for refined, true-to-life sound. Add in the beautiful high-gloss finish, and you have a speaker that's ready to impress.

PSB Alpha PS1 powered speakers

Turn your desktop into a concert hall

Despite their tiny footprint, these speakers have the power to fill a small- to medium-sized room with rich, robust sound. They each feature a 3-1/2" metalized polypropylene woofer and 3/4" aluminum dome tweeter designed to deliver the same smooth response off to the sides of the speaker as directly in front. This allows the Alpha PS1s to "disappear" while projecting a large and detailed soundstage. And the speakers' rounded shape offers a stylish look for your desktop.

Quick and simple set up

Hooking up these speakers is easy and straightforward. RCA and minijack inputs let you listen to music from your computer or a portable player, like an iPod®, or another audio source. A line-level subwoofer output makes it easy to expand  your system to include an optional powered subwoofer. The Alpha PS1 also includes a 2 x 20-watt power amplifier built into the left speaker, so you just make a simple connection between the left and right speakers using the included cable. The universal power supply with both EU and US power cords works with any AC voltage, making it convenient for world travelers.

Great speakers at a great price. The acoustics are great; can hear the tiniest of sounds clearly. They were such an improvement in listening experience, we added the sub-woofer to enhance the lower tones. That was another step up in listening quality. We could not be more pleased.

Mal, South Carolina

What's in the Box:

  • Active speaker
  • Passive speaker
  • AC power adapter (with attached 4' DC cord)
  • Two 4' AC power cords (US/EU)
  • 6.5' PowerLink cable
  • 6.5' Stereo minijack cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Product Highlights:

  • powered multimedia stereo speakers
  • two 20-watt RMS amplifiers built into left speaker
  • frequency response: 80-22,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • each speaker features:
    • one 3/4" aluminum dome tweeter
    • one 3-1/2" metalized poly cone woofer
    • acoustically engineered ABS cabinet with UV coating
  • rear-mounted volume control
  • rear-panel minijack input for connecting an audio source
  • rear RCA stereo line-level input
  • rear USB power output allows you to charge a connected device (does not support audio transfer)
  • RCA mono subwoofer line output
  • outboard power supply and power cord included
  • 4-1/2"W x 7-11/16"H x 7-9/16"D (each)
  • warranty: 5 years speakers, 1 year amplifier
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

PSB Alpha PS1

Average Customer Review(s):

(20 Reviews)

PSB Alpha PS1

Ross from Bloomington, IN on 4/24/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very impressed with all of the nuances that are heard from PSB Alpha PS1Speakers. I am running them through an amp/dac, which in my opinion is a must scenario if you are using a computer. There is plenty of power behind them to fill a moderate size room with any level you want to hear. Loudness isn't needed to hear all the nuances. You will here nice smooth /crisp highs along with a decent tight bass for the size of the driving speakers. I would suggest buying the whole system with the sub. I will be purchasing this soon. The body of the music, in my opinion will be more full.

Pros: All the nuances that the artist wanted you to hear will be there. Attractive cabinets you will be proud to display and are just the correct size to not be obtrusive.

Cons: Bass response could be a little more present and full. Adding the sub should just polish off the sound.

Great Speakers

Mal from South Carolina on 12/14/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speakers at a great price. The acoustics are great; can hear the tiniest of sounds clearly. They were such an improvement in listening experience, we added the sub-woofer to enhance the lower tones. That was another step up in listening quality. We could not be more pleased.

Pros: High quality sound at a most reasonable price. Beautiful black cabinetry. All level of tones are clearly audible.

Cons: None that we can detect, but we are not audiophiles, just your average listener.

Convenient, space-saving, and good sound

Ken B. from Massachusetts on 11/22/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers replace a more elaborate system that took up more space and delivered no better sound.

Pros: The two speakers, as opposed to my previous system of four speakers, a woofer/amp, and a control unit, sit simply on a shelf. They deliver a quality sound.

Cons: I'd have given this five stars, but the sound, while excellent, is no better than my previous, less expensive system.

Good sound

Jim from Ohio on 10/20/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought these with the Klipsch SW-110 as a set. They are very compatible and easy to interface to my desktop computer. The sound is accurate and enjoyable. I can't find any faults in this purchase if you are looking for a hi-end listening experience at a reasonable price.

Pros: quality, price, hi fidelity.

Cons: must use a sub to experience the whole spectrum.


OT from Michigan on 4/3/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got these speakers as a set with PSB Sub 100, and I hated the sub in set that sub is a shame so I called and exchanged the whole set by Keeping Alpha and bringing in Klipsch sub well well well all of sudden I hear music I hear what I wanted to hear for a long time, I previously tried A5 they were too loud and bass heavy but Alpha's play so clean and crisp that I enjoy every track, I' m never going to recommend anything else then Alpha to anyone. Do not I repeat Do not look here and there buy these gems and rest the case.

Pros: Sweet sound, clear crisp details, nice design.

Cons: none

PSB Alpha PS1

Seth from Boone, NC on 11/20/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I love these speakers and would recommend them to anyone looking for great clear sounding desktop speakers. The sound is very rich and natural. PSB is known for keeping sound organic to a live performance and these speakers display that.

Pros: price is fair for speakers that sound this good, sharp look and goes great on any desk with a desktop computer or laptop

Cons: bass, but PSB makes the Sub 100 series that is specially built to go with these speakers

PSB Computer speakers

Bob H from Lake Monticello, VA on 5/7/2014

I had a pair of Bose Companion speakers and found I was using headphones for good music rather than listening to them. Boomy bass and shrill highs isn't my favorite type of music. After discussing things with Eric in the store I was directed to the PSB Alpha 1 stereo speakers. The result was really amazing for I now had bass that was smooth and trebles that were no longer shrill. I enjoy classical music and the sounds that came out from Rossini's Seranade for Strings or Liszt Hungarian Raphsody No. 2 were nothing but lush. They may be small but the music they project is large, and they give an idea of the stage with good separation throughout. The primary speaker also has an extra RCA slot for a subwoofer, which gives even more of a boost to the music. I only gave these a rating of five where, in my opinion, six or seven might be more appropriate.

Pros: Good sound all the way through, even one that was provided online.

Cons: So far I can't find a thing I could point to that would be a con.

PSB PS1 computer desktop speakers

Fred from Silver Spring, Maryland on 3/30/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amazingly good little powered speakers create an exciting three dimensional soundstage. It benefits from careful positioning, a good DAC, etc. It is a real upgrade for a modest price.

Pros: Easy to plug into the computer. Attractive design. Produces great sound!

Cons: Needs some break-in time to sound its best

happy so far

DennisC from Bellmore, NY on 1/19/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased these speakers about one month ago based on reviews and comparisons to others; most specifically the AudioEngine products. I tried the AudioEngine A2 and A5 as I am lucky enough to have a friend that owns them. In my opinion they delivered a slightly unnatural amount of bass and perhaps with an unnatural sound in those exaggerated frequencies. Anyway I did not like the overall effect and bought the PSBs based on reviewers who compared them to the AudioEngine products. Overall I would agree these PSBs are less exaggerated in the bass with a more crisp and defined treble end. Having played live music and having been a bit of an audiophile since the early 70s, I can say that the PSBs come closer to a natural sound and to the sound delivered by my good old Dynaco speakers. Still there is a coloring that takes place with any speaker this small but it is far less annoying than what I have heard from the AudioEngines. So I am content, happy so far. Maybe something else will come along but I am not looking for it, it will have to find me.

Pros: nicely balanced treble and bass, a relatively natural sound for a computer speaker with these dimensions.

Cons: With these dimensions the sound will pay a price; you are not getting the same experience as a nice floor standing speaker. Still hard to beat in this category.

Exceptional Near Field Sound Stage Speakers

Xarybdis from Sioux Falls, SD on 12/21/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are great for setting up a near field sound stage. Also noteworthy is the sub out connection. I currently have these speakers paired with an Infinity Primus PS38 sub via rca subwoofer cable & rca y adapter (female to 2 male) to fill out all frequencies. Without the sub, these are still great speakers and will do exactly what they're intended to do: produce clean, crisp, high fidelity sound (i.e. not much low frequency production). So if your looking for bass, these will need to be paired with a subwoofer. The speakers these replace were some Bose Companion 2 speakers, which are also very good speakers for the money. Comparing the two, one will probably say the Bose sound a little muddy and lack the clarity that the PS1's have, but that is because those speakers were designed to be a do it all speaker (a do it all speaker will never be as good as purchasing speakers designed to reproduce certain frequency ranges). Originally I had purchased the Audioengine A5+ speakers instead of the PS1s to try setup a 2.0 desktop speaker system and forgo the sub. I knew those would take up a large amount of desktop real estate, which they did. They were very good speakers but only had good bass production at higher volumes (i.e. good speakers for a medium to far field sound stage), which would have gotten a little better over time but would have never fully accomplished what I was looking for (i.e. good wide range frequency response at low to medium volumes).

Pros: * High fidelity speakers for mid to high frequencies * Good for near to medium field sound stage setups * Take up a very manageable amount of desktop space * Make setting up a 2.1 system a breeze

Cons: * More of preference for me. I think I would like the volume knob placed on the front of the speaker for easy adjustment. The workaround for this is to set the speakers at about medium gain and then adjust the source volume. * Not a con per say: not much bass production, but the speakers really are not designed for that purpose

Excellent Computer Speakers

Dave L. from Woodstock, Illinois on 10/16/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

While both are good speakers, I preferred the PSB1 over the Audioengine 2 since the sound, at least to me, seemed crisper and cleaner. They produce a nice sound field. Highly recommended.

Pros: Attractive yet unobtrusive on desktop. Nice clean sound with good stereo separation and good sound field.

Cons: On/off and volume controls on back of one speaker. Bass junkies will want to add a subwoofer.

PSB Alpha PS1

Uncle Bob from Mangilao, Guam on 9/26/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not a golden ear audiophile, so I am not going bore you with fancy superlatives. I do love the way these speakers sing to me and after all is said and done, isn't that what it is all about.

Pros: Everything

Cons: Nothing

Great desktop speakers

JayG from Arlington, VA on 9/16/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm not audio expert but I bought the PSB Alpha PS1 an an upgrade to some fairly old Bose desktop speakers. I have them paired with a Audio Engine DAC and mostly listen to ITunes. The speakers sound great. Very clear and detailed and put out a fair amount of bass for small monitors. Considering that they are also reasonably priced, I would say they are a great buy.

Pros: Detailed, clear sound.

Cons: Not that much bass but that's to be expected by small monitors.

Outstanding Speaker

Jay from Decatur, Al. on 8/8/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The way I, and most music lovers , listen to music has changed in recent years. Most of my listening is done in front of a computer. The biggest surprise for me is the level of quality that can be had for a relatively small amount of money. I had read a couple of online reviews about the new PSB Alpha PS1. I had very happy with my Audioengine A2 speakers but the reviews of the PS1 had me intrigued, so i bought a pair. I was surprised by the level of sound quality coming out of a pair of inexpensive desktop speakers. This little speaker , from top to bottom sounds superb ! The treble is sparkling , shimmering, never harsh to me at all. The bass, which some might find a little light, is tuned just right. Its tight, tuneful, snappy. The is there,and its not bloated in the mid bass to compensate for its smallish woofer, and if you want more bass, there is a subwoofer out. The sound stage and imaging is much improved over my A2's. I'm very happy I took a chance on the PSB's. Fit and finish is outstanding. All this for the price is a bargain !! I still have the A2's, I moved them to the kids computer, but the PS1's are mine, and I expect they will be for quite a while !

Pros: accurate, transparent sound, no mid bass hump, PRAT(pace,rhythm,attack,tempo)

Cons: none in my eyes, well maybe the piano black, high gloss finish, (shows dust and finger prints) lol

great speakers

lml from louisville,ky. on 6/18/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

very satisfied with the product and service. no expert but I know what I like. great sound and very attractive also. Crutchfield gives ample opportunity for questions and personal service. lml

Pros: all good...

Cons: none

Great speakers great deal

BM from New York on 5/19/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are the best purchase I've made in a long time - in fact I like them so much that I recently bought a second pair. They have very clear sound and are a much better deal for the $$ than the Bose equivalent at the same price point. (companion series). Indeed, for certain music they rival the much more expensive B&W speakers on my home stereo system.



Just plain awesome computer speakers

CMM from VT on 3/18/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought these speakers as a replacement for M-audio AV30's - which I had for 5+ years and they went south (left channel fried - common issue it appears). I also recently purchased a DAC for the first time (audioengine D1- also from Crutchfield) - which I have paired w/ these new PSB's. When I first plugged the PSBs in to my Win-7-64b PC (core i7-870 cpu), and ramped up the volume on the D1 - just one word - Wooooooooooooooooow. One of the first songs I listened to was The Nazarene by Michael Card... the vocals were stunningly good. I've played a lot of various music through the PS1's - christian, instrumental, rock, pop, etc. -- all work well IMO. These easily dust the AV30's. They play clean at low volume too. One some songs, they could sure use a little more "oomph" as another reviewer pointed out... but in most cases, for computer use, I don't need much in the way of volume. For me, the bass is quite good too (I'm not a bass fiend - I simply like all freq. ranges to be represented accurately). Treble and mid's are excellent as well. Highly recommended.

Pros: Clean, accurate sound. Impressive vocals. Superb sound from a small speaker. 5 year warranty.

Cons: No speaker grills (only the tweeter is protected by a plastic cover). Volume control on back of left speaker (workable for me since I just use the vol. control on my D1 DAC ... I have the D1 planted on top of the lef speaker - using poster putty, works quite well) .... if you don't have a DAC -- quite a pain IMO having the vol. control on the back.

Great with a flaw for desktop use

highstream from Bozeman, MT on 2/28/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Audiostream review (linked on the PSB site) caught it mostly dead on: - "the PS1s sound exceptionally clean, clear and crisp" - "throw out a huge and stable sound image both horizontally and vertically" - "All frequencies sound very evenly handled" - "eminently musical and involving to listen to for any kind of music" - "Think smooth" (tweeter) and "delicate" (overall) and then: "if I had one wish I'd wish for a bit more heft. A tad more weight to the lower and upper-lower frequencies" Compared to the slightly bass enhanced and Class A amp of the Audioengine A5+, the PS1s are a little cool, but oh so transparent and not at all grating, unless it's there on the recording. Nonetheless, that lack of heft is a big drawback for me and, I suspect, will be for lots of other desktop users that don't want to add a subwoofer. Heft is important element of dynamics, and is lost when drums and bass don't quite sound (sufficiently) complete, i.e., like drums and bass, as they don't with the PS1s. if PSB had extended this quality of sound down towards 50 or 60 Hz, I would have gladly accepted a somewhat larger speaker and paid another $50-100. Maybe the next version? That said, the PS1 is appealing in lots of ways - I haven't decided yet - and certainly the right size for a desktop.

Pros: clean, transparent, delicate, lots of dynamics, sounds like music, does especially well on acoustic music and with smaller groups

Cons: lack of satisfying bass extension sufficient for a 2.0 desktop application

Great little speaker

E the Key from LA, CA on 2/25/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Overall, these are great little speakers. Really great. The finish is fantastic. The build quality seems very high. More importantly, the sound is really transparent. These PSBs are extremely musical. Miles ahead of the Logitech speakers I was using before. You can really hear the music with these babies. I am just a little disappointed with the low end, of which there is very little. Maybe this isn't fair. It's great that a sub out is included. I think it will take a sub to get a full, rich sound. If I could give them 4 1/2 I would.

Pros: Very musical, transparent sound. Build quality. Finish. Subwoofer out.

Cons: These are small speakers and as such are missing low-end.

PSB Alpha PS1

John P. from Burnsville, NC on 1/12/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great little near-field speakers! I am driving them out of a my Mac, into a Cambridge Audio DacMagic and then into a Music Hall ph25.2 pre-amp. They are very accurate, and natural sounding. I have them on small stands to get them to ear level and am using the sub out to run a yamaha subwoofer. I find a slight toe-in adds a little depth to the soundstage.

Pros: Price/performance Sound

Cons: "Pop" sound when waking up. Not a big deal, but I could do without it.


Hands-on research

Product Research


Alpha PS1 Powered Speakers: The PSB Alpha PS1 Power Speakers combine PSB's most popular Alpha Series speaker design with a built-in amplifier to make a versatile desktop solution with enough acoustic output for a small to medium sized room. The Alpha PS1 Powered Speakers are true hi-fi speakers engineered to upgrade today's audio and desktop listening experiences. Benefiting from forty years of proven acoustic excellence, these speakers use highly efficient amplifiers and state-of-the-art circuitry to create a powerful full-range system, transforming your favorite audio files into desktop concert.

True-to-Nature Sound: The Alpha PS1 Powered Speakers are engineered for the true-to-nature sound for which PSB is known. Many small speakers employ tricks like exaggerating the treble or falsely boosting bass to overcome limitations and poor performance, but not so with the Alpha PS1. Using sound research and exhaustive testing at Canada's National Research Council in the nation's capital of Ottawa, the PSB team has designed the Alpha PS1 with extremely smooth and refined sound. You'll be pleasantly surprised by its output capability and solid tuneful bass response compared to that of the Alpha PS1's diminutive size. The response off to the sides of the speaker has the same smooth response as the sound directly in front, making the Alpha PS1s acoustically "disappear" by projecting a large and exquisitely detailed sound image.

Two-Way Speaker Design: Each PSB Alpha PS1 Powered Speaker houses a 0.75" aluminum dome tweeter and a 3.5" metalized polypropylene cone woofer with a rubber surround and oversized magnet structure. The tweeters utilize an acoustical waveguide to deliver, more even high frequency response. The polypropylene woofers provide accurate, detailed midrange/midbass.

Digital Amplifier: The Alpha PS1 Powered Speakers are powered by highly efficient 20-watt x 2-channel RMS (40W x 2ch Peak) Class D amplifier which is built into the left speaker.

Bass Reflex Enclosure: The Alpha PS1 Powered Speakers feature an acoustically engineered ABS cabinet with UV coating. This bass reflex enclosure features a tuned slot port on the rear of the cabinet which extends low bass response.

Rear-Mount Volume Control: The PSB Alpha PS1 Power Speaker (Left) features a rear-mounted rotary volume control.

Analog Inputs: The PSB Alpha PS1 Power Speaker (Left) is fitted with a stereo RCA input and stereo minijack (3.5mm) input to connect an external audio source; such as your MP3 player, smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer, or TV. 

Subwoofer Output: For those dynamic lows, a subwoofer output (mono-RCA) on the rear-panel of the left speaker allows you to connect a powered subwoofer.

USB Charging Port: The Alpha PS1 Powered Speaker (Left) is equipped with a USB (type-A) power port to charge your USB-enabled device; such as your smartphone or tablet. The USB charging port is rated at 5V/500mA.

AC Power Supply: The Alpha PS1 Powered Speakers operate off of standard household AC current using the supplied universal power supply. The AC power adapter plugs into the left speaker, while the 6.5' PowerLink cable connects power to the right speaker.

Optional Speaker Stands: The PTB-1 tilt base (760PTB1, sold separately) is designed specifically for PSB's Alpha PS1 powered speakers. You can mount the PTB-1 to the Alpha PS1 to angle the speakers upward or flat for bettering stereo imaging, based on speaker placement. Two bases are included. Each base mounts to the bottom of the speaker using four machine screws. Each base also includes four self-adhesive rubber pads to provide safe and secure placement of your speaker.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I have two sets of PSB CS1000 outdoor speakers which are terrific--great fidelity--so I am trusting these will be good as well. The online reviews were also encouraging. [ GARY  Jun 16, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

Yes you can hook up two sub series 100s to compliment the PS1 satellite speakers. [ FRED E  Feb 17, 2015 ]
Not that I can see. There is a dedicated sub output on only one of the speakers,I do know how you'd connect a second. [ MARK  Feb 17, 2015 ]
I wouldn't see why not if you used a splitter to split the single sub-out into two. Should be fine. [ William Tyler  Feb 17, 2015 ]
Yes, just use a Y connector and an additional audio cable to connect the subwoofer output of the left channel PSB Alpha speaker to each powered subwoofer. However, as these speakers sound best when they are on a table or counter top directly in front of you I'm not sure why you would want to use more than one subwoofer. [ Dennis  Feb 17, 2015 ]
It doesn't have two outputs but don't see why you can't split the inputs for extra sub [ wayne  Feb 17, 2015 ]
Please note that the PSB Alpha PS1s are themselves not subs. I have had them for a year now, having bowed to my wife's pressure to get rid of my large speakers in our bedroom for smaller items. I made a point to research small speakers with very high sound quality, as I am a music obsessive who now plays my thousands of albums as digital mp3 albums plugged directly into my speakers. These speakers can do that. The sound quality is absolutely excellent. However, I often want to slightly raise the bass, and the only way to do that if you are playing the music from a phone or mp3 player is via an equalizer app. But since you are asking for a sub-woofer, the left speaker has an output for the optional SubSeries 100 powered subwoofer which does a great job of deepening the bass sound. So, be aware that these are not themselves subs but they can accommodate one sub plugged into the left speaker. Again, I cannot stress further what pure and powerful and rich sound comes out of these little critters, whether you play classical, jazz, rock, you name it. I now know you can have small speakers without sacrificing sound. Of course, these are intended for a room in your home. They obviously won't substitute for large speakers that you might crank down in the basement. [ Daniel  Feb 17, 2015 ]
I only have one sub and it sounds great with them. I use them daily for about 8 hours a day. [ Addison  Feb 17, 2015 ]

Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

PSB Alpha PS-1/SubSeries 100

Bundle with a sub for 2.1 stereo sound on your desktop

The PSB Alpha PS1/SubSeries 100 offers these features:

includes a powered subwoofer with a 5-1/4" front-firing polypropylene woofer

50-watt RMS subwoofer amplifier

system frequency response: 39-22,000 Hz