Vigilant Audio SwitchOne: One-minute review
The Vigilant Audio SwitchOne are a set of active computer speakers that function both as studio monitors and bookshelf speakers. And, though that sounds like a case of identity whiplash, it mostly works. Smaller than many studio monitors and bookshelf speakers, active or passive, these are powerful with a frequency range that will meet most people’s needs. And, though there’s some nuance to that, especially if you’re looking for studio monitors, the price is worth it.
Vigilant Audio may only have these speakers in its lineup (you’ll also see a condenser mic, headphone clip and a hoodie on their site) but it’s already a strong contender for those who are tired of using headphones or PC gaming headsets and are looking for computer speakers to upgrade their sound. As with most things in the real world, the SwitchOne aren’t perfect. So, read on to see if the pros outweigh the cons for you as they do for us.
Vigilant Audio SwitchOne: Price and availability
- How much does it cost? $249 (£255 / AU$471)
- Where is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the US, the UK, and Australia
Frequency range: 45-20,000 Hz
Drivers: 4-inch full range
Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth
Audio Inputs: 3.5mm, RCA, ¼-inch
At $249 (£255 / AU$471), the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne is certainly not cheap. Depending on what you’re comparing it to, you can certainly spend much less for decent speakers. The Logitech Z407 speakers, for example, are half the price and come with a subwoofer and a control dial. That said, you’re paying for a more detailed, richer sound with the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne.
A better comparison might be the similarly-priced Fluance Ai41, which provide just as good of a sound quality with a deeper, richer bass. Of course, they’re much bigger and don’t let you change the sound signature with a quick flip of a switch so it’s just a matter of your own priorities to decide which one is better if you’re willing to drop $250 / £250 on a set of speakers.
If you want to talk studio monitors, something that we’ll touch on without going too in depth here, that price tag is actually pretty good. The size of these speakers might make most audio engineers scoff but the price on most decent studio monitors are out of reach for most people working on music at home. In that regard, the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne are a great value, especially since they do well as both general computer speakers and studio monitors.
- Value: 4.5 / 5
Vigilant Audio SwitchOne: Design
- Don’t take up too much space
- Lots of connectivity but no USB
At 7.1 x 4.3 x 7.1 inches, the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne are fairly diminutive when compared to other bookshelf-style speakers. While you’ll find some other computer-specific speakers to be smaller and lighter than the 6.6-lb SwitchOne, they’re small enough to fit into most desk setups.
The design itself is pretty straightforward. As mentioned before, these are the same form factor as other bookshelf speakers coming with ¾-inch silk domed tweeters and four-inch woofers in all-black enclosures. If anything sets it apart visually, it would be the passive radiators that adorn each side of the speaker cabinets to give them a little more low-end oomph and overall volume.
On the front of the left speaker, you’ll find an Aux input (3.5mm) and headphone out as well as a volume wheel. Though minor, we do appreciate the fact that there’s a little click when the volume wheel is perfectly centered, meaning the volume is at 50%. The wheel turns smoothly otherwise.
On the back of the left speaker again, where the built-in amp is, you’ll find all the other inputs. There are TRS Stereo balanced inputs for music production setups, RCA inputs for an analog connection, as well as a Bluetooth pairing button. The on/off switch is back here as well as the Studio to HiFi switch which gives these speakers their name. Essentially, by toggling this switch, or as Vigilant Audio calls it: “The Switch,” you can go between a more consumer-friendly sound (HiFi) and one more suited for music production (Studio).
The only thing that’s really missing to make these the perfect companion to a computer setup is USB connectivity. Though Bluetooth allows you to connect to just about any modern device, whether your smartphone, Mac or PC, Bluetooth still introduces a tiny bit of lag. So, having a physical digital connection is preferred when connecting a computer when you want excellent sound without lag such as playing games and recording music. Luckily, these speakers still sound great with an analog connection.
- Design: 4 / 5
Vigilant Audio SwitchOne: Performance
- Sounds great and has a lot of volume
- Switching sound profiles is subtle
When it comes to any set of speakers, no matter their purpose, the sound quality is top priority. It doesn’t matter what features are available if the speakers don’t sound good. Luckily, the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne deliver impressive results. Not only is there plenty of volume on tap but the audio is clear and present even when turned up. We were hard pressed to distort these with regular use.
The sound quality itself is pleasant with a “Smile” type frequency range when toggled to the “HiFi” setting. This means that the bass is a bit louder and thumps a bit more, though you’re never going to get really low sub-bass with these, and the high end is slightly boosted. When switched to the “Studio” setting, the sound is supposed to flatten for a more neutral frequency response. And, while it’s noticeable, it’s also subtle.
Our experience when toggling to “Studio” mode is that the speaker seems to boost the high-mids to match that low and high-end, giving what we listen to more presence. Overall, we somewhat prefer the “Studio” setting and even used it for some music production of our own. While it is more even-sounding than the “HiFi” setting, we wouldn’t consider it neutral as that mid-high lift makes it pop a little more.
Of course, if you’re thinking in terms of studio monitors, that’s not necessarily good but you’ll have to pay much more for accurate monitors. All in all, they do the job pretty well. Just be aware of their overall sound; otherwise, the music you make might end up sounding a bit dull.
Since there is more than one way to connect, we made sure to also test Bluetooth audio. Pairing is easy. All we have to do is hold down the pairing button on the back for a short while and pull up the Bluetooth settings on our device to pair. And, the audio quality is surprisingly unchanged from a regular analog connection. Of course, there’s a little bit of lag so that Bluetooth connectivity is best used for listening to music.
- Performance: 4.5 / 5
Should I buy the Vigilant Audio SwitchOne?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Vigilant Audio SwitchOne: Report card
|Value||While the SwitchOne isn’t cheap, it offers a lot of value with all its connectivity as well as ability to cater to both those just listening to music or watching movie and those producing music.||4.5 / 5|
|Design||On the surface, it may not look like anything special. But, it’s designed to give a surprising amount of volume as well as full frequency response despite its small size. Plus, there’s plenty of connectivity, minus USB, on offer.||4 / 5|
|Performance||Though its bass doesn’t go incredibly low, these are very robust-sounding speakers. They get loud too. And, thanks to that its “Switch,” the audio can be tailored for more than one purpose.||4 / 5|
|Total||It might not be cheap, but it offers great sound and a lot of volume in a small package. And, that’s not easy to do.||4.5 / 5|
- First reviewed November 2022
How we test
We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained – regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it’s on our radar.