Wrapping it up...
Once the Muse receives power from the USB Bus, two green
LED's light the opaque rubber. Tilting the Muse on
its side, one can clearly see where the LED's are
located. Though this is a nice aesthetic touch by
Hercules, there is a small issue we would like to
address. The two LED's that currently illuminate
the rubber do an adequate job, but leave darker areas
around the outer edge of the Muse's base. If you
refer to the middle image above you can see the shadowed
areas on the left and right side of the Muse. We
feel by placing two more LED's of the same type in the
shadowed areas of the Muse would create a much more
evenly lit effect.
whole, we were
a bit surprised with the Muse Pocket. For a device
that should have delivered a quality performance, we
feel it fell a bit short. Hercules did produce an
external soundcard that offers an appealing array of
options, but unfortunately we feel they dropped the ball
when it came to overall quality. Aesthetically the
Muse pocket is gorgeous. The solid aluminium
construction and glowing rubber base definitely lands
the Muse in my top ten list of sexy peripherals.
But, the poorly calibrated control knob, which is one of
the key selling points, was heartbreaking for us.
It is still unclear how Hercules's rigorous
testing and quality assurance procedures could not have
picked up on such a major flaw. Hopefully
Hercules's next production run will remedy these issues.
With all of that said, the Muse Pocket is not unusable.
Coming in at a very respectable $69.99 USD, the average
user who is looking for a cost effective audio upgrade
to their current mobile computing solution will surely
find Muse Pocket an adequate choice. In the end,
for delivering a unique product with great looks,
average performance and a decent feature set, we are
awarding the Hercules Muse Pocket USB External Sound
Card 6.5 out of 10 on the heat meter.
100% USB Bus Powered
5.1 Surround Sound
High CPU Utilization
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