How Not To Design Speakers


My computer speakers have 2 buttonthings: “power/volume” and “tone”. The first button let’s you adjust the volume, and if you turn it to zero then the power goes off. The second button does something that I never use.

Now, whenever I try play something, I need to always turn the volume to the proper level. There’s no much visual feedback on this Creative speaker, so I just need to listen to it every time I launch a game for example, and adjust the volume carefully. (This is due the fact that every time I shut down computer, I also turn the volume button to minimum, in order to power off the speakers).

I know it’s a cheapskate issue, and I admit I was acting stupid buying these speakers. A much better user interface would be “power” and “volume”. Who needs some “tone” anyway? What I care is the volume.

Okay, the speakers cost like 40 eur.. But still. One could argue that equally good way to set buttons would be to make it so that “when Tone goes to minimum value, the power is turned off”. (That makes no sense either, but at least adjusting it back to middle default value would be handy.)

As it does not make sense to have it on volume button. It’s the button people use most, why ruin it by adding 2 most important functionality into one button, when they definitely should be separate.

Okay, enough of ranting. I just go and buy a speakers that have a power button. But I know I’m right. Aren’t I?

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Depends if you:
    – like DIY (=could be fun)
    – enjoy the satisfaction of “I did this”

    But… that’s probably a personality question.


  2. You know, it’s really easy to install a power switch inside the speakers, if you’re not afraid to drill a hole and solder 2 wires :) Just a little DIY magic!

  3. Juuso 1 – Speaker companies 0

    (well, except that I need new speakers anyway if I want that power button…)

  4. Yes you are right. They designed the speakers like a cooking stove. Turn the gas to the min to stop it. That’s fine for cooking, but not for gaming.
    I think 40 eur is rather expensive… They should have a better design. Even 10 eur “noname-made-in-china” speakers have on/off buttons. Oh, and no “tone” buttonthing :))

  5. I’m wondering where this awkward functional design has its roots. Who wants to play games which reset your configuration each time you quit? That would be a bug.

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