BassJump 2 subwoofer beefs up your Mac's sound system

Although TwelveSouth has positioned its $69.99 BassJump 2 subwoofer as an accessory that makes the bass thump more on MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Airs, it also works well with other Macs.

Mac laptop speakers are still tinny, but much less so. And the speakers in the new iMacs sound a little better when paired with the BassJump. The TwelveSouth won't make the built-in speakers on any Mac seismic or room-shaking, but it delivers bigger, fuller sound and more rumble than you'd expect.

The BassJump software also serves up visual feedback in the form of two glowing, old-school analog VU-meters. A working mini VU-meter is placed in the Menu Bar for quick access to settings. Finally, the software allows you to customize the sound for your style of music: rock, pop, R&B, etc.

The portable subwoofer's sound and power comes from one single USB connection. Proprietary software -- which must be downloaded from TwelveSouth's website -- blends the sound output of the BassJump subwoofer with the output of built-in Mac speakers for enhanced sound performance. You'll certainly notice a difference when listening to music, video games, streaming videos and Internet radio.

Is the BassJump subwoofer for you? If you're constantly on the road with your laptop, yes (the BassJump comes with a travel case). If you sometimes use your iMac as your stereo, gaming system, TV or movie viewer, yes. If you use your iMac for hours at a time for any of these purposes (as I do), you're still better off investing in some high-end speakers.