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Definitive Technologies Incline Desktop Speakers Preview

You try taking a picture of a black fabric wrapped speaker on a black fabric background

You try taking a picture of a black fabric wrapped speaker on a black fabric background


  • Product Name: Incline
  • Manufacturer: Def Tech
  • Review Date: September 27, 2013 09:02
  • MSRP: $399/pair
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Bipolar design
  • Dimensions: 11.3" H x 5" W x 4.4" D (depth includes base); (28.8cm H x 12.7cm W x 11.1cm D
  • Driver complement: front firing: (1) 3-1/2" bass/midrange driver, (1) 4" pressure coupled bass radiator, (1) 3/4" silk dome tweeter; rear-firing: (1) 1-1/2" full range driver (rear panel)
  • Amplifier power: 80 Watts (4x20)
  • Connections: USB, optical TOSLINK, 3.5mm stereo “mini” analog line-level in, sub out, 20V DC power supply input, left speaker output port

Definitive Technologies, or Def Tech had one more surprise for us at CEDIA 2013 with their brand new, and first ever for the company, Incline desktop speakers. Incline is a pair of compact, self-powered loudspeakers with a unique form factor that enhances sound quality while complementing the appearance of desktop monitors and laptop computers. Incline features speaker components on the front and the back of the enclosure in a bipolar configuration for enhanced performance.

Incline’s unique and striking design serves to overcome problems typical of desktop speakers. By pointing the speaker upward toward the listener’s ears, Incline allows users to hear full bandwidth sound—all the way up to the highest treble region—for a more intelligible, lifelike, and exciting sound experience. In addition to the sonic advantages of its design, Incline’s backward tilt mimics the angle of desktop monitors and laptop screens.


Incline is a full-range loudspeaker capable of reproducing the full range of audible sound from deep bass through the highest overtones. An 80-Watt amplifier powers the system for effortless high volume and low distortion clarity. A sophisticated Digital Signal Processor (DSP) module digitally adjusts and enhances the audio signal to achieve startling sound quality.

Listeners who demand even higher output and more powerful bass can add an optional external powered subwoofer to Incline via a rear panel Sub Out jack. Incline is not just for computers; it can be connected to any audio source that has a USB, digital optical or headphone output jack.


Incline’s striking support base is a solid slab of machined aluminum, meant to provide stability and a timeless look. The top plate is also crafted from real aluminum, as are the side-mounted power and volume controls. The enclosure is wrapped in an acoustically transparent grille cloth.

Incline will be available to select North American retailers in October 2013. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $399/pair.  

On Site Reactions

We got a chance to take a closer look at the Inclines and we liked what we saw. While they aren't the prettiest of desktop speakers, they had a big sound. The incline was really designed to make sure that the desk reflections, common with forward firing speakers, was delayed or eliminated. The speakers are not only bipolar, they are bi-amped with 40 watts into two channels each. On the front they have a 3/4" silk dome tweeter, a 3.5" midrange, and a 4" passive radiator. The back as a 1.5" driver that is "full range" and will work if you have a boundary (wall) behind you or if you are in an open space.

The machined aluminum base was very eye catching and the design was industrial, fitting in with those with Ikea sensibilities. The one thing we really liked was the subwoofer output. While you might think you'd add a sub and the speakers would still try to play full range, the Incline speaker sense the sub connection and engage a crossover. They connect to your computer via USB or your portable device via 3.5mm or even you Blu-ray player via optical input. We're looking forward to getting a review pair of these in the near future.

For more information, please visit www.definitivetech.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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