Review – Getting Cozy with Cozo

Company: Cozo LLC
Estimated Price: $19.95 (Sleve)
$27.50 sleeve+pouch)

Imagine a neoprene wet-suit for your iBook, and
you can visualize Cozo’s Sleeve. It comes in graphite
(gray), tangerine, or blue, just like iBooks. The sleeve
fits snugly over the computer’s shell, with an opening for the iBook’s famous handle. An attractive optional square light-silver zippered accessory case can contain a few CDs (or whatever your lifestyle and imagination require you to carry).

Because Cozo did not provide an iBook (ha!), I placed our ancient PowerBook 1400 inside the sleeve, and it fit nicely. Even without a handle, the Cozo Sleeve works well for cushioning a PowerBook while traveling.

If I saw it in a store or online catalog would I buy one? Definitely. I am also quite fond of the padded accessory case. Good products + great price =

MacMice Rating: 5

The Cozo Speakers have received rave reviews, as quoted on the company site. I have high standards, as you will read.

Company: Cozo LLC
Estimated Price: $59.95

For appearance you can’t beat these speakers. They come in the original five iMac colors, plus graphite, and they look beautiful. The plastic material and the cables are high quality, built to last. How do they sound? I thought you would never ask.

I did an extensive comparison between four sets of speakers, as follows.

1. iMac built-in speakers: bright in the midrange; distort easily at higher volume; very good for built-in computer speakers. Rating = C.

2. COZO SPEAKERS: clear, but bassy; no treble, bass, or tone controls (shame on you), handles volume well; some low-level “gray noise.” Rating = C.

3.UMAX Multimedia Speakers (purchased at a “garage sale” for $15): good dynamic range; handles volume well; clean sound overall. Rating = B.

4. Labtec Computer Speakers (purchased years ago at Circuit City for around $20): flat and neutral sound in normal position; too bright with treble boost on; too bassy and dark with bass boost on; some volume distortion. Rating = C.

If cost is a concern, stick with the speakers in your new iMac. They are suitable for most listening activities. If you can spend some $$$, buy from a store where you can exchange new speakers for a different model if you don’t care for your original purchase. Better speakers cost more money, but not necessarily in direct proportion.

Sorry to be so critical. The Cozo Speakers are not my favorites for sound, but they are tops for appearance.

MacMice Rating: 3

Dell Perry, the Cozo sales manager, asked me to offer this rebuttal. welcomes commentary and opposing views. Dell writes:

I know you have mixed feelings re: the Speakers, so here is an unsolicited memo from a customer. Another point of view. It just goes to show that sound is subjective, not objective when taken outside the laboratory, and one person finds pleasing, another finds not, and v/v.

I have emailed you a couple of questions, which I hope you can answer by email. But I also wanted to comment here about the sonic qualities of the Cozo pair I bought, in case others are interested.

I am an acoustics engineer and rather spoiled by high-end stereos. I found that nearly all computer speakers sound terrible. Even the most praised brands are horrible to my ears. They are designed to mislead buyers into being impressed in the store, but in the “boom and sizzle” with little accuracy. They usually have a bump in the bass, then nothing in the low midrange (cellos, low piano, low male voice), then rising output as frequencies get higher (making them bright and falsely “clear”), with a nasty peak in the treble (sounds brittle). This accentuates some “gee-whiz” sound effects, but does not reproduce music or sound effects as the artists intended. I gave up on all brands I tried, short of one or two in the range of $250 that sound better. Watch out: most high-priced brands don’t get the midrange right.

The Cozo speakers are a refreshing change. They do best what is most important: clear midrange. The frequency response there is reasonably accurate, making voices sound relatively natural. Even orchestra sounds right.

Thankfully, the Cozo speakers don’t do what other brands do in excess: adding a bump in the bass, and a peak in the treble. Instead, they naturally roll off, which sounds much more life-like and is much less fatiguing over time.

Given their street price, they are a good deal. I am right now listening to an audiophile-quality CD with the Cozos, and it is surprisingly pleasant for a speaker under $100. Note that I have a $30,000 stereo sitting across the room, yet I don’t feel the urge to turn it on.
My manual describes them as having output from 130Hz up (+/- 3dB). However, the website describes them as 40Hz up. Either my speakers are an older revision with less bass, or perhaps a new measurement was performed to justify the 40Hz figure. Judging from my pair (sn 90307A), the bass doesn’t go below 100Hz with much audible output.

Those shoppers who want boom and shudder will need a subwoofer. There is no small satellite that can avoid this lack of deep bass. But for most purposes, a subwoofer is not necessary. I don’t plan to get one.

The next product is my personal favorite. It’s time to take the Stand!

Company: Cozo LLC
Estimated Price: $59.95

When a new iMac is positioned on your desk or table with its front support bar extended, the user is supposed to be looking down at the tilted face of the monitor. People are all shapes and sizes, and many of them will develop aching necks and shoulders from this viewing angle.

The Cozo Stand solves the problem with elegance and versatility. Just like the rotating and swiveling base stands on many conventional heavyweight monitors, the Stand attaches firmly to the bottom of all models of iMac. Once affixed, your iMac can swivel in any direction. More important, you can custom-tilt the computer into a more conventional ergonomic position.

The screen on my old Sony 17″ monitor faced my head so my eye level was at the center of the screen in every direction. This is TOO HIGH for healthy viewing, but was unavoidable given the height of the computer underneath. In contrast, by using a Cozo Stand, my eyes are now even with the menu bar on the iMac’s screen, allowing a natural viewing angle for my head, neck, and shoulders.

Even better is the optimum visibility distance. I have special bifocal computer glasses set for my preferred 39-inch distance from eyeballs to front of monitor. When the iMac was sitting directly on the desk, nothing was sharp on the screen. With the iMac + Cozo Stand, life is grand and I can see like a champ.

One complaint: with the heavy iMac on the much lighter Stand, tilting the computer is not as easy as I would like. Swiveling is a breeze.

Don’t give yourself any more physical stress than you already have. Get a Stand, and sit in comfort. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

“Great look, John, with that stand,” says my friend Greg. “It’s like a big spider with those long legs!”

MacMice Rating: 4

Dell Perry comments:

I agree with you on the stiffness of the tilt on the Stand, but if it was any looser, the tilt would not hold (not without some kind of a screw-down, and that would be annoying to manage). It is just a two handed operation that you do not have to very often. I find tilting my ball based monitor at work is more difficult than the Stand.

I would like to ask that you put something in the review about the shipping charges that are generated on our web site are for mainland US orders only. If anyone wants to place an international, Alaskan or Hawaiian order, it’s best to write us first to get an accurate shipping rate. We do have alternate (and less expensive, but slower) shipping with the United States Postal Service upon request for all customers.

John Nemerovski

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