Not so long ago, we already tested the Microlab Solo 11 speaker system, which represents the new generation of Solo stereo systems from Microlab Electronics. This younger model was presented by the manufacturer as part of two more sets, which differ among other characteristics in a fairly large output power. Today we have another novelty of this series for testing. The Microlab Solo 16 model occupies a middle position in the updated lineup of Solo acoustics. It is a shelf stereo system with the widest range of uses. As desktop computer speakers, it is, of course, too powerful, but this model may well be suitable for creating a home audio room.

⇡#Contents of delivery

  Packaging of the Microlab Solo 16 speaker system

Packaging of the Microlab Solo 16 speaker system

The novelty comes in a large cardboard box, which you can carry alone, but it’s heavy. Outside, the packaging is nothing special. Inside, each of the speakers is placed in a separate bag of thin non-woven material, which can be used to wipe the smooth surfaces of the case from dust. Well, the contents of the box are reliably protected from external influences by foam inserts.

  Microlab Solo 16 speaker package

Microlab Solo 16 speaker package

The delivery set of the Microlab Solo 16 is as complete as it can be. Along with the speakers in the box were found:

  • remote control with CR2025 battery;
  • interblock high-quality shielded cable for connecting active and passive speakers;
  • cable 2 × RCA-jack 3.5 mm;
  • cable 2 × RCA-2-RCA;
  • optical S/PDIF cable;
  • coaxial cable in a soft synthetic braid;
  • a set of rubber feet for gluing on the bottom surfaces of cases;
  • printed instruction manual.

As in the case of the previous Microlab Solo 11 model we reviewed earlier, the package of the older speaker system boasts a complete set of cables for connecting to sound sources. All cables are standard, so if desired or necessary, they can always be replaced with better and more expensive ones.


Characteristic / Model Microlab Solo 11 Microlab Solo 16
Type of acoustics 2.0 (stereo)


2.0 (stereo)


Speakers HF: 1 inch (6 ohms);

LF: 5 inches (4 ohms)

HF: 1 inch (6 ohms);
LF: 6.5 inches (4 ohms)
Power, W (RMS) 100 (2×20 + 2×30) 180 (2×40 + 2×50)
Frequency range, Hz 20–20,000 40–20,000
Signal-to-noise, more, dB 80 80
Channel separation, more, dB 45 45
Sensitivity, mV 1000 1000
Interfaces Inputs 1 pair × RCA stereo

1 × Coaxial

1 × Optical S/PDIF
Bluetooth 4.2

1 pair × RCA stereo
1 × Coaxial
1 × Optical S/PDIF
Bluetooth 4.2
Outputs LFE (for subwoofer connection)
1 × USB (for charging smartphones)
LFE (for subwoofer connection)
1 × USB (for charging smartphones)
Additionally Control Panel:
— volume control, treble, bass;
– switching between inputs
Remote control
Control Panel:
— volume control, treble, bass;
– switching between inputs
Remote control
Dimensions, mm 216×180×300 268×218×360
Weight, kg 7.6 11.6
Warranty, months 12 12
Average retail price, rub. 11 110 15 282

In order to understand what place Microlab Solo 16 occupies in the model range of speaker systems of this manufacturer, for comparison, in the table of technical characteristics, we have given data on Microlab Solo 11 speakers. It is easy to see that they technically differ only in output power and speakers. Moreover, tweeters for different models (their size, type and characteristics marked on the cases) are indistinguishable.


The Microlab Solo 16 is a two-way 2.0 bookshelf speaker system. Dome tweeters of the speakers are made of silk. The tweeter has a relatively small diameter (only one inch), and therefore its design provides for a large plastic plate for attaching to the case. The speaker has a resistance of 6 ohms. There is no magnetic shielding for it.

midrange speaker

The mid-range speaker is made of polymer material. It has a resistance of 4 ohms, and its diameter is impressive for this type of acoustics 6.5 inches. This is the main difference between Microlab Solo 16 and Microlab Solo 11, which has a five-inch midrange driver. An annular countermagnet is glued on the mid-frequency speaker, approximately equal in diameter to the main magnet. It is glued in such a way as to repel from the main magnet, and not be attracted to it. This provides protection against parasitic interference. As for the range of reproducible operating frequencies, then, according to the manufacturer, it ranges from 40 to 20,000 Hz.

Placement of the phase inverter

Each speaker has a phase inverter. Its profiled bell is brought out to the upper part of the rear wall, and inside the case it turns down towards the mid-frequency compartment. That is, an L-shaped phase inverter is used.

Motherboard and power supply

The motherboard is traditionally mounted on a metal chassis with external active speaker interfaces. An internal power supply is attached to the same chassis. The digital path of the device is built on TAS5342L class D amplifiers from the American company Texas Instruments. The output power of this amplifier is up to 100 watts per stereo channel into 4 ohms, or up to 80 watts into 6 ohms.

  AIROHA AB1520 bluetooth module

AIROHA AB1520 bluetooth module

The set of connection interfaces for the novelty is completely identical to what we saw in the younger model, Microlab Solo 11. The source can be connected to the speakers using RCA inputs, optical S / PDIF, and also a coaxial interface. Wireless connection can be arranged via Bluetooth. On the system board of the device, it is easy to notice a separate module with an AIROHA AB1520 chip. This is a Bluetooth 4.2 module from Taiwanese microelectronics manufacturer Airoha Technology. The module works with A2DP, HFP, HSP profiles, there is also EDR support.

But for many users, another novelty interface is much more important. We are talking about the LFE audio output, designed to connect a subwoofer of the appropriate specification. Using this port, you can make a 2.1 standard system out of 2.0 acoustics. Moreover, the Microlab Solo 16 has a USB port for charging your smartphone (current — up to 1 A). It’s just a pity that it is placed at the back, and not on the front panel.

The internal structure of the active (left) and passive (right) speakers

The loudspeakers are made of high quality MDF board, covered with synthetic material on the outside. The build quality is traditionally high. The body of the passive speaker is almost completely empty, sheathed with soft material from the inside. But in the active column there is practically no free space. Here, the entire lower part of the case is occupied by the power supply and the motherboard, which are also neatly “wrapped” in sound-absorbing material.

⇡#Appearance and design

The appearance of the speaker system Microlab Solo 16

Despite the rather large dimensions, the Microlab Solo 16 acoustics are designed for installation on shelves, a table or special racks. The speakers are painted black and varnished, they look solid and interesting. At the same time, both glossy and covered with a rough film “under the skin” surfaces are easily wiped from dust.

Removable panel design

The front parts of the speakers are covered with removable mesh panels with plastic frames. They are fastened with plastic ball locks. Speakers can be operated both with grids and without them — at the user’s choice. In our opinion, decorative panels add a bit of rigor to the exterior of the speakers. In addition, they do not allow the ubiquitous dust to accumulate on the surfaces of the speakers.

Active speaker with and without removable panel

The front panel is far enough away from the beveled plane of the speakers and, given the experience of operating the Microlab Solo 11 model, it is unlikely to affect the sound quality of the new product. In general, the design of this part of the speakers looks not only very thoughtful, but also attractive.

  Control unit on the active column

Control unit on the active column

At the bottom of the front panel of the active speaker is a display that displays information about the volume or the level of high and low frequencies, as well as the current sound source. There is also a receiver for infrared signals coming from the remote control. Well, a control unit with volume and frequency controls is built into the side surface of the active speaker, as well as an LED indicator that informs the user about switching between sound sources. Switching is done by pressing the volume control, and information about the selected sound source when switching is displayed on the display of the active speaker. All three controllers are discrete-stroke rotary encoders with no restrictions on the angle of rotation.

  Rear wall of passive (left) and active (right) speakers

Rear wall of passive (left) and active (right) speakers

All the interfaces mentioned in the specification of the novelty are located on a metal panel fixed on the back of the active speaker case. The interfaces are combined into groups, so it will be difficult to confuse or not understand the connection. The only downside is the location of the USB port. It would be much more convenient if the smartphone could be connected to the speakers from the front panel, because it might be simply impossible to find the connector at the back.

In general, the appearance of the speakers does not cause the slightest criticism. The novelty fits easily into any modern room interior, and it doesn’t take as much space to place it as it seems at first glance. As for the installation of the speakers relative to each other, there will also be no problems with this, because the length of the interconnect cable is as much as 4 m. By the way, the cable itself has a shielding braid and looks very expensive outwardly, to match the speakers themselves.

Remote controller DU

The remote control supplied with Microlab Solo 16 completely repeats the one supplied for Microlab Solo 11. The remote control has an elongated body, and in its upper part there is a block with the most popular keys, with which you can adjust the sound volume, mute the sound, reset the settings to factory settings, and also select the sound source. Even higher is the power control button, and under the control unit are two dual keys for adjusting high and low frequencies. The device is powered by a CR2025 form factor lithium battery.

⇡#Impressions from work


Connecting speakers takes less than a minute. Even with a wireless connection option, finding the desired device in the corresponding Bluetooth settings section of your smartphone will not be difficult, after which it will take another five seconds to pair the phone and speakers. With both wired and wireless connections, the speakers do not produce extraneous sounds. Also note the absence of characteristic clicks when turned on.

We tested the sound quality with the following sound sources: Creative SB Live! and an external audio interface M-Audio Synchroscience Torq Connectiv with wired connection options, as well as a Xiaomi Mi 4 Pro smartphone with wired and wireless Bluetooth connection options. Played musical compositions of various genres with different levels of file compression (several formats), as well as in Lossess formats (mainly FLAC was used) without loss of compression quality. When testing, the speakers were located at a height of just over a meter from the floor, in the corners of a room of about twenty square meters.

Since both the shape of the case and the appearance of the novelty almost exactly repeat the Microlab Solo 11 model, the sound, as it seemed to us, should be similar for these speakers, except perhaps with a difference in terms of volume. But everything turned out differently. Most likely, the whole point is in the greatly increased volume of cases and new midrange speakers. One way or another, the sound of the Microlab Solo 16 is not only louder than that of the Microlab Solo 11, but also more sonorous, rich in the entire range of frequencies played. It cannot be said that Microlab Solo 11 had it worse or better. He’s just different. The younger model sounds, oddly enough, more stately and solid. The older one “allows herself” to be more energetic and bright.

The sound dynamics of these speakers really fascinates the listener. The speakers do not swallow the trembling of the voice or the vibrato of musical instruments. Microlab Solo 11 colored almost any composition with bass tones, but Microlab Solo 16 is less so. Both low and high frequencies of the speakers are perfectly regulated, so for listening to symphonic music, vocals.

For rock, jazz and electronic music, you don’t have to turn anything down. The default treble and bass settings are, in our opinion, the best way to listen to the compositions of these styles. Note that for the Microlab Solo 11 model, these adjustments could only be made in a very narrow range. In the older stereo system, this problem is completely solved — the range of adjustments is very wide.

After listening to more than a hundred songs, almost half of which are Hi-Res Audio in FLAC format, it is safe to say that the new speakers are the best fit for the role of universal home acoustics. If you are not an adherent of any one genre and are not ready for a long time to select a stereo system exclusively for your interests in music, then the Microlab Solo 16 model can be an excellent universal choice. Moreover, this acoustics is quite suitable not only for music, but also for films. The speakers create a good surround soundstage. In general, the high detailing of sound in the dynamics, as we wrote above, is one of the key features of the Microlab Solo 16, for which this model is easy to fall in love with.

As for the sound power, 180 W was more than enough for our test audio room. Speakers are designed for a much larger volume of the room. At the same time, at almost any volume level, the acoustics play smoothly, without choking, without sound distortion. Unfortunately, I failed to objectively evaluate the sound quality only at the highest volume — this level turned out to be excessive for the test room.

It remains to be noted that when the Microlab Solo 16 is connected wirelessly to a smartphone, the sound quality still changes slightly. This is clearly seen when playing songs without compression. However, when you connect your smartphone to the speakers via cable, the playback quality is about the same. Obviously, it’s all about the sound source, and the difference in sound quality only says that the speakers themselves are capable of satisfying the needs of discerning users. For noisy parties and users who are not so fastidious in matters of sound quality, connecting a smartphone to speakers will be a completely acceptable option for using the system.


Despite the external similarity of the Microlab Solo 16 speaker system with the younger model of this manufacturer, the novelty turned out to be a little different. It sounds different, and its target audience may be wider. If you listen to music in uncompressed formats, if you are not attached to any particular musical genre, if you prefer classic stereo acoustics to newfangled surround sound systems and at the same time you are not embarrassed by its two-way, then the Microlab Solo 16 model can become one of the best inexpensive options. The cost of these speakers is really lower than that of most competitors, but at the same time, in addition to almost flawless sound, they have an important advantage — the ability to connect a subwoofer.

In general, the main advantages of the novelty can be reduced to the following:

  • attractive appearance;
  • high quality electronic component base;
  • the presence of an LFE port for connecting a subwoofer;
  • high sound detail, dynamics, bass depth, lack of bass coloration of mid frequencies;
  • lack of background noise and clicks when turned on.

No significant shortcomings were found in the speakers. Problems of the Microlab Solo 11 model (too narrow adjustment range for low and high frequencies, as well as bass coloration of mid frequencies) are absent in the novelty, and their own did not appear. All this allows us to recommend the Microlab Solo 16 stereo system for purchase.


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