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A Small Bluetooth Speaker
The Bass Connect product is a small Bluetooth 3.0 speaker from thumbsUp! (UK). The speaker has dimensions of 70 x 70 x 30mm (H x W x D) and weighs 191g. With its size and weight, the device is certainly portable but maybe more suited to a bag than a pocket where it might cause an unsightly bulge when on your travels.
Along with a brief instructions document in various European languages, the Bass Connect speaker comes with two leads. One of the leads is a fairly common micro-to-standard USB lead which is called into play when you need to charge the unit’s built-in 5V 400mAh battery. The second lead adopts a slightly more unusual format. At one end is a micro USB connection while a 3.5mm jack plus is at the other end. This second lead is for connecting the speaker to an audio device that does not support Bluetooth.
Apart from the rear of the unit which features a slightly tacky black surface, the Bass Connect speaker is predominately light grey or off-white in colour. The perforated front grill features an appropriate logo while the surface covering the rear is just about tacky enough to stop the speaker from sliding about when placed on a flat shiny surface. A small on/off switch and micro USB port are positioned at the top of the right side of the speaker/
Arranged across the top of the speaker are three push buttons suitably embellished with icons to help indicate their purpose when used with this device. In each case the button can be used for two different tasks depending upon whether a short or long press is applied to the button. The central button doubles up the tasks of play/pause with switching between Bluetooth and AUX mode. The button on the left can be used to move on to the next track or increase the volume level while the one on the right can repeat the last track or reduce the volume level with each press.
However while this dual functionality works when the connection is via Bluetooth, the same is not true when the Bass Connect is receiving its audio from a device linked to the USB port. In such cases you can pause/play output and adjust the volume level in either direction. I was not too surprised to discover this lack of control regarding track switching as I have yet to encounter this feature when connecting a device via the AUX option to a Bluetooth speaker.
Pairing the Bass Connect speaker to an appropriate Bluetooth device is straightforward. You just need to switch on the speaker and it will automatically go into search mode with a blue light flashing. It will then connect to a new source, if one is in searching mode, or link to an already existing pairing set up. Appropriate sound effects are used to indicate when a search is being made and when a connection is established. The usual 10 metres of Bluetooth range applies with this speaker unit.
According to the blurb on the product’s packaging, the Bass Connect features new patented circuit technology enabling a small speaker to deliver amplified equalized sound. Whether this is just marketing-speak or not, the audio quality delivered from the Bass Connect was about what I would have expected from a device of this size and price point. The audio is fine for casual listening or background music which is what you would expect from such a device. According to the manufacturer you should get around five hours of listening at full volume from a single charge. However, when used at a lower volume setting, I was able to get over 10 hours of audio playback from a single battery charge with this speaker. The Bass Connect has a price tag of £29.99.
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