News has just filtered through regarding a new wireless speaker system soon to be made available. This is the innovatively named BeoSound Shape product which promises to combine high quality sound with a unique customisable design concept suitable for different environments.
BeoSound Shape is a wall-mounted modular system that is based on hexagonal tiles that have been developed by Bang & Olufsen, a company originally set up in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen in Struer, Denmark. Starting life as a developer of high quality audio reproduction, Bang & Olufsen has gained a reputation for the performance and design excellence of its domestic technology products as well as diversifying into other areas of audio delivery.
Adding to its range of speakers, Edifier has delivered a Bluetooth portable speaker with microSD capability.
While headphones, of whatever variety, are an excellent means of listening to your favourite music when out and about, they are limited in being just a private personal listening tool. For those occasions when a group listening situation is called for, then headphones can be replaced with a portable speaker system such as the Edifier MP233 product which combines AUX, microSD and Bluetooth functionality in a device that has a stylish look to it and is portable.
Seeing the courier struggle up to my front door was enough to give my back a panic attack at the thought of this next review.
As a specialist in the production and manufacture of premium audio solutions with innovative design concepts, Edifier has a portfolio consisting of a wide range of speakers developed to fulfil different user needs and budget constraints. Currently the company has speakers that could be classified as Bluetooth, Desktop, Cinesound, Wireless, Portable, Bookshelf and Speakerphone.
It is time for a “bit” of music with this next product from Polk Boom.
With a title of “Bit” and an appearance that could be mistaken for a stubby flash drive, you could be forgiven for wondering just what was the purpose of this next device under review. In fact, as part of the Polk Boom family of devices, the Bit is a wearable Bluetooth speaker. Available in a choice of colours that include Black, Sport Blue, Lava and Mist Grey plus the Volt unit I had been sent as a sample.
It is cylindrical, comes in a choice of colours and provides a Bluetooth experience in the round and it has been developed by Edifier.
As part of the company’s new generation of portable speakers, Edifier has developed its MP280 model. This is a Bluetooth speaker that also offers support for receiving input from an AUX source and SD card. The MP280 is cylindrical in shape and available in a choice of red (my review sample), blue or black; The speaker has dimensions of 183 mm width and a diameter of 58 mm. While a little too bulky for just slipping into a pocket, even of the patch variety, and weighing 0.
I usually tend to think of headphones when the topic of Skullcandy and its product line-up is broached but this is not the only type of audio product produced by the company. Rather than purely personal listening devices, such as the Crusher headphones, Skullcandy also manufactures speakers for a wider audio output distribution. One such product is the Barricade XL which is the subject of this next review.
As part of a series of speaker units, the Barricade XL is a Bluetooth unit. It has dimensions of 101.6 x 172.7 x 86.3mm (W x D x H). While the size of this device, and its weight of 867g, is such that you are hardly going to feel comfortable carrying this speaker around in a jacket pocket, it does feature a stitch decorated strap. This can be used to carry the Barricade XL around if you do not mind it occasionally banging against your leg during your travels.
This is a small Bluetooth speaker from a company with a good reputation for sound quality. However they also have another less desirable reputation – for me anyway - that of their boxes having to be destroyed to get the contents out of them.
The Barricade Bluetooth Speaker from Skullcandy measures 12x10x7.5cm and weights 510grams, the last figure could be important as it has a fabric thumb loop to enable use while on the move. It should be drizzle proof – I try to say that rather than shower as some might consider shower to mean what occurs in the bathroom – with a rubber bung covering external connections.
This is a Bluetooth Speaker sold by a company from the Isle of White. To confuse everyone the company making the product is Lexon who as far as I know is French, so what has this turquoise blue unit got to offer listening wise.
The Lexon Tykho Booster measures 24x8x7cm, weighs 705grams and is covered in rubber so should be water resistant to a point where a shower of rain should be OK. This does not mean it should be left outside as it is not designed to be water proof.
While the various in-car navigation devices that I have checked out tend to give you a choice of voices, whether of the male or female gender, the current trinity of Siri, Cortana and Alexa from Apple, Microsoft and Amazon do not offer the user such a choice. All three of these disembodied voices are of the female variety as they provide the requested information.
Recently I have had the opportunity to interrogate and request assistance from Alexa, the vocal conduit providing feedback from devices such as Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. In my case, the designated device was the smaller Echo Dot housing Alexa and her ability to respond to the user’s spoken commands. Available in a choice of black or white, the Amazon Echo Dot is a small circular platform device with dimensions of 84mm diameter and 31mm height.
This is a portable speaker system that can sound great indoors as well as out. This is a Bluetooth and 3.5mm system that looks stylish and has a battery that lasts well over the claimed eight hours even when playing via Bluetooth.
The Edifer MP700 bluetooth speaker measures 29x10x6.5cm with handle down with handle raised its height is raised from 10cm to 16.5cm, the unit weights 1569grams. My first joy with this unit was that the User Manual was bigger than the safety instruction manual. The second joy was the sound quality initially from 3.5mm lead and once I read the manual – ten small sides – via Bluetooth and later via NFC. While the manual is not large it is clear and has plenty of illustrations.
Making a change from the usual diet of Bluetooth speakers, this next product relies totally on an audio lead connection.
The M2280 is another member of the Edifier family of speaker units. This particular model is described as a multimedia speaker system. It consists of free-standing left and right speaker units that come with cables for connecting the speakers, power lead and an audio lead plus a small User Manual booklet offering basic instructions. Clearly marked with Left and Right insignia, the two speakers have dimensions of 240 x 124 x 125mm (H x W x D).
Adding to the extensive range of Bluetooth speakers currently available is a product from the French designer brand Lexon.
Supplied by , from its extensive range of products, the Tykho Booster is a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker. This particular product, designed by Marc Berthier, comes from the French design brand Lexon. The Tykho Booster, developed as part of Lexon’s 25 birthday celebrations, is a remastered version of the company’s iconic Tykho radio. I had been sent the lime green version of the product which perhaps will not be to everybody’s taste.
A drum has long been used as a means of communication even before the development of Bluetooth.
Combining art with modern technology is a speaker from Ultimate Ears.
The UE Roll 2 is a wireless speaker available as a Limited Edition Drippy model featuring a design by the American artist Jen Stark who is probably best known for her paper sculptures. As well as its rather unusual name, the Drippy UE Roll 2 also stands out with regards to its circular appearance and the patterned Jen Stark inspired front fabric skin.
Not a totally new item but an enhanced version and if anything it is a little smaller than previous versions I have seen. There are occasions when headphones or earbuds are unsuitable and for one reason or another full room speakers also so this small unit can then has its say.
It is 7cm tall and 7cm across at the base it then barrels out slightly and then tapers towards the top where it is 6cm across, it weighs 204grams. My unit was red apart from the bottom 2cm that was purple.
The handy-sized Verbatim Bluetooth Mobile Speaker, 44404, is a practical means of providing decent sound for the traveller.
This stylish battery-powered speaker has a choice of inputs: Bluetooth or direct via a 3.5mm audio port. It is cylindrical in shape – 7cm in diameter and 5.5cm tall and weighs 257g. The bottom cm or so is black in colour with a red styling line running around it. The remainder, a metallic grey in colour, is covered in etched vertical lines. The base is cloth covered while the top is a robust metallic grill, with the Verbatim logo at its centre, covering the 40mm speaker driver.
How do you pack a sub-woofer and a sound bar together in one box, with difficulty is my answer, perhaps they are put together to make sure they stay together, both need mains power but there is no physical link between the two items.
The sound bar is triangular in shape with the front edge sloping backwards it is one metre long and each side is 8cm. The sub-woofer is 28.5x24.5x33cm and it can be placed anywhere within reason, in my tests with TV sound most will be surprised how much base is in music that is not normally heard from things like theme tunes and incidental music, certainly they sound so much different than they do without external an sound bar and sub-woofer.
For a change this next product from Sennheiser is not a set of headphones.
Usually when a product arrives from Sennheiser it is a set of headphones but this time there was a difference. Even so, being Sennheiser, the product was concerned with the delivery of audio but instead of a wearable set of headphones, the new product is meant to be positioned on a desk or table with the audio being delivered to those within the immediate vicinity of the device. This is the Sennheiser SP20 speakerphone.
Bluetooth speakers come in various shapes and sizes with a price point that reveals the audio quality delivered by the device.
With an easy to remember name, the Riva S is a Bluetooth mobile speaker that is available in a choice of three colour schemes. You can opt for Black with Titanium, White with Silver or, as in the case of my review unit, White with Gold. In each case the first colour is used for the top and bottom of the unit while the second colour decorates the heavily perforated aluminium band that encircles the main body as it acts as the speaker grille.
Having recently told you about their rather good Sounddeck here are a pair of speakers that can be used in several ways and that even includes multi room use. With these speakers the sounds on your phone will never have sounded so good.
The pair of speakers are 17.7x10.5x12.7cm each, and they weigh 1407grams each. If you currently buy the pair you also get the Wi-Fi extender included, this is 11x11x2.5cm. You can have them in Black or White or should you wish one of each which could help identification and possibly even satisfy the lounge fashion police.