By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 30, 2015
One of my biggest beefs with the iPhone and iPad is the lack of love given to sound output quality. Neither device features speakers that face the user, and the speakers that are there produce sound that’s just passable in my opinion. It’s definitely one of the biggest opportunity areas for improvement when it comes to iOS hardware.
Other devices do a much better job with sound quality. For example, the HTC One M9 features front-facing speakers, as does the just-released Motorola G 3rd-gen. Even tablets like the Nexus 9 feature front-firing speakers that sound relatively good. The iPhone and iPad? Not so much.
But that’s okay, because that’s what external speakers were made for. In fact, I just got my hands on stylish-looking Bluetooth speaker called the MercuryBox (42.99 with Amazon discount code below). It’s from a German company called Inateck, who sent us a sample unit for review.
Is this the perfect device to improve your iPhone’s sound output? Read More
By Lory Gil on Jul 24, 2015
Apple’s new streaming service is a big hit. While it may still need some polishing, it is an excellent music player that houses an immense collection of tunes for you to listen to both on and off line. Now, you just need something to play music through that is better than the iPhone 6’s tiny speakers.
If you are looking for a little more power than just a personal, portable speaker, the UE Boom is the best in its class. It is small enough to fit in your drink holder, rugged enough to take camping, and powerful enough to be heard in a room full of partiers. Read More
By Lory Gil on Jul 23, 2015
There are some situations in which one may want to listen to Apple Music using more than just the iPhone 6 speakers, but don’t need a big sound and don’t want to take up too much space.
The JAM Classic is the perfect portable Bluetooth speaker for listening to tunes in the office, at the beach, or while studying for finals in the dorm. Think of it as a personal sound system. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 3, 2015
In a rare display of a voluntary product recall, Apple has pulled the Beats Pill XL wireless speakers citing a possible fire safety risk caused by overheating.
According to a media release Apple PR put out Wednesday, the voluntary recall of all Beats Pill XL speakers, “including a refund for customers,” does not affect any other Beats or Apple products.
“Apple has determined that, in rare cases, the battery in the Beats Pill XL may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” notes the press release. Read More
By iDB Deals on May 14, 2015
Crystal clear audio and seamless Bluetooth syncing are just two of the reasons the Soundfreaq Sound Kick Bluetooth Speaker is winning awards. It’s been voted Overall Best of Show CES winner by iLounge, and can be yours for just $49.99 – 50% off the retail price. Read More
By Lory Gil on May 7, 2015
Some speakers are great for on-the-go listening. Others are meant for rugged used in the outdoors. There are plenty of quality mobile Bluetooth speakers out there. But what about stationary speakers? Harman Kardon, one of the best-known quality sound system companies, offers the SoundSticks Wireless Bluetooth Speaker System so you can stream media from your iPhone in style. Read More
By Lory Gil on May 6, 2015
As the weather gets warmer and summer looms around the corner, I find myself daydreaming about spending hours at the river, swimming in the cool pockets of still waters. Wouldn’t it be great to bring a speaker? But, I don’t want to ruin it by accidentally dropping it in the water.
NYNE Multimedia has solved that problem with a fully waterproof Bluetooth speaker called Aqua. Not only can you drop the external audio source right into a body of water, but it will also float, so you don’t have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the pool. Read More
By Lory Gil on May 2, 2015
There is no reason to even bring up the fact that the iPhone’s internal speaker system sucks, but I just did. So the best solution to a terrible sound is boosting it with something else.
The Anker A7908 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a box speaker that fits in the palm of your hand, but packs a punch when it comes to increasing the volume of your iPhone 6. The nearly 20-hour battery life makes it possible for you to keep the party going, all night long. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Dec 17, 2014
The market is crowded with Bluetooth speakers. Every time you turn around, there is someone selling another Bluetooth speaker. They are an excellent iOS device accessory and I recommend having at least one. Of course, they run the full range of prices and I have had my hands on cheap and expensive several hundred dollar models.
When choosing a speaker, it is important to decide what is most important to you. Do you need one small enough to throw in your bag or do you prefer a home theater style option that can shake the walls with crisp and booming sound? Divoom is on the lower end of the Bluetooth spectrum. Providing small packaged, portable Bluetooth speakers with a rugged edge is the niche market for the Texas based company, which sent them over for review. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Oct 3, 2014
There is an assortment of Bluetooth speakers on the market and almost any accessory maker thinks they should enter the flooded marketplace. With that attitude, your product should bring something a little different to the crowd. Truffol’s DuraSound exists somewhere between business professional and outdoor appropriate.
DuraSound has a very conservative, simple, rectangular design, with a flat matte finished front and back grill. This simple design with clean edges and finishes makes it suitable for the office. In contrast, the color-matched silicon bumper allows the device to be toted around for after hour drinks. Read More
By Jim Gresham on Aug 24, 2014
I’m partial to having a speaker in almost every room of the house. There is no particular reason why and, after thinking about it, I am not really that into music. However it is nice to always have some jams going in the background. Thanks to Outdoor Tech, I can have music going in one room, but still hear it in the next. Or, if I am rocking out in the neighborhood pool, I am loud enough to get in trouble.
After meeting with Outdoor Tech at CES, I was really excited about both the Big Turtle Shell and the Turtle Shell 2.0. If you can recall, I reviewed the Turtle Shell gen. 1, and was pretty impressed. In fact, the Turtle Shell has not left my kitchen, except for a couple of roadie tours, for a complete year. I have access to a lot of gear, so it is definitely a credit to the product for any one to make it a full year.
I must admit, the Turtle Shell has been de-throned, in favor of the 2.0 version and the big brother, Big Turtle Shell. Read More
By Joe Rossignol on Jun 20, 2014
When I went to the Consumer Electronics Show last year, I was surprised at just how many companies in the iLounge Pavilion were showcasing wireless Bluetooth speakers. I’ve always questioned the purpose of these speakers, since I have a surround sound setup in my office or simply consider my MacBook Pro speakers to be good enough when I’m out and about.
A recent outdoor event in which I only had my iPhone on me quickly changed my perspective. If you’ve ever tried listening to music through the iPhone speakers, you probably agree that the smartphone sounds pretty awful. Thankfully, I had packed an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker in my backpack. It’s called the Divoom Voombox-Travel, and I offer a full review ahead… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 14, 2014
Jawbone yesterday released a significant firmware update for some of its Bluetooth speakers. The free update, which is specifically for the Mini Jambox, brings about several new features including Multi Play, LiveAudio, and more.
Jambox owners will probably be most interested in Multi Play, which enables you to wirelessly connect two of the bluetooth speakers for either double the volume, or to separate left and right channel audio for stereo-like playback… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Nov 12, 2013
The Bluetooth speaker is making its way as a universal speaker for all mobile devices. As I mentioned in a previous Bluetooth speaker round up just last week, it appears more companies are entering the Bluetooth speaker marketplace. Also, it seems fewer companies are producing dock based speakers. After Apple turned the iPhone dedicated aftermarket upside down by eliminating the 30 pin cable, fewer companies want to continue chancing a Lightning pin specific option. With the universal Bluetooth standard, not only does the company future proof their design, but all mobile devices will work effortlessly, thus preventing costly dedicated iPhone models.
ZAGG (you know them as one of the original iPhone skin companies) is also branching into the mobile media scene. No longer just the InvisibleShield company, ZAGG and their new subsidiary iFrogz are getting their hands dirty in a cross platform way. From skins to cases to audio, there is certainly a diversification for the company. I was able to review a new pair of their Bluetooth headphones a few weeks back and today, a closer look at the ZAGG Bluetooth speaker, should leave everyone begging for more.
The ZAGG Origin, which made its first splash at CES 2013, had escaped my radar until recently. With a streamlined design and hard hitting sound, I was excited to receive a review unit. Origin may look like it is just another part of the average Bluetooth line up, but a detachable companion speaker is the second part of a one-two punch to success… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Nov 8, 2013
We love music. For years, well before iPods, we took music everywhere. From records to CD’s, music is a part of every day life, especially with the invention of MP3 players and the subsequent iPod. However, these are personal devices with single use headphone jacks. Music is most fun when enjoyed with those around us, or at least without being tied down by a corded headset.
Setting music free, is the Bluetooth speaker. As a reviewer, it seems Bluetooth speakers continue to advance in popularity. Not only do I get asked to review them more frequently, but I seem to have more personal conversations about them too. Which one is best, more portable, louder, more clear, better battery and so forth. To throw a few out there for consideration, I rounded up four different models for your consideration… Read More
By Lory Gil on Nov 2, 2013
Apple’s recent launch of the iPhone 5c has created an industry of new cases and accessories to compliment the colorful look of the plastic-backed phone. If you want your 5c to really stand out, match it with a colorful accessory.
The UE BOOM from Ultimate Ears came out long before the iPhone 5c was a glint in an Apple designer’s eye. However, the wireless Bluetooth speaker looks like it was made just for the colorful new phone. The two were meant to be together… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2013
British music gear company Marshall Amplification needs no introduction: the brand is practically synonymous with pro-grade music amplifiers, speaker cabinets, drums (via their Natal Drums acquisition) and more. Fittingly, Marshall’s personal headphones and earphones arm today launched a new personal wireless speaker.
I immediately fast-tracked it to the top of my shopping list. The stylish Stanmore speaker not only looks business dressed up in Marshall’s trademark design, it comes packed to the gills with useful connection options, including Bluetooth wireless, RCA input and the standard 3.5mm auxiliary input… Read More
By Cody Lee on Sep 4, 2013
First there was the Jambox. Then there was the larger, aptly-named Big Jambox. And today Jawbone announced the Mini Jambox. The mini is the company’s third entry into the portable Bluetooth space, helping round out the Jambox line.
But don’t let the ‘Mini’ name fool you. It’s actually not that much smaller than the original Jambox, with virtually the same height and width. In fact, the only dimension you’ll notice a difference in is depth—they’ve shaved about 1/3 of it off… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Jul 4, 2013
True to its name, the Turtle Shell is weather resistant and can take a beating. Not all Bluetooth speakers can say the same. Designed by Outdoor Technology, the dust and shock proof unit is also water-resistant for those nights by the pool or occasional rainstorm.
Producing “Stuff you probably want” is the pride and driving mantra for this group of easy going devs. The pyramid triangular design and bold colors give Turtle Shell a unique design that is modern and appealing. When using it in the office, several passersby stopped just to comment on the aesthetic and one of my office mates even took it home for a party. But, according to Outdoor Tech, inside is the last place you should be using their wireless boombox… Read More
By Jim Gresham on Apr 11, 2013
Having reviewed different ranges of audio accessories for iOS devices, until now, I had yet to review a portable wireless speaker set. There are plenty around, but none of them ever piqued my interest. Unless my wife started asking about them, I would not have considered owning a wireless speaker considering I have a pretty serious home system and a pair of nice headphones.
After spotting the Braven 600, I figured why not give it a shot. It seemed like a well-built option, considering the price. Braven is a company with which I was not immediately familiar, but when I opened the box, I was quite surprised at the well-packaged speaker. It’s a perky little thing, for the size, and it is a nice addition to my current line up. Follow me past the fold for the full details… Read More