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Product review: Portable wireless speakers

 
Product review: Portable wireless speakers Looking for portable, wireless speakers for a party? Here’s four options to consider.

These wireless speakers may be small but they still pack a powerful punch when it comes to listening to your music. We test four.

 

goodbye wires speaker

 From the top: We test the Veho 360, Jawbone Jambox, Sony Ericsson MBS-200
and Creative D100. Photography: Darren Chang, Art Direction & Styling: Kathleen Chan

1. VEHO 360, $79

Bluetooth range: 15 metres.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Size and portability: It was the smallest and most lightweight of the lot; we could take it everywhere. 
  • It had the longest bluetooth range – music only became slightly distorted about 12 metres away from the source; and cut off at 15 metres. 
  • Charging was done via USB; one charge gave me four hours of playtime.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

  • Pairing up was a little tricky initially: We had to delete the previous pairing on the phone and search for the Veho speaker. 
  • There were no volume controls on the speakers; we had to adjust it from the phone. 
  • The music got a little crackly at a very high volume and the song paused every time we received an SMS.

Verdict: 7/10. Short playtime, but scores on portability and range though sound quality was average.

2. SONY ERICSSON MBS-200, $78

Bluetooth range: Six metres. This was the only one that did not come with a cable to connect to devices that weren’t Bluetooth-ready. 

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Good sound quality, given its compact size – playback was still rich and full, and we could hear the music and lyrics distinctly. 
  • Music quality: When the volume was high, the music remained undistorted and clear. At a low volume, we could still make out the lyrics. 
  • It came with an electrical charger: One charge gave me about six hours of playtime.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

  • Setting up was a little tricky, as the manual wasn’t very clear. 
  • The on/off button and volume controls were hard to reach as they were placed under the speakers. We had to rely on my mobile phone to let me know that the speakers had paired. 
  • The Bluetooth connection also started to get shaky when the speakers were placed five to six metres away from the music source.

Verdict: 7/10. Basic speakers with a reasonable sound quality, though the range could be better.

3. WE RECOMMEND: JAWBONE JAMBOX, $328, FROM COURTS AND AUTHORISED RETAILERS

Bluetooth range: 10 metres.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • The design was sleek and pairing the speakers to a mobile phone was easy: All we had to do was to push a slider on the side of the set; a voice announced that the device had been paired. 
  • Sound quality was brilliant – we could make out distinct beats in the background music, which was rich and full. Even at a low volume, the music and lyrics were clear. 
  • Convenience: A plus point was that we could transfer files onto my phone via Bluetooth without disrupting the music. 
  • We also liked the built-in microphone; we could answer calls with it. 
  • Battery life: Charging was done via the USB cable included and a full charge gave me 10 hours of playtime.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER
It was perfect – there was nothing that we did not like about it.

Verdict: 8.5/10. The priciest, but you get superior sound and multiple functions.


4. CREATIVE D100, $89.90

Bluetooth range: 10 metres.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Setting up was a breeze – I just pressed the Bluetooth button located on the front of the speakers to pair. 
  • Excellent sound quality: In an enclosed room, the rich, full sound resembled a surround sound experience in a cinema. It got really loud at maximum volume, making it an excellent choice for parties, barbecues and picnics. 
  • Battery life: With four AA-sized batteries, it had a playback of up to 25 hours, much longer than all the other speakers.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

  • I couldn’t hear anything at low volumes. Turning it up a notch improved the quality a little – I could make out lyrics, but the music was still unclear. 

Verdict: 8.5/10. A little bulky, but you get good sound quality and a long playback time for its price.

The Veho 360 is stocked at Tangs Orchard, 310 Orchard Road, #01-187 & #02-189, Vivocity, Tel: 6737 550. Find the Sony Ericsson MBS-200 at selected stores including the branch at Level 4, Isetan, Wisma Atria, Tel: 6734 3283.

The Creative D100 is available at #03-124, Marina Square, Tel: 6336 7005; go to sg.creative.com for more store locations. The Jawbone Jambox is stocked at Courts and other authorised retailers; visit the Courts megastore at 50 Tampines North Drive 2, Tel: 6309 7888. 

All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine's publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer June 2011.

 

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