The market for external speakers has exploded in recent years, owing to the fact that most gadget manufacturers routinely give short shrift to the audio aspect of their devices and often just give a token effort to making their speakers. Buying wired and unwired third-party external speakers have become a standard way for consumers to augment their audio experiences with their gadgets.
Bluetooth speakers have been making the rounds of the stores for a while now, although in the early days they were hampered by connection problems: often the connection was noisy, or erratic, or even both. Recently these difficulties have largely been overcome, and Bluetooth speakers have now come into their own. They now come in all sizes and manner of design, and now the trend is to make them small and extremely portable.
Capdase, known primarily to be makers of protective cases for your devices, recently came out with the Beat SOHO Portable Bluetooth Speaker.
It’s a small, solid and kinda heavy device, about the size of half a coffee mug. There’s a big speaker grill on the top of the speaker, and there are simple controls on the side: a volume slider, a power-Bluetooth-external AUX mode switch, along with an LED indicator light. There’s a hands-free microphone for answering calls if you’re connected to a smartphone. The Bluetooth button gives you a basic play/pause and track control as well.
There is a mini-USB port for charging, and a 3.5mm audio port for connecting auxiliary audio devices by wire. It comes with a USB charging cable and an external 3.5mm audio cable in a single, convenient Y-cable configuration. And that’s basically it. Nice and simple.
When fully charged, it gives about 6-8 hours of airplay courtesy of the internal Lithium-ion battery. The 40mm speaker in it gives a full range of audio reproduction, with exceptionally loud bass, and with only a little bit of distortion at the maximum level. The highs and mids are reproduced clearly and well.
And boy, this sucker is loud, loud enough to fill a medium-sized room. The tough, heavy aluminum/steel casing keeps it from jumping around when playing loudly and settles the wireless speaker nicely to the tabletop.
The problem with the Beat SOHO is that it’s just one speaker. Meaning, it reproduces mono sound, which is a damn shame. Given that it produces nice, loud, excellent audio, the fact that it does it only in mono is a real bummer. The nice thing about it is that it’s really portable because of its diminutive size. You can easily pack it in a small bag or stuff it in your pocket and you can enjoy great sound anywhere from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. (Granted, you’d need a big pants pocket, but hey, you can’t have everything.)
For reference, here’s the Beat SOHO photographed beside a ballpen for a size comparison:
For its limitations (largely related to it being a mono instead of a stereo speaker), the Beat SOHO is a great portable wireless speaker. It’s nice and relatively heavy for its small size, it connects easily via Bluetooth, reproduces audio nice and loud, has great battery life, and would make a great addition to your store of gadgets.
The Capdase Beat SOHO Portable Bluetooth Speaker goes for Php1,950, and is available in black, silver or red. You can get it in any Digital Hub, Digital Walker or Beyond The Box branch.
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