Rapoo who? You could be forgiven for asking the same question we did when we first heard of the brand. While we thought that this would be just another Chinese brand slapping their brand on generic OEM accessories, we were pleasantly surprised at features and build quality of the trio of items they sent over for a review: the A3060 Bluetooth mini speaker, the H8030 wireless stereo headset, and the 8900P advanced wireless mouse and keyboard combo.
First up is a portable Bluetooth speaker, the A3060. Portable Bluetooth speakers seem to be the accessory du jour (check out the speakers we’ve reviewed from Soundmatters, Philips, Logitech, Braven, and Capdase)
The first, pleasant surprise was the size and the design. The Rapoo A3060 is a hefty metal-clad cylinder about 2/3 the size of a soda can. The design is simple, elegant, and classy. It tips the (digital) scales at xx g — heavy enough to sit solidly on your table or shelf, and much less likely to jiggle all over the surface and fall off when you’re playing music at high volumes (as has happened to me with the Logitech Mini Boombox). To me, it looks more like an elegant desk accessory than a high-tech gadget.
It has a built-in rechargeable battery good for __ hours of playback, and it charges via a microUSB port. One nice touch is that the charging cable is nestled snugly in the base of the speaker, so you’re never without it when you need to charge the battery. At the base you have the on-off switch, the micro-USB charging port, and the LED indicator light.
The Rapoo A3060 uses the Bluetooth 4.0 spec, but is backwards compatible with previous Bluetooth specs. It has capacitive control buttons on the top surface, good for controlling music when your source is out of reach. It also has a microphone, so it can function as a speakerphone as well.
For such a small gadget, it’s quite loud — loud enough to project sound in a room of about 20 sqm. There’s an obvious lack of detail and some distortion at the loudest volume setting, but that’s normal for speakers of this size. The design allows 360° of sound projection, making the A3060 a practical choice for conference calls, for family Skype or FaceTime calls, for sharing music with friends around a table or in a small room, for watching a movie on a tablet or a laptop.
As nice a package as the A3060 is, there are a few shortcomings you need to consider before making the purchase: there’s no aux in port so you’re limited to Bluetooth-capable audio sources, and I noticed some stuttering during audio playback — enough to be noticed, but it wasn’t really that much of a bother.
We haven’t been given the local pricing yet, but most online stores list it at around US$30, so it will probably come in at around Php1,500, and should be available in most electronic and gadget stores.
UPDATE: We just got the official SRP, and it’s Php1,690. At that price, it’s even cheaper than the Capdase Beat SOHO we just reviewed, so it should be even easier on the pocket for smartphone and tablet owners looking for a wireless portable speaker.
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