Bēm Wireless Speaker Mojo: Bluetooth with a Twist
The Speaker Mojo ($90) has a single upward-firing full-range driver, with the speaker grille taking up the entire top of the cube, and there are controls on two of the sides. One side has touch-sensitive volume up and down buttons and a play/pause button. The opposite side has a micro-USB charging port, on/off switch, AUX input and LEDs indicating power and Bluetooth status. The bottom side of the cube has the power conductors. The bottom of the speaker cube and the bottom of the charging base both have a rubberized finish to keep them from bouncing across your desk. I have a metal work desk and it didn’t move at all. The Speaker Mojo has a built-in microphone so you can take phone calls right from the cube. It is available in black, gray, white or blue.
The charging base also has an on/off switch, LED power indicator, a micro-USB charging port and an USB port to use for charging other devices. As mentioned, it has a rubberized finish on the bottom to keep it from sliding or vibrating across a surface. It is slightly magnetized so when you set the speaker cube on top of it, they stick together. This seems like a small feature, but it’s great when you grab the cube to hit the road - the base comes along for the ride instead of falling to the ground.
The Speaker Mojo can be used with Bluetooth (4.0) or its AUX input. I wish all devices paired as easily as this did. As soon as it powers up, it’s looking to pair. I found it on my iPod and it paired in seconds. I didn’t hear a noticeable difference between the Bluetooth or AUX. It should be noted that when using the AUX input, the volume controls on the Mojo are disabled&mash;the volume and play/pause are only for the Bluetooth connection.
The speaker itself is rather unassuming. It has a single driver, but uses a passive radiator in the bottom for a surprisingly full sound in the lower midrange. It’s nowhere near enough bass, but there is a little bit of fullness to the sound. They say it’s “precision-tuned” and I have to admit, it has a pleasant sound. Many of these little speakers have a thin, tinny sound. When the volume isn’t pushing it too hard, the midrange and treble have a warm tone, especially on acoustic instruments. Again, no bass, and no extreme high-end, but what tones it produces, it produces well.
I checked it out with two of the latest from The Counting Crows. The acoustic guitar on “God of Ocean Tides” sounded really clean and natural. Adam Duritz’s voice was only slightly rolled off in the low end, as was the acoustic piano. However, the distorted electric guitars on “Scarecrow” proved too much for this little guy. As soon as the tracks become more complex, the sound just collapses, losing all the sonic details. A two-speaker stereo system would be better, and provide some separation to keep the sound from becoming indistinctive. Stick to acoustic tracks, and keep the volume in check.
For a very portable system that provides up to eight hours of playback, along with the ability to charge up my phone, my iPod, my bike’s GPS computer, whatever, this is a handy system that’s going on my next weekend getaway.