Veho 360BT — a Bluetooth Bargain Page 3



Veho doesn’t publish a driver size, but given the unit’s 1.5-inch diameter, the speaker diaphragm can’t be much more than 1 inch across. That little driver sounds better than you’d think, though. Voices sound rather thin because there’s no bass and not much lower midrange, but the mid- and upper midrange and treble are fairly smooth.

I placed the 360BT atop my refrigerator to play the Guitar Jazz stream in the background during a dinner party, and later placed it on my bar for an evening of cigars and scotch. In both situations it sounded just fine, and my guests never noticed that I was playing the music from a device not much bigger than a shot glass.

It sounded pretty good on my bike, too. It wasn’t powerful enough to compete with traffic, but for cruising down country roads it was plenty loud enough. I don’t know what you were doing when I rode up Old Topanga Road in Los Angeles, surrounded by mountains, trees, house-sized boulders and the sound of Sonny Rollins With the Modern Jazz Quartet coming from the 360BT, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t enjoy that afternoon as much as I did.

The 360BT also accompanied me and my recumbent trike to the recent Great Western Bike Rally, where it easily filled my tent with Indian classical music streamed through my cell phone, and the sound of local TV stations when connected with a cable to the RCA DMT336R Mobile DTV set.

This can doesn’t kick, though. Play rock or louder pop music and while it can fill a room, it doesn’t have the dynamics you’ll probably want, and the groove that comes from the bass, the kick drum and the lower strings of the guitar are pretty much gone. It’s OK for a little James Taylor or Eagles in the background, but push it further and you’ll probably be disappointed.

The frequency response of the 360BT might look pretty ratty, but wait till you see the charts for the other Bluetooth speakers I measured. This one’s really not so bad. (The chart you see above shows the response with the measurement mic pointed at the driver, measured from 0.5 meters, with averaged response at 0, 10, 20 and 30 degrees.) Yeah, at +/-11.5 dB from 270 to 20 kHz, it’s no Revel Salon2. But if you focus on the range from 310 Hz to 10.6 kHz, it measures +/-5.8 dB, which isn’t good but it isn’t horrible, either. The treble roll-off above 9 kHz provides some psychoacoustic balance for the total lack of bass; while you won’t get any treble detail, the sound seems fuller.

I hesitate to say the Veho 360BT is good, but have no compunction about saying it’s good enough. It’s so portable, so functional, and so OK-sounding that it’s become an essential travel tech tool for me — and a convenient way to get my favorite MP3s and Internet radio streams from my cell phone all around the house.