Yantouch Diamond+ Light + Music

Typically at Sound &Vision, we review serious products, for serious listeners, tending to shy away from gimmicks. Every once in a while, however, a product shows up on our doorstep that looks like it might be a toy, but deserves a closer look. The Yantouch Diamond+ Bluetooth speaker with an amazing light display is one such product.

The Diamond+ is a grapefruit-sized diamond cut globe. There is a black version as well, but we reviewed the white version. The entire top is frosted plastic; there are two opposing speaker openings on each side of the globe with a bass port, remote holder and mini-USB port on the back. It comes with a lovely velvet carrying case.

The Diamond+ has a built-in Li-ion battery for up to 7 hours of playback. Weighing just 2.5 lbs and measuring 5 inches across, it is quite portable, although the shape isn’t conducive to many outdoor activities, although it would be fun to take on a camping trip—car camping that is. (The company’s website has a picture of a group of cyclists. I take many things with me on the bike; this won’t be one of them.) The unit is charged via the mini-USB port, and it is supplied with a unique cable. The cable has the mini-USB on one end with a Y-connection. It has a standard USB on one side that can plug into the supplied USB AC charger but it also has a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can use non-Bluetooth audio sources as well. That part of the cable is annoyingly short, so you’ll probably want to add an extension if using this option.

There are no buttons or controls on the device itself—everything is controlled via the supplied remote. Luckily, there’s a handy slot on the back of the orb to stash the remote, but it’s still easy to misplace it. Even luckier, there is an optional app so you could control it all via your smartphone if the remote disappears. More on the app later.

Pairing the Diamond+ was even easier than most pairings. After hitting the Bluetooth button on the remote (and the Diamond+ turned an appropriate shade of blue), a window on the iPod popped up asking if it should pair to the Diamond+. Easiest pairing ever. Once paired, all music functions are controlled via the remote.

The system plays adequately loud for such a small device. It has two 1-inch speakers powered by a 3 watt (x2) amplifier. While the volume isn’t exactly overwhelming, it has a pleasant sound as long as the volume isn’t pushed. Hit it too hard and the sound develops a harsh tone in the upper register. There is a surprising amount of bass, but again, pushed too hard it begins to lose focus and break up. Because of the orientation of the speakers, the stereo imaging is fabulous for such a small device.

While the sound from the Diamond+ is decent with an impressive stereo image, it’s the light show that makes this product shine. It can be set to glow a single color, slowly morph throughout the rainbow (with a claimed 16,000 colors), glow a pleasant prismatic hue, or be set to one of three different sensitivities to pulse to the source music. Two settings are optimized for rock music, and the other one is for more soothing, softer pulsations. It uses 8 RGB and two energy-preserving, cool-running LED lightbulbs.

Using the app (iOS and Android) the system can be set for sleep mode and a 30-minute sunrise setting that can wake you to music or the sound of canaries. How pleasant! You can even record your own wakeup message. The brightness of the light cast by the Diamond+ can be controlled via the remote or the app. But remember, the main unit doesn’t have any controls at all—not even a power button, so if you lose the remote and don’t have the app, you’re out of luck and the proud owner of a fancy night light.

The Yantouch Diamond+ is gimmicky, but it is so oddly alluring and mesmerizing that this is one product that’s going to stay out of the box long after the review has been uploaded. Few products that show up here can make that claim. It’s been functioning as a fascinating night light in the window of my office, and I’m sure the neighbors are amused when it’s set on the shifting rainbow mode. I can’t wait to pick my color scheme for all the upcoming holidays—orange for Halloween, green for Christmas, red for Valentine’s day... Yeah, sometimes, gimmicky is good.