Bluetooth Speaker Reviews

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Brent Butterworth  |  Aug 22, 2013  |  0 comments

One thing about capitalism: If you're successful, people will immediately copy what you're doing.

Leslie Shapiro  |  May 07, 2012  |  0 comments

If you’ve ever tried to jazz up a party with the speaker built into your iPhone, you know how pathetic that can sound. These days, everyone is coming out with portable speaker systems (don’t call them boomboxes!) for MP3 players, but they all require one thing: Power. Now, we all love power, but AC power isn’t always available where we want to party (eg. poolside or the beach).

Brent Butterworth  |  Feb 21, 2012  |  0 comments

Sadly, I’m old enough to remember when the mark of a tech-savvy traveler was a hand-wound folding alarm clock. So, apparently, is someone at Geneva Lab, a company known for making stylish, capable — and pleasingly plump — iPod docks. The Lab’s new XS Bluetooth speaker/FM radio/alarm combines styling cues from the company’s larger systems and from classic analog travel clocks.

Lauren Dragan  |  Dec 06, 2013  |  0 comments
The latest in the Harman Kardon line of aesthetically pleasing home electronics, the Nova are small, powered 2.0 desktop speakers designed for flexibility of use. Each about the size of a cantaloupe, they have 2.5” drivers,1.25” tweeters, and a passive bass radiator. Not only can you connect with an ⅛” jack and optical line, but with Bluetooth and NFC; so no matter what you want to hear, they can connect to it. And for little speakers, they get a surprising amount of volume without distorting. While they are not a substitute for a full receiver-based home theater sound system, they are perfect for an office, small apartment, or bedroom, and can fill any mid-sized room with sound rather comfortably, even in a cocktail party situation.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jul 09, 2012  |  0 comments

The original Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker has won raves from us and seemingly everyone else who reviews portable audio gear. That’s partly because of the Jambox’s great sound, partly because of its cool industrial design, and partly because of its flashy programmable features. But even the most shameless marketing guy wouldn’t say the Jambox’s 1.25-inch drivers rock.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Sep 30, 2013  |  0 comments
Every morning, my inbox is filled with press release after press release announcing some new Bluetooth wireless speaker. Everybody seems to be making them, and every company is trying to find an edge—some way to elevate themselves above the fray. Different shapes, multiple colors, small or large, they all do the same thing. But the Lyrix Duo caught my eye as something different, something unique. I needed to find out if different is also good.

Brent Butterworth  |  Apr 25, 2012  |  0 comments

I don’t want to call Paul Barton a brilliant speaker designer, because that might imply that he lucks into occasional flashes of inspiration. No, Barton — founder and chief engineer of PSB Speakers — succeeds because he does the complicated and time-consuming work of building his products using the best science and engineering available. He doesn’t base his design decisions on pet theories, casual observations, or the latest line of B.S. circulating among online audio forums. And to my knowledge, he’s never allowed market trends, cosmetics, or form factors to ruin the sound of his products.

This is why I was so excited to find out last year that Barton was designing a new iPhone/iPod Touch dock for NAD, PSB’s sister brand.

Brent Butterworth  |  May 28, 2013  |  0 comments

Hey, who decided we should adjust volume by pushing buttons instead of turning a knob? Whether you have to push the button repeatedly, or push, hold, and wait to hit the right volume, is that really easier than twisting a knob? No, it's not. Unfortunately, I know of only one Bluetooth speaker maker who realizes this: Native Union.

Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 28, 2013  |  0 comments

I've dreamed of a bicycle sound system for years. I've tried several, even jury-rigged a few of my own, but always ended up discarding them 'cause they sounded lousy, fell apart, or were just a hassle to deal with. But two trends might make decent cycle-sound systems possible.

First there's Bluetooth, which lets you stream MP3s, Internet radio, and podcasts from your smartphone. Then there's the recent explosion in relatively high-quality miniature sound systems like the Soundmatters FoxL and the Jawbone Jambox.

The $99 NYNE Multimedia NB-200 is one of the first Bluetooth speakers designed specifically for cycling. Its driver layout-two 1.5-inch drivers with a 3- by 1.5-inch passive radiator-is somewhat similar to that of a FoxL. While you can get a bike mount for the FoxL, the NB-200 was designed from scratch as a bike speaker. The enclosure has slots that match up with a couple of handlebar clips.

Brent Butterworth  |  Jun 11, 2013  |  0 comments

Thanks to the runaway success of the Jawbone Jambox, it seems most of the new Bluetooth speakers coming out are cute little things that can barely muster enough volume to hear in the next room.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 01, 2013  |  0 comments

 

When summer rolls around, we all go mobile. We drink morning coffee out on the patio, surf while sitting by the pool, and might even do an overnighter in a treehouse. Of course, all of those activities are accompanied by music, and we also need to stay connected for incoming calls.

Brent Butterworth  |  Jun 05, 2013  |  0 comments

Bluetooth speakers are like cheap econobox cars: Even in normal daily use, you're likely to push them to their limits. Most of the compact Bluetooth speakers I test put out 81 to 87 dB at 1 meter, loud enough for casual listening but not loud enough to get your foot tapping and your head bobbing.

Lauren Dragan  |  Jan 23, 2016  |  1 comments
Following the success of their portable Bluetooth speaker, the Turbo X, Riva has decided to go even more compact with their latest introduction, the S. Smaller, lighter, and complete with a ballistic nylon carrying case, the S is just as attractive as the X; made for on the go. But Riva’s S has more up it’s sleeve than just being the Turbo X’s little brother.
Lauren Dragan  |  Jul 08, 2015  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $350

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Easy setup
Intuitive controls
Portable footprint but big sound
Minus
A little pricey compared with competition its size
Even with phono mode, vinyl may not be loud enough at line level

THE VERDICT
Portable enough for on-the-go listening, the Riva Turbo X is a little more expensive than most, but it’s worth the money for folks who want a small speaker without sacrificing sound quality.

There’s a multitude of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market today. Every form of novelty is covered: They’re splash-proof, they have disco light displays, some literally dance. Standing out in a field of hundreds takes a little something extra that’s truly special. How novel is it, then, when a small Bluetooth speaker’s claim to fame is that it actually sounds fantastic? Enter the Riva Turbo X, a seven-driver, 45-watt (RMS) little dynamo that is smaller than a loaf of bread and yet easily fills a medium-sized living room with high-quality sound.

Rob Sabin  |  Nov 21, 2017  |  0 comments

Arena Wireless Speaker
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

Festival Wireless Speaker
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE Festival, $499; Arena, $249

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent build and sound quality
Chromecast, AirPlay, Bluetooth built-in
Away mode and optional battery for portability
Minus
Chromecast multiroom interface

THE VERDICT
Riva Audio continues a tradition of excellent sound quality with the WAND series, the company’s first wireless multiroom speakers.

I first met Riva Audio founder Rikki Farr and chief engineer (now also president) Don North in the fall of 2014 when they marched into Sound & Vision’s New York City conference room to demo their first product, a Bluetooth speaker called the Turbo X. North was a youthful, glasses-wearing geek who had just enough of the right credentials and tech swagger to suggest he really knew what he was doing.

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