When on the road, it’s sometimes nice to have familiar tunes on hand. That’s easy enough with all the electronic gadgets out there but the big problem is sound quality. All of the built-in speakers on smartphones, laptops, etc are seriously lacking. The best option seems to be a small headset but that’s not quite the same as a speaker. So a speaker is needed that is small, easy to charge, and links to the source via a wireless connection.
- Item: AYL portable Bluetooth speaker.
- Made in: Unknown (not indicated)
- Date purchased: January 25, 2013
- Vendor: Amazon.com
- Price paid: $28.99
- Summary: Tremendous value and performs flawlessly
This is a pretty small speaker that belts out a pretty impressive sound considering its diminutive footprint. The speaker is round at about 2 1/2 inches in diameter with a height of 2 inches. The bottom of the unit is flat with a base of 1 5/8 inch diameter. This allows the speaker to sit flat on any surface, though the bottom is smooth plastic, so if it’s sitting on an angled surface, it may slide a bit. The speaker is made of high density plastic throughout and has a solid heft about it. It tips the scale at 68 grams. Note that this is but a single speaker, so it’s strictly mono. A number of color options are available: I chose a black base with silver accents. A bi-color (red / blue) LED shows speaker status.
The unit paired over Bluetooth effortlessly with the two devices I have: an old HP iPAQ PDA and a Motorola Photon smartphone running Android. Once the speaker is paired, it will automatically pair with the LAST unit it paired to with no additional tinkering. If you wish to pair it to a new Bluetooth device, it must go through its Bluetooth discovery process, which is a snap. I charged the built-in battery with a USB cable (same as that used on my Photon) and it took about four hours to reach full charge. Not sure how depleted the battery was before I charged it though. Once fully charged, I paired it up with the Photon and started playing tunes. Volume was about middle. I’m now at 15 hours and the speaker is still going strong. Walking away from the unit, it holds a Bluetooth connection at 20+ feet line-of-sight. Going through a wall causes the signal to break. Besides Bluetooth, an interface via an audio cord between the source and speaker is also supported. Ironically, the patch cord to bypass Bluetooth does work fine BUT the volume (output) is considerably lower compared to Bluetooth. A single 3-way switch on the backside controls everything: on/off, volume level, and Bluetooth pairing request. The same switch can also be used to send requests to the music player to jump to previous/next tune in the queue. The unit is well built and about the size of a racket ball. Sound quality is excellent for such a small device. The device comes with a carry pouch, USB charge cable, audio patch cord and a small instruction booklet. At 30 bucks, it’s a SUPER buy.