So tonight I got my hands on a new fun gadget – it’s a portble bluetooth speaker – the Soundwave SW50.
The unit itself is very small – about 7cm triangular base and a little less than that in height. Its got a smooth stylish finish, an on-off switch, USB charger input, single button and an LED.
I took the unit out of the box, switched it on and had it paired to my phone and playing music in less than 2 minutes. I love the fact that the unit came already charged and that the pairing was automatic (no 4 digit pin entry). I also connected the unit to my laptop and wife’s iPod. The only slight annoyance was that in order to pair/connect it with a new device I first had to disconnect any existing device.
Of course the entire point of having a unit like this is because speakers on most mobile devices (including my laptop) are terrible. Usually I resort to headphones – but there are occasions where that simple isn’t feasible. For instance, sharing a video on a laptop/phone with the kids, or if I’m doing some serious coding at home but don’t want the hassle of tangled headphone wires as I move around. I used to have a dedicated set of speakers hooked up in my study, but since I’m now living in a cramped apartment a portable speaker unit, paired with a mobile device is really very practical. In fact my Samsung Focus (WP7.5), Zune subscription and the SW50 make a great combination.
The sound quality of the SW50 really surprised me – in a good way. When I saw the size of the device I was worried that the quality and volume would both be underwhelming. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, the little unit really does deliver in both these areas. The only criticism I have is that the sound is very… well… unidirectional. Compared to a good pair of headphones or a set of 5.1 surround speakers – but that’s not really a fair comparison since neither of those can be had for around $30 . (It did make me wonder though whether there is a market for a pair of similar devices each playing a single channel).
The unit’s single button can be used for answering or ignoring incoming calls on the connected bluetooth device. To be honest this isn’t a feature that I can really see using – but it may appeal to some.
I guess for those that are more serious about their portable sound experience, forking out some extra cash on something like a Jawbone Jambox would be the preferred option. Me though – I’m really happy with the SW50.
Thanks very much for www.mobilefun.co.uk for sending me this unit to review – you gals rock!