Archive for the ‘speakers’ Category

Thonet and Vander Frei Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Thonet and Vander FreiI’ve reviewed a lot of Thonet and Vander products in the past year, but they are usually big speakers of some type. The Frei is one of those Portable Bluetooth Speakers that I have reviewed, and it certainly is something small but great at the same time.

Like all Thonet and Vander products, it has the avant-garde design and German engineering that the company is so proud of. You can see that it is pretty minimal with a small box design that is a 2.1 speaker with 50 W of peak power. it has a 2-inch full range for a good driver and it also has a great passive radiator for better bass depth.

From what I can tell, this isn’t one of those Bluetooth speakers that I have been reviewing that are set up to be very water-resistant and durable. However, the Frei does seem to pride itself with a shockproof sleeve to make it very portable.

So, it might not be as durable as other speakers of their type, like the Life Jacket from Altec Lansing. I will go through the specs for the battery, 8 hours for the music playing and 160 hours on standby.

I will have to say that one of the best things about the Frei is its side panel. It has this X-shaped control with the volume and track forward/back buttons. You got to see it to believe it.

In fact, you should be able to purchase the Frei on Amazon for $49.99. You can find out more on the Thonet and Vander site here.

Posted by on June 24th, 2017 No Comments

Thonet and Vander Vertrag BT Review

vertrag-bt-introslide03I have reported on many products from Thonet and Vander since I first encountered them at CES 2016, and I had a great chance to try out the Vertrag BT. Just so you know, I did a translation of Vertrag, and it is apparently German for “contract”. It’s very clear that they want to give a contract to its users to give them great sound.

Okay, there’s my pitch for a great slogan. After reviewing the Kurbis and the HOCH and LAUT BT speakers, I was confident that the Vertrag BT would be up to speed, and it is.

As usual, Thonet and Vander brags about “German Engineering” with its “Avantgarde Design”, and it also has some “Hammer Bass”. If you aren’t certain what “Hammer Bass” is, it is the optimized resonance for bass reflex. This really makes the mesh breathe as the great sound plays.

I’ll go ahead to get rid of stats now. There is a 4-inch woofer and a 0.5 inch tweeter. Again, I’m no audiophile, and I am really getting sick of writing that when it comes to writing about these speakers. There is something called Drone FX for a “clear and enhanced sound”, and it certainly has that with some great treble, bass, and 180 PMPO. Again, not an audiophile, but hey.

So, if you like the wooden speakers with the Bluetooth 4.0 action, then I would recommend the Vertrag BT. You can find out more about these speakers on the Thonet and Vander site, and you can get them on Amazon here.

Posted by on June 23rd, 2017 No Comments

Thonet and Vander HOCH BT and LAUT BT Speakers

thonet-and-vander-1It has been a while since I have reported on a Thonet and Vander product. The last time was with the Kürbis BT Bluetooth Speakers, and these are speakers that very much rock. Also, they really like to brag that they have “German Engineering”. Today, I’m going to discussing the HOCH BT and the LAUT BT Speakers.

Let’s start with the HOCH BT, and it has some “pure, authentic sound” with 70 W RMS (35W + 35W) Power Output with 350 watts of peak power. I know those numbers are important to audiophiles, but let’s just say that it is loud, loud, and more loud.

Also on deck with these HOCT BT stereo speakers have a high desnity acoustic absorber that “prevents vibration and ensures sustainable performance”. They are also made of some HDAA wood and mesh as well. The HOCH BT is a 2.0 Speaker for crystal-clear sound and a great bass boost with 350 W peak power.

As far as connectivity, what do you think the BT stand for? Yeah, it can do Bluetooth, which will connect to any mobile device with Bluetooth compatibility. Oh, it can do RCA stereo input for wired devices as well.

You can find out more information about it on the Thonet and Vander site and it looks like you can order them on Amazon for $249.99.

thonet-and-vander-2And now it is time to talk about the LAUT BT, which is a 2.1 speaker characterizes for having a balanced and harmonic sound. It has a Crystal Clear, Authentic Sound, with its 68W RMS (34W + 17W x 2) Power Output for delivering 340 watts of peak power.

Remember what I said about the bragging of German design? It has the sophisticated acoustics with a high density acoustic absorber for the highest sound resonance. The LAUT BT is apparently made to become a home theater, and it is made for really bringing some serious sound to life!

What is very interesting is how there is an option for Bluetooth and RCA connectors, and yet there is a Bluetooth extension that is good for up to 132 feet. I have to admit that is pretty great.

Anyway, the LAUT BT is available on Amazon for a special price of $106.95, which is a markdown from $179. You can always go to the Thonet and Vander site for more information as well.

Posted by on December 20th, 2016 No Comments

Jam Audio Xterior, Voice, Xterior Plus, and Xterior Max Rugged Wireless Speakers

jam-audio-3So, being that I have reviewed two Jam Audio products already this week with the Jam Symphony and Jam Rhythm, and now I am reviewing more. I’m going to review four products from Jam Audio, and they are all Bluetooth speakers.

Let’s start with the Jam Xterior. I’m going to say that I believe that these people have misspelled the word “exterior”, and that is all. I will have to say that the Jam Xterior is very similar to the Superstar Hotshot Bluetooth Speaker from Monster.

It has one of those clip-on things so you can take it to a lot of places. If these places have dust, water, or if you might drop it, that’s fine. This small stereo speaker is made to take some damage.

If this is the type of speaker that you want, it is available in black and red on the Jam Audio site for $59.99.

jam-audio-4Now, I’ll move on to the Jam Voice, which is a portable WiFi and Bluetooth Speaker. Nothing new about that, but this seems to be a speaker made for Amazon Alexa.

In this way, you can just tap this speaker and ask about stuff. Not only that, you can pair with other speakers in the Jam Audio family, so you can get the answer for the question.

Not only can you get some great answers from Alexa, but you can answer calls directly. So far, this is the only product from Jam Audio that says “free Jam App”, and I find it odd that the other products say that.

If this is something that you like, you can get it on the Jam Audio site for about $79.99.

jam-audio-5Now, let’s talk about another Xterior speaker with the Xterior Plus. This particular speaker is made for going outside, as it is one of those waterproof ones.

I have reviewed a lot of speakers like these, and usually they just say that they are waterproof and make it so you feel comfortable taking to the beach and getting the occasional sand or water on it. This particular speaker prides itself that it floats, so I wouldn’t leave it too close to the shore or the tide will get it. So this is IP7 rated, and yes, it is drop and dirt proof.

It also has a screw mount for taking on a bike. If you want to take it on long trips, it is good for 8 hours of playtime. Then there are other bonuses like a speakerphone and voice prompts.

Yes, this really is quite the speaker, and it is available for purchase for $79.99 on the Jam Audio site.

jam-audio-6Well, it is time to conclude this review with the Xterior Max. It is another one of those tough speakers, but Jam Audio doesn’t seem to brag that it floats, so let us assume that it doesn’t.

It does have a rubberized exterior that will keep it protected, as well as integrated USB port to be a backup charger for other devices. Yes, this will come in handy when it is on the road, and it is good for 12 hours of playtime. By the way, it has the screw-on mount.

So it is good to go just about anywhere, which is why it is called the Max, I suppose. It might not be floating, but it is waterproof, as well as drop and dust proof.

You should be able to get it on the Jam Audio site for $119.99.

Posted by on December 19th, 2016 No Comments

House of Marley Riddim BT, Get Together Mini, and Bag of Riddim 2

house-of-marley-1Today, I had the opportunity to review three different products from House of Marley. In case you are wondering, they are related to the family of the late Bob Marley. At least, I believe they are, because when I first encountered them at CES 2012, Rohan Marley was on deck to talk about them.

I can’t seem to find any more Marley connection, but the company has a commitment to principles of superior quality, earth-friendliness, and a commitment to global charitable causes. As a result, their products feel more natural than most tech, and I am not certain how to describe it without these examples.

I’ll start with the Riddim BT, a Portable Audio System that is essentially a Bluetooth speaker, but I feel like I am underselling it by giving it such a brief explanation. I’ll get the specs out of the way and say that it is Bluetooth 4, and the set-up with its voice prompt was quite simple.

The sound is quite good with 2 x 8W 1.5-inch full range active drivers, a 2 x Passive bass radiator, and I’m trying out the sound as I write this. Man, it can really blast!

What makes it feel like the Riddim BT has come out of the House of Marley is that the sides feel made of wood (bamboo), and there is a removable leather strap. I’m assuming that you have to do something pretty complicated like unscrewing the screws the hold it in. I admired the versatility of the strap, as you can hold it from the top or on the side.

You can purchase the Riddim BT for $129.99 on the House of Marley site. And now to talk about two more House of Marley products.

house-of-marley-2Now it is time to talk about the Get Together Mini, another Portable Audio System with Bluetooth 4.1 capability. I would say that it isn’t too different than the Riddim BT, because it is a Bluetooth Speaker.

It also has bamboo and also has a 10 hour playtime. Oh yeah, did I mention that the Riddim BT has a 10 hour playtime? It does. Oh, the Get Together Mini doesn’t have a leather strap.

It does have 2 x 2.5″ Woofers, 2 x 1″ Tweeters, and a passive radiator. Oh, it has a USB port for charging devices. So yes, it is designed more for a desk or a table than a portable job.

However, if this is something that you want, you should go to the House of Marley site and pay $149.99 for it.

house-of-marley-3Now, let’s end with the last item with Bag of Riddim 2 Portable Audio System. If you are wondering why Riddim shows up on these products, it is because “Riddim is the Jamaican Patois pronunciation of the English word ‘rhythm’, but in calypso, soca, dancehall and reggaeton parlance it refers to the instrumental accompaniment to a song”. I got that from Wikipedia, by the way.

Anyway, the Bag of Riddim 2 Portable Audio System is kind of a cross between the Riddim BT and Get Together Mini. Like the Riddim BT, it is portable, but in a different way, which I will explain later. As for how it compares to the Get Together Mini, it is actually bigger, which is strange, because the Get Together Mini isn’t made to portable.

You can see that there is a bag thing that surrounds the speaker, and it is a great way to carry this great sound with you. I have to admit, it is a really good idea, and I don’t see a lot of other companies “borrowing” this design.

As for the specs, it has 2 x 3.5″ Woofer and 2 x 1″ Tweeter, as well as some bass ports. This one comes with a USB for charging a device, and it has 10 hours worth of playtime.

This one has a 12V AC adapter, but what makes this really great is that it has a bag that you can zip closed. So you can put that adapter and its various plugs in that small pouch.

I personally recommend all of these products, and if you want the Bag of Riddim 2, you can go to the House of Marley site and lay down $299.99.

Posted by on December 19th, 2016 No Comments

Jam Audio Review: Jam Symphony and Jam Rhythm WiFi Home Audio Speakers

jam-audio-1I have written about Jam Audio products in the past, and I was surprised that I was sent these two stereo speakers to review. This is our review of the Jam Rhythm and the Jam Symphony, which allows streaming music from your phone through these speakers.

What is interesting is that you can sync up to eight of these Jam Audio WiFi speakers which will literally flood your house with sound. Seriously, I don’t live in a house with eight rooms, but these speakers can really flood the place with your music.

In order get your music on this connected speaker system, you need to download the free JAM application to stream Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeart Radio, with any personal music library.

jam-audio-2Now, I will have to admit that the Jam Rhythm and Jam Symphony doesn’t have a lot of differences between the specs. They have booming sound of immense bass with Massive 2.1 stereo sound.

Oh yes, one is bigger than the other. You can find the Jam Symphony on the Jam Audio site for $169.99, and you can find the smaller Jam Rhythm for about $119.99.

Posted by on December 14th, 2016 No Comments

Sengled Pulse Solo, a Light Bulb/Speaker

sengled-1Here’s a really interesting product from Sengled known as the Pulse Solo, which has a function as cool as it’s name. It is essentially a light bulb that acts as a Bluetooth speaker.

Not just any type of Bluetooth speaker, but an integrated JBL speaker. It has 3-watt speakers, on two sides of the bulb. All you need to do is just screw it in, and you can hear the tones as you pair it.

From there, it is as simple as playing your tunes, and now what makes light also makes sound as well. Whoa, that sentence actually came out better than I thought. In case you are wondering why it is called the Pulse Solo, it is because it can only work on itself.

By the way, there is an Android/iOS app that can control the light, not to mention the sound. Now that is one useful feature!

Yes, this is something really great, but I will have to say that I wish the light was more spread-out, as it is only on top. Yeah, this is hard to explain, but I suppose if you have a product that is a stereo speaker, where else are you going to have the speaker.

You should be able to purchase the Pulse Solo on the Sengled website for about $49.99, which might be a mark down from the usual $59.99 price.

Posted by on December 8th, 2016 No Comments

Monster Christmas, Part 1: SuperStar HotShot Portable Bluetooth Speaker

monster-1Well, it has been a while since I have reviewed anything from Monster. I don’t know if I will go to their party at CES 2017, but I did get a chance to review three of their products: the Superstar HotShot Bluetooth Speaker, the iSport Victory Athlete’s headphone, and the Monster Power.

The Monster SuperStar HotShot is known as a “Little Speaker with a Loud Attitude”. The HotShot is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and you can see that it has a loop there for a clip.

Yes, this is made for life on the road, but it doesn’t look as waterproof as speakers that I have seen from other companies. It does have a 5.5 hour play life, so it is good for at least the afternoon.

Oh, it is also NFC capable, and it can be used as a speakerphone for conference calls. It also is able to connect to any audio source with a wire as well.

All in all, it could make a good stocking stuffer provided your stocking has a wide mouth. Yeah, you might want to put this on top. It is available on the Monster site in black with neon-blue, black with black platinum, white with chrome, and black with gold for $49.99.

Posted by on December 6th, 2016 No Comments

Moment Portable Bluetooth Speaker from Soundmatters

soundmatters-moment-2One thing that I love about being a gadget and tech reviewer is how good it is to review more than one product from one company. Oftentimes, I lose contact with a company, but when I reconnect, reviewing their product is like being reunited with an old friend. Such is the case with Soundmatters, as it has been years since I reviewed the FoxL DASH7 and the Dash-A, but I finally had a chance to review the Moment.

The Moment is a speaker that will fit in the palm of your hand, but you would be surprised at how much sound it can put out. It is billed as an ultra-portable audiophile speaker, the company says that it uses patented carbon-poly acoustic drivers and carbon-fiber infused body in order to provide near-field listening. I paired the Moment with my smartphone to listen to music, and I will testify to the ultra-precise, wide-frequency sound, as well as clear detailing and deep dynamics.

soundmatters-moment-1The battery life is good for up to 10 hours, with 90 minutes on a full charge. Now would be the time to talk about how it can charge. There is a place on the back of the moment that is one of those Energizer Wireless Charging technology stamps. In fact, the Moment comes with a stand that you can see here that allows connection to a USB/micro USB cord. All you do is just stick it on, and it is like the Moment is a bust, and the stand/charger is the neck. By the way, the charging cord can be used on the Moment speaker itself.

All in all, the Moment is one terrific Bluetooth speaker, and it can be purchased for about $169.00 ($249 MSRP) on the Soundmatters site.

Posted by on December 2nd, 2016 No Comments

iHome for the Holidays, Part 3: iHome Wireless Bluetooth Speaker or iBT9

ihome-3Okay, so it is time to conclude our iHome review products for the holiday with a product that isn’t going out of style anytime soon, the wireless, waterproof, and shockproof Bluetooth speaker. That’s about the best name I can give this product, besides its name of iBT9.

I’ll just get this out of the way and say that I have seen this product before from Fugoo and others, but this does not make it inferior. The iHome Waterproof speaker is understandably waterproof and dustproof, and it is also made to be shockproof.

Just imagine taking this to the beach. That seems to be the thing that I always say when I am reviewing speakers like this. You can stream your tunes to it via Bluetooth, so make certain that your tablet or smartphone has a good playlist. I’m told that you have nine hours with a full charge.

This has the usual stuff like an aux-in jack, and a USB port for charging other devices. So it is part speaker and part mobile battery.

You should be able to pick the iBT9 up at the iHome site for about $99.99.

Posted by on November 18th, 2016 No Comments