Internet, smartphones and apps make a great combination — one can now stream music from anywhere across the world, whether it is from the Internet Radio station or your downloaded music collection. Gone are the days when you would go out and buy a CD, and come back play it on your music player. We are in the age of wireless music. Here’s our pick of bluetooth speakers that you can blast wherever you want. While some are a bit bulky, they are worth their weight.
JBL Go (Rs 2,999)
This is the cutest and tiniest speaker you might have ever seen. It is small enough to fit in your palm and light enough to carry around. The JBL Go is not for those who want the best in audio performance, but it is a good replacement to listening to music coming out of the speakers of your cellphone, or as a bedside speaker. The JBL Go has a five-hour battery life and connects both to the Bluetooth as well as a 3.5-mm auxiliary cable. There is even an inbuilt microphone to answer your calls via Bluetooth. There is an integrated strap hook in the speaker, which allows you to put a hand strap — sadly JBL does not bundle it in the speaker. The Speaker has a Mono output at 3 Watts. It comes with a two-month subscription to Hungama Pro when purchased online. Go is available in India only in black colour.
Bang & Olufsen Beolit 15 (RUS$ 599)
The B&O Beloit is a piece of art, though to some it may look like a fancy lunch box with a leather strap. The Speaker is designed to fit in any place in your home or in your office. Available in Polar Blue, Natural Champagne and Shaded Rosa variants, the Beloit is the only speaker on our line-up that supports Apple’s Air Play in addition to Bluetooth. The portable speaker features a 24-hour battery. Designed to deliver B&O’s signature sound, the speaker has a True 360 degree omni directional sound, so you can place it in the centre of the room. With a peak power output of 240 watts, the speaker can liven up a party. The Anodised Grill and its leather strap with a B&O Button makes sure your friends and guests know you are a discerning person, while its non-slippery body ensures it sits firmly on any surface, and a small tray at the top lets you park your phone there. The power cable, when not in use, can be easily tucked inside the body of the speaker, making the speakers look aesthetically clean-lined. Beolit 15 is not available in India.
Creative Sound Blaster Roar (Rs 15,999)
Carrying on the Legacy of Sound Blaster this speaker is feature rich. The speaker is housed in a monocoque endo-skeletal chassis with an shiny chrome trim on both the sides. The Roar is designed as a top firing speaker that lies flat on it’s surface and also features two wave guides — one on each side to give you a great bass as well as a room filling sound. Though portable, this speaker weighs around 1.1 kg. The speaker has a built-in battery that lasts about eight hours and can act as a battery bank to charge your phone on the go. Where the Roar shines its capability to also act as a Sound card for your computer, hook it up using USB to your Mac or PC and it will deliver great audio from your computer. There is a 3.5-mm jack that lets you connect wired devices, as well as NFC on board for easy pairing. The Roar can connect up to two devices at the same time, so if you and your partner both want to stay connected to the speaker you can. There is also a sound recorder built in for you to be able to record those bathroom singing sessions and the file can be saved to a microSD Card that you can plug in at the back.
House of Marley Get Up Stand up (Rs 39,990)
In the olden days one could find speakers only in wooden cabinets, and in case you miss those speakers or are a big fan of Bob Marley, the House of Marley Get up Stand up speakers may attract you. They are finished in birch and walnut wood, and feature technology from today. The features dual Woofers and dual Tweeters ensuring you have great room filling sound and also don’t compromise on the lows or the highs. The speaker runs only when connected to AC Power and cannot be really taken around. The Speaker can connect to your phone using Bluetooth or using a 3.5-mm auxiliary cable. There is also an RCA input on the speakers. The Speaker also comes with an on-board USB Port that can be used to charge your phone while it’s playing music from it.