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Thread: Small light bluetooth speakers

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    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Small light bluetooth speakers

    Anyone got recommendations for small light bluetooth speakers? Preferably moderate in price. Am thinking I'd like to add that to my tech travel stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jannilee View Post
    Anyone got recommendations for small light bluetooth speakers? Preferably moderate in price. Am thinking I'd like to add that to my tech travel stuff.
    @jannilee I've heard a number of people recommend the Logitech UE Mini Boom speakers that is referenced in the Wirecutter Guide to Traveling Well (discussed in this forum thread -- note that they also name the Tri-Star as the best non-rolling carryon luggage.)

    moriond

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    Hey Jannilee,

    You should also check out the new Monster SuperStar Bluetooth speaker they just started carrying at The Source. It looks almost identical in design to the Carbon Audio pocket speaker, my other recommendation for a tiny travel friendly speaker. They both feature dual drivers and a dual bass radiator, in the exact same place. It is about the size and weight of an iPhone in a bulky case but can get loud enough to have you evicted from your hotel room. The speaker sounds full enough to my ears, not audiophile quality like they market but pretty robust for how thin and light it is. Like most Bluetooth speakers this one also works as a speakerphone and allows stereo pairing to another unit. The battery life is respectable at 5-8 hours, about half that of the larger UE mini boom which I also like but is a bit heavy and bulky for me to carry as much as I would like.

    So it's a trade off, audio quality and battery life vs thin and light weight, it's tricky to get good sound out of something this small, but I think Carbon Audio and Monster did a pretty good job. So if you are going to grab one you should do it soon before their lawyers try to pull both off the shelves.

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    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    If you want a really tiny speaker for a modest price, you might consider the Veho 360:

    Veho Website - Product Detail

    It's about the size of a large hen's egg and puts out a decent volume - I use it in my kitchen (connected to my iPhone) when I'm washing up, etc and it's great for music, though it can be a bit quiet for podcasts. Then again, my hearing is none too brilliant these days!

    It can connect either via Bluetooth or via a normal audio line - the latter obviously saves power.
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    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I am checking them out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miking View Post
    Hey Jannilee,

    You should also check out the new Monster SuperStar Bluetooth speaker they just started carrying at The Source. It looks almost identical in design to the Carbon Audio pocket speaker, my other recommendation for a tiny travel friendly speaker. They both feature dual drivers and a dual bass radiator, in the exact same place. It is about the size and weight of an iPhone in a bulky case but can get loud enough to have you evicted from your hotel room. The speaker sounds full enough to my ears, not audiophile quality like they market but pretty robust for how thin and light it is. Like most Bluetooth speakers this one also works as a speakerphone and allows stereo pairing to another unit. The battery life is respectable at 5-8 hours, about half that of the larger UE mini boom which I also like but is a bit heavy and bulky for me to carry as much as I would like.

    So it's a trade off, audio quality and battery life vs thin and light weight, it's tricky to get good sound out of something this small, but I think Carbon Audio and Monster did a pretty good job. So if you are going to grab one you should do it soon before their lawyers try to pull both off the shelves.
    I'm curious about these, but I'm unsure which of those to consider. I don't like Monster (or their business practice here), but I'm worried about Carbon Audio's odds of existing into the future. Opinions?

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    Registered User dnarud13's Avatar
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    I also recommend the Logitech Miniboom (the firstgen is the same guts as the UE for half the price); good battery life, good volume and sound for it's size. I'm not a fan of any Jambox, overpriced for poor sound. Bose sounds great, but expensive. I presently use two Nokia 360's (almost as good sound as Bose for half the price) as my home/office stereo, but probably not as portable as what you're looking for. Nokia is releasing a new monospeaker (MD-12) soon that is smaller than the Logitech, I'll be getting that. I've never tried the Veho, but like their other products.

    I like Monster products, myself. Though they do copy others designs; they even copied Logitech's Miniboom a couple years ago. IMO, if I liked the Carbon Audio I'd probably get it anyway. Every speaker I've had lasted years.
    Last edited by dnarud13; 04-29-2014 at 08:00 PM.
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    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    From my experience,

    Some of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers for their size are the UE Boom and Bose Soundlink Mini if you can afford them. The UE Boom is great for outdoors and has more features like speakerphone. The Soundlink Mini really stands out with deep rich bass that is not overpowering. I have the Soundlink Mini because it is the first speaker to really sound as good as a regular speaker if not somewhat better IMHO. Both I feel are a good investment as they will last for years without being outclassed by any new speakers IMHO.
    In the next price bracket down, I would suggest one of the JBL speakers - the Charge or Flip or Pulse. All three are very similar with the Charge being the more recent one. They sound great for their price range (similar price to the UE Mini Boom) and are rated highly too - an excellent economical speaker that still sounds like a normal speaker and with very little sacrifice in audio quality except in the low end (only the Mini stands out in this area).
    All the above speakers can probably be found on sale or with good discounts with a little patience and looking at ads.

    As always, sound is very personal so listen to the same song on all the speakers you do try to get as fair a comparison as possible. Also try all the genre of music you normally listen too - some speakers are good at classical but not rock and some good a rock but not jazz, etc, etc...

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 04-29-2014 at 07:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoz View Post
    I'm curious about these, but I'm unsure which of those to consider. I don't like Monster (or their business practice here), but I'm worried about Carbon Audio's odds of existing into the future. Opinions?
    Apparently the two company's speakers are made in the same Chinese factory, most likely sharing most components, the Monster one obviously has a bit more flair as well as the fit and finish seems a bit better, they also have the better distribution network. I can't fault you for not admiring their business practices, the only department in monster bigger than their over hyped marketing department is their legal department that bullies any company that they feel has infringed on one of their technologies while defending them when they blatantly copy other's designs (google: monster lawsuit)

    The fact is that even if Carbon Audio wins the court case they will probably be financially crippled while it is happening leading to delays in production, and don't underestimate Monster's clout on the retail circuit, all they need to do is tell the retailers that they will not have their product sold in the same store as carbon audio and *poof* no more carbon audio in stores! No store will turn their backs on flashy HDMI cables with 800% markup that fly off the shelves!

    So basically if you want to support Carbon Audio do it now while they still have a chance!

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    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    Their website isn't functional, their facegroup page says the phone number doesn't work and they are not on the Apple website. They may already be defunct. A real shame.

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    Registered User Rocks's Avatar
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    I just got a Mini Jambox open box deal from Amazon. It's my first speaker of any kind, I previously played music straight from the iPhone. Of course it's much better sound than that, but I'm really impressed with the quality. I have nothing to compare it to, but to me it sounds great, and it's very sturdy.

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    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    The Mini Jambox is one of the best, if not the best "Micro" speaker. It is about half the width of the leaders and generally smaller - UE Boom / Soundlink Mini. It lacks some bass (like all small speakers) but is more than adequate IMHO. I like the LiveAudio function too - give more depth to regular song IMHO. The sister to this speaker (and the company who helped design it) is Soundmatters and their version is called the Dash 7 - even thinner but a bit longer.
    Only problem is they are not in-expensive (but worth it if size / portability / contruction / style are important). @Rocks - if you got a good deal - fantastic!

    +1 the Mini Jambox if you can get a good deal.

    Cheers!
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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    I have a mini jambox which I got for a great deal unboxed off eBay. I don't have experience with any of the other speakers mentioned so I can't compare, but the jambox is pretty awesome. For all my tech purchases, I first head to the Wirecutter (which recently reviewed the TriStar). Their top pick is the Logitech UE Mini Boom: http://m.thewirecutter.com/reviews/b...tooth-speaker/ they have other reviews as well based on different parameters such as price or ruggedness.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpnl View Post
    The Mini Jambox is one of the best, if not the best "Micro" speaker. It is about half the width of the leaders and generally smaller - UE Boom / Soundlink Mini. It lacks some bass (like all small speakers) but is more than adequate IMHO. I like the LiveAudio function too - give more depth to regular song IMHO. The sister to this speaker (and the company who helped design it) is Soundmatters and their version is called the Dash 7 - even thinner but a bit longer.
    Only problem is they are not in-expensive (but worth it if size / portability / contruction / style are important). @Rocks - if you got a good deal - fantastic!

    +1 the Mini Jambox if you can get a good deal.

    Cheers!
    I have one of these too. I keep it in a drawstring pouch designed to hold sunglasses: it fits perfectly, which gives you an idea of its size. I used to use a Geneva Audiolabs Bluetooth speaker, which was very cool and retro looking (it has a hard case that opens out to act as the stand of the speaker, just like your grandfather's old leather-bound travel clock), but I found it a little bulky and more fragile than the Jambox. I am happy enough with the sound quality. Pricey but looks cool.

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    I spent a couple of weeks trying to decide on a portable speaker earlier this year, and ended up getting the Klipsch GiG ($199). It's a little heavier than the Mini Jambox, but it has surprisingly rich sound for such a small speaker.

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