Many people have abandoned their dedicated music systems and are instead listening to their favourite music on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The growing penetration of mobility devices has also intensified the demand for Bluetooth speakers.
Many people have abandoned their dedicated music systems and are instead listening to their favourite music on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The growing penetration of mobility devices has also intensified the demand for Bluetooth speakers. These wire-free devices are portable, easy to use and install, and deliver great sound quality. Sudhir Chowdhary takes a look at some Bluetooth speakers under R20,000, which are convenient to use and can be used both indoors as well as outdoors.
JBL Flip 3 (R11,990)
JBL Flip 3 is the next generation speaker in the widely popular Flip series; it is a comprehensive portable Bluetooth audio device that delivers powerful, room-filling stereo sound everywhere. This ultra-compact speaker is powered by a 3000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery that offers 10 hours of continuous, high-quality stereo audio playtime. Sporting durable, splash-proof fabric materials that are available in eight vibrant colours, Flip 3 is the all-purpose, all-weather companion that integrates music into every aspect of your life—from tabletop to poolside, from sunny mornings to rainy nights. It also features a built-in noise and echo cancelling speakerphone for crystal clear conference calls, and JBL Connect technology that can wirelessly link multiple JBL Connect enabled speakers together to amplify the listening experience.
Skullcandy Barricade (R5,999)
The Skullcandy Barricade delivers solid Bluetooth audio from its portable frame. It is a cube-like portable speaker with a rugged exterior and an IPX7 rating, making it waterproof and impact resistant. It has an iconic, stainless steel accented design that’s stylish enough for any room in the home and durable enough for outdoor adventure. The speaker is feature-packed with up to eight hours of battery life, built-in microphone, and AUX in/out functionality that enables multi-speaker connectivity. From an audio standpoint, it does a solid job delivering clear, balanced audio with rich lows and crisp highs. There is a solid sense of bass depth and clarity in the highs. It even charges external devices.
Beoplay A1 (R18,000)
The A1 is Bang & Olufsen’s cheapest speaker, but the Danish high-end audio specialist hasn’t skimped at all on this device. Its sumptuous ‘hockey puck’ design looks terrific, and the sound isn’t half bad either. Rock solid and full-bodied, it packs a punch well beyond its weight and size; Beoplay A1 has ambient True 360 sound—so the sound dispersion is great wherever you put it. And with a peak power of 2×140 W you won’t have to huddle around it to enjoy your music. Sound is pushed wide enough so you don’t have to reach for the A1’s volume button in louder surroundings. Beoplay A1 is small enough to sit in the palm of your hand, it weighs only 600g, and because of its shape (with no protruding buttons or legs) it is easy to store in your bag or slip into a pocket.
UE BOOM 2 (R15,550)
UE BOOM 2 is a 360-degree wireless Bluetooth speaker that blasts loud, insanely great sound with deep, powerful bass. Perfect for taking the party outdoors, it has a tough, water-resistant skin that even shrugs off stains. A tube-like shape also means it will fit in your bike’s water bottle holder. Its Siri and Google Now compatibility makes it smart also, letting you check the weather at regular intervals. The bass-heavy sound does not dim the details, but with a few tweaks to the EQ in the app it really comes to life.
iBall Musi Barrel
Equipped with a powerful 4-inch Woofer and 2-inch Satellite Drivers that offers high-sensitivity and dynamic range, the iBall Musi Barrel BT31 ensures every detail of your vocal performance will come through loud and clear in both soft ballads and rock numbers. The speakers have soothing and strong sound with 11W RMS total output speaker drivers to give you a distortion-free sound. Furthermore, the built-in rechargeable battery allows the speakers to give you a play time of up to four hours. The speakers host extensive connectivity options to give you full-fledged entertainment. You can enjoy your favourite tunes using the 3.5 mm Aux cable or plug Micro SD Card directly into the speakers bringing uninterrupted entertainment.
Armor XL (R5,499)
Party like a rock star with Zoook Rocker Armor XL speaker system! This Bluetooth speaker bears a rugged and stiff design, and appears to be a solid-black coloured-gadget that is about the size of a brick, with a waterproof body and an amazing audio output. It is easy to store and plays amazing audio with enhanced quality. Rocker Armor XL boasts of a massive 30 Watts of audio power. It features a 2.1-channel driver system with two 50mm subwoofers and a 45mm driver that delivers higher frequencies. All in all, a stylish, trendy and portable speaker.