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Opinion on some portable Bluetooth Speakers needed

css_jay99

Active Member
Hi guys, I am thinking of getting a bluetooth speaker.

I have sonos in the lounge which is very good. Also had one in the bedroom but sold the forum it because it rarely got used.

Now that there is 4month old in the house, I find that I play music from the ipad/iphone/laptop a lot around the house. I also find that I am spending more time in the kitchen cooking nowadays!.

Well I thought about buying 2 or 3 sonos play gears but I find the following disadvantages
1) Not portable outside my network since a bridge is needed for it to work
2) Cant connect to laptop to watch films while away from home or in the garden ....
3) Too much hassle tinkering with the sonos app/controller when playing the occasional music


So a decent option is to go with [semi] portable bluetooth speakers
So I read some reviews, went down to my local currys & John lewis to try a few speakers out ... and I narrowed down to a couple of speakers, not is a particular order :-

1) Sony SRS BTX 300 £89 - tested in currys
2) Sony SRS BTX 500 £149
3) Jawbone Big Jambox £199 - tested in currys
4) Bose bose soundlink mini £169 - tested in currys
5) Logitech UE Boombox £89
6) HMDX Jam Classic wireless £19

I used my iPhone 4s music app and tune in radio to test the speakers

The Jawbone has the biggest bass of the ones i tested, followed by the Bose but I think the bass on the Jawbone was better and did not distort at high volumes compared to the Bose. For some reason I found the Bose kept disconnecting frequently ... but that could be bcos its a demo.

The bass on sony SRS-BTX300 was not as much as the previous 2 but it seems to be quite decent and precise. The Sony has a button to change Bass settings and I think this is pretty useful as tone settings on the iPod are pretty useless in bluetooth mode (i don't even know if it works!). Since I have not been able to test the sony-BTX500 I can only imagine that the Bass will likely equal the Bose/Jawbone ....

The HMDX is cheap and ultra potable but have never heard it and it seems to have good reviews

If I had to choose, I am leaning towards the Sony SRS 300/500 mostly because of its Bass Boost feature which is lacking in the others. I am not a big fan of sony as far as there repair/replacement arrangements where sometimes parts could cost as much as the unit (I learnt my lessons 6 years 6 years ago when I bought a Vaio Laptop for £900 and sony wanted £600 to replace the damaged screen). So have always avoided sony products ... except my PS3

One thing I have not considered with these speakers is the battery life and most importantly battery replacements.

well enough ramblings from me .....

Please can you share their views about the speakers mentioned and possibly recommend others as well

Thanks
 

Bigmac77

Active Member
I have the Bose soundlink mini and it is an excellent bit of equipment. I don't normally buy anything from Bose due to feeling that there are better options available for a lower price, however I had to make an exception for this. The sound is superb from such a small speaker and in the home (much smaller space than Currys) the bass is perfect. I can't recommend it highly enough.

I have had no problems with the Bluetooth connection it has worked first time every time on iPhones, iPads and my Mac book Air.
 

snooper

Active Member
My mate has the Bose mini (which i frequently listen to) and i will be buying one as well. Its a great bit of kit for the size and i am not a Bose fan either. My mate is a technophobe but went to Curry's to test a load and without knowing anything about makes etc he went for it purely on sound quality for its size compared to the alternatives. Admittedly at full volume it does distort a bit but you are more than likely never going to play it at full anyway. Feed it a good quality source and it really is good for the size and if you place it against a solid wall it does sound a lot better too. If you google around there is not negative thing to be said about the Bose mini tbh so that can't be a bad thing either. Plus if you buy it from Bose as you can't get em cheap anyway then you have 30 days to try and return it if you don't like it (i think). The bluetooth connection is solid too.
 

css_jay99

Active Member
Regarding the Bose, I went back into currys to test it again. Admittedly its the best sound in anything they have in that size. I am just skeptic about paying £169 for something that small

I also listened to the Bose sound link III and that certainly was brilliant and much better than the sound link II..... just can't justify the £259 price tag.

i also tried the Logitech UE Boombox, it was loud but too boomy ..... i guess hence the name!
 

snooper

Active Member
Regarding the Bose, I went back into currys to test it again. Admittedly its the best sound in anything they have in that size. I am just skeptic about paying £169 for something that small

I also listened to the Bose sound link III and that certainly was brilliant and much better than the sound link II..... just can't justify the £259 price tag.

i also tried the Logitech UE Boombox, it was loud but too boomy ..... i guess hence the name!

Regarding the size thing we did a blind test with another mate and he couldn't believe the size of it after listening to it fill a 12ftx12ft room with the speaker located against the chimney breast. I know what you mean ref the dosh but it's one of those things you will probably only buy once anyway, i know i will.
 

zenza

Well-known Member
The TDK A33 is better in every way to the Bose especially in terms of sound.
 

snooper

Active Member
The TDK A33 is better in every way to the Bose especially in terms of sound.

I remember seeing that on the gadget show and it came out good in their review test but it seems difficult to find anywhere selling them to get a demo of though, unlike the Bose.
 

Bigmac77

Active Member
I remember seeing that on the gadget show and it came out good in their review test but it seems difficult to find anywhere selling them to get a demo of though, unlike the Bose.

Argos sell it and their returns policy is pretty good so it could always be bought demod at home and returned if not liked.
 

css_jay99

Active Member
Was in John Lewis yesterday, hoping that I can try the TDK but its only an online order.
Plays around with the Bose mini as well and it sounded much better there than the Sony BTX300.

I went to the Bose shop 5min b4 closing to buy the mini on impulse but they are out of stock


So looks like I am now settled on the Bose mini pending listening to the TDK.

I am always skeptic about argos in terms of returns. some give hassles and some are ok.
 

Bigmac77

Active Member
I might give the TDK a go, I work outside and a weather proof speaker than can connect to my iPhone would be very handy. If I get one I'll let you know how it compares to the Bose.
 

DaveHaynes1

Novice Member
I recently bought a TDK A73 and the sound is awesome, it is a pretty big speaker as far as portable speakers go but it's well worth it.
Bluetooth works flawlessly and has radio feature.
Speaker is a 2.1 system with 2 small tweeters aswell, giving a nice full range of sound.
Battery life is around 2-3 hours so may want to look into a battery upgrade, as I am right now.
 

BarnDoor

Active Member
I have a Harman Kardon Esquire. I hated the bose artificial bass and unbalanced sound. To me the HK has a much better balanced sound and more detail. It doesn't do big bass, but does have a natural sound. They had this in my currys last time I was in, but I got mine direct from hk. Btw it is really nicely made as well and feels a premium product.
 

interbear

Well-known Member
Another option is the Cambridge Audio Minx Go. £99.

I'm looking for a portable Bluetooth or airplay speaker too and have tested this. It's very good in terms of sound quality. I already have the Minx Air 200 as a primary speaker in the lounge, it's fantastic. So the smaller portable Minx Go may well be my choice for outdoors / on the move. Still need to test some others though.
 

css_jay99

Active Member
I ended up going for the Bose soundlink mini. I got it on sale for £136 (HUKD)

It pretty impressively loud for such a small item.

My only gripe was that the bass seems somehow (cant put my finger on it), and I think that's just simply down to using a Bluetooth connection. I noticed the same thing on my car stereo using bluetooth. This rectified by making sure your device does not have equalizer setting with Bass boost.

The Bose does sound good with my Ipod equalizer set to Flat

In all I am complete happy with my purchase (...especially at that price)
 

rhodos

Member
Having done a little googling over recent weeks with a similar requirement I went for the Logitech UE Boom. I got the white one from Amazon, its £130 atm which is £40 less than the other colours and tbh who cares.
Had it over the weekend and very impressed. I am no audiophile but sounds good to me - very smooth and filling - about the size of a skinny 440ml can of beer. Would recommend.
Great that it can remember 8 paired devices and also has a mic so can be a teleconference device for those home office days.
 

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