Category Archives: Speakers

iClever Outdoor Wireless Speaker Review



iClever LogoOn review here is the iClever Outdoor Wireless Speaker IC-BTS03. It’s an IP65 water resistant Bluetooth speaker with a 10 hour playtime. Perfect for outdoor tunes! Let’s take a look.

The iClever Speaker is a orange and black cuboid with speaker grilles on two sides, controls on the top, inputs on one side and a camera mount on the bottom with a rubber carrying strap on one corner. Roughly, 10 x 9 x 5 cm, there’s a bit of a ruggedness to the speaker too with a rubberised exterior and informal drop tests show that it’ll stand up to the odd accident. IP65 specifies that the speaker is totally protected against dust (6) and it’s sealed against low pressure water (5). Basically, it means that it’s ok to get splashed or dropped in shallow water.

iClever Wireless Outdoor Speaker

In the cardboard box, there’s the speaker, a USB-to-microUSB cable, a 3.5mm-to-3.5mm jack cable and instructions. The USB cable is used for charging only and can’t be used to play music from a PC or laptop. Both the microUSB charging port and the aux in socket are under a rubber flap that needs to be peeled away to get access. iClever Wireless Outdoor SpeakerWhen charging, the sole LED on the front will light up red and it’s green when the aux socket is in use.

Across the top, the controls are straightforward – power, volume down, play/pause/answer, volume up. When turned on, the BTS03 is straight into pairing mode with the LED flashing blue. A voice helpfully intones, “Power on. Pairing”. You can then connect to the speaker in the normal way, receiving “Connected” when done and the LED goes a solid blue. As a bonus, the iClever can work as a speakerphone too – it’s kind of fun (or bonkers) if you are with a group of friends.

On the bottom, there’s a standard camera screw fitting which makes it compatible with a wide range of mounting accessories.

iClever Wireless Outdoor SpeakerThat’s the physical out of the way. What does it sound like? Well, if you are expecting this to sound like a $500 Sonos, then you are going to be disappointed. If you expect it to be a $30 5W portable speaker weighing less than 300g that you can throw into a bag for a day at the beach, you’re going to be happy enough. The sound is clear, with vocals coming across well. As you’d expect, the bass is under-represented but crank up the volume and there’s a fair beat. It’s not massively loud but it fills a room well enough.

Overall the iClever Outlook Wireless Speaker ticks all the boxes for an outdoor speaker. Semi-rugged, long battery life, splashproof and reasonably loud. It’s available now from Amazon.com (US$30) and Amazon.co.uk for GB£17.

Thanks to iClever for the review unit. Unboxing below.


Philips Fidelio E6 Provides Surround On Demand



Philips LogoWatching movies at home is nicer when you have surround sound. However, it is not easy to put together a surround sound system. You have to plan ahead, mount speakers, and figure out how to hide all those unsightly wires. Philips Fidelio E6 provides an extremely simple way to get surround sound on demand.

Scott spoke with Senior Manager of Philips Electronics, Ken Chan, at the Gibson Brands Booth at CES 2016. They talked about the Philips Fidelio E6 Surround on Demand speakers. What might look like one speaker is actually two detachable speakers.

The speakers sit next to your TV. When you are ready to watch a movie, remove the top speakers and place them in the back of your living room. After the movie is over, you can easily put the detachable speaker back where it was. Philips gives you a very clean and tidy solution for true surround sound without any wires.

The Philips Fidelio E6 Surround On Demand speakers have internal Wi-Fi. The detachable speakers have a battery inside them that charges when the speaker is attached. It can be fully charged in two hours. You can watch ten hours of movies, with surround sound, on a fully charged speaker.

The Philips Fidelio E6 is not yet available in the United States, but may launch in Spring or Summer. The retail price $799.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgeek30
$4.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgeek99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Become a GNC Insider: Support this podcast

Eton Solar Powers for Good and Bad Days



Eton LogoEton‘s motto is “Empowered by nature” and in this case, it’s powered by nature too, with a full range of solar powered gear. Scott gets charged up with Sharon Cook, Eton’s VP of Marketing.

First up is the Rukus Xtreme, a solar powered Bluetooth speaker with USB charging ports. Five hours of charging gets around eight hours of playing time and with an IPX-4 rating, the Xtreme won’t mind a few splashes either. Available for US$179 (MSRP $199).

Next is the the Xtreme’s baby brother, the Rugged Rukus, which is perfect for camping or hiking weighing just a pound. Retails for US$79 (MSRP $99), it charges and plays for similar times to the bigger Xtreme and has the same IPX-4 rating.

On standby for emergencies, Eton have the Scorpion II, a “rugged, portable multi-purpose digital radio, that charges smartphones with crank power back-up and weather alert”. Think of this as being the information equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife or Gerber Multitool. You need one of these in your emergency packs and at US$50 you’d be a fool not to get one.

Finally, FRX5 is the big brother of the Scorpion II, with all the emergency features you can think of from torches to emergency beacons, am/fm radio to NOAA weather alerts and SAME regional alerts. Powered by solar, crank, rechargeable batteries or three AAAs, you can charge via USB if you need to. Perfect for the home or car at US$100 (MSRP $129).

Note Eton is known as Soulra in some countries.

Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgeek30
$4.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgeek99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Become a GNC Insider: Support this podcast

Altec Lansing BoomJacket Bluetooth Speakers at 2016 CES



boomjacket-blue-front-1024x512Scott Ertz interviews Jill Byeff, marketing for Altec Lansing Speakers. They discuss Altec Lansing’s BoomJacket line of waterproof, shockproof Bluetooth speakers for active outdoor lifestyles.

The BoomJacket speaker is priced at $199.00 and is IP67-rated waterproof, sandproof, shockproof and snowproof construction. It is also floatable and submersible and has a 50 foot Bluetooth range. It has a 40 hour battery life at spoken word volume level. The BoomJacket also features a built-in universal mounting mechanism for easy attachment to equipment and structures like bikes, kayaks, jet skis, and motorcycles.

Become a GNC Insider today!

Support my CES 2018 Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgeek30
$4.99 for a New or Transferred .com cjcgeek99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1h
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgeek1w
Become a GNC Insider: Support this podcast

Aud Air Joins iLuv’s Lineup of Portable Bluetooth Speakers at CES 2016



iLuv Aud AiriLuv Creative Technology introduces the newest addition to their line of portable Bluetooth speakers. The Aud Air is ideal for both the home and on-the-go. Aud Air provides lossless high quality audio streaming from mobile devices, music streaming services and computers through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing users to enjoy their favorite music no matter where they are.

Featuring iLuv’s jAura sound technology, the Aud Air offers listeners the ability to wirelessly connect multiple devices together to create a unique multi-room listening experience at a fraction of the price of other products on the market. Multiple units can either play the same music for a true stereo experience, or different music in various rooms for a diverse multi-room experience.

The Aud Air takes just minutes to set up thanks to the easy-to-use Aud Air app, which controls the speaker from a smartphone or tablet and allows users to personalize their music settings. The Aud Air’s Wi-Fi capabilities not only let users play their favorite music from their mobile devices, but it also connects directly to internet radio stations and streaming music sources like Pandora, iHeartRadio and tunein.

iLuv’s Aud Air has an SPR of $99.99 and is available now at iLuv.com and other select retailers.

The Aud Air will be on display at the iLuv Booth #8625 at CES January 6-9 in Las Vegas. The booth will feature brand new products from iLuv, including 2K IP cameras and Wi-Fi enabled lightbulbs.


UB+ Modular Speakers at CES 2016



UB+ modular speakersUB+ is a newly launched audio brand. They will be showcasing their existing modular speaker products, and unveiling their latest range of new products, at CES 2016.

UB+ is the maker of the award winning UB+ Eupho portable Bluetooth speaker and the UB+ Eupho Brave expansion casing. The UB+ Eupho Brave casing is made from solid ash, and can integrate 6 UB+ Eupho speakers.

Users can easily switch between large and small speakers. They can enjoy UB+ Eupho Brave as a sounder to complement their TV. Remove one UB+ Eupho speaker from the casing and take it with you when you go out to enjoy awesome music on the go.

In addition, UB+ Eupho will unveil their latest range of products that also make use of the modular speaker concept. UB+ EuphoXL is a speaker module that is designed to fit with other products easily. It allows designers from different fields to fuse high quality sound elements into any design even without having prior acoustic knowledge.

Visit UB+ at the Venetian Suites booth 31-315 at CES 2016.


Sengled Pulse Lamp and Speaker Review



redlogoThe Sengled Pulse is a pair of Bluetooth controlled LED lamps (or lights) with built-in stereo speakers. Who would have thought it? A single product bringing together two technological memes; functional convergence and the smart home. Let’s take a look and see what the Sengled Pulse offers on both these themes.

Sengled Pulse Box

Two things struck me as I opened the Sengled Pulse box. The first was the bright red colour of the lamp cases and the second was the size of them. These are big heavy bulbs and it’s going to restrict what fittings can be used with the lamps. The fitting options are further reduced by the direction of the light emitted from the lamps as there’s little sideways illumination. In short, a pendant fitting with a large shade is your basic option.

Sengled Pulse Lamps

The Sengled Pulse is installed just like any other lamp – screw it in! Both screw and bayonet bases are available, which will please UK readers, though in this instance, I was supplied with the screw base variant anyway. Once screwed in and turned on, the lamps are white and bright, and a little brighter than my current Philips Hue bulbs. The box says 600 lumens.

One lamp is designated as the Master and the other as the Satellite. To get them connected together, the easiest way is to power them up close to each other. Once they’ve paired, the Pulses can be moved apart. The other option is to use the Pulse app: more on this later.

Communication with a smartphone is via Bluetooth and the usual process applies for pairing the smartphone with the Sengled Pulse lamps. I was testing with a OnePlus 2 and had no problems.

Sengled Pulse Brightness Sengled Pulse Volume Sengled Pulse Adding

Once paired, the smartphone can control both the brightness of light and loudness of sound through the Pulse app, available from the Apple App Store and the Google Play. Music or other audio plays directly from apps via Bluetooth. The Pulse app is straightforward with two tabs, one for lights and one for sounds. The app handles device management too and a clever pairing feature uses the smartphone’s camera to scan QR codes on the sides of the Pulse lamps. Up to eight Pulse lamps can be joined together.Sengled Pulse QR Code

The app is a bit short on “smart home” features. For example, there’s no way to set the lights to come on at a pre-determined time or to automatically turn on when a Bluetooth connection is made. I was hoping for more.

The speakers in the Pulse lamps are “JBL by Harman” which means that they ought to sound half decent and they do. Music is clear with perhaps a little too much treble at times but given the size of the lamps, there’s never going to be much power behind them. Big powerful songs like Frozen’s Let It Go or Adele’s Skyfall lose their impact. Without damning with faint praise, the Pulse’s sound better than you’d expect speakers-in-lamps to sound and they’re fine for casual music and radio listening.

Ultimately, the Sengled Pulse is a neat solution which compromises the sound to fit everything into the lamp shell, but if convergence is your thing (or you want cool looking red LED lamps), the Pulse is available from Sengled’s online shop for €129 (which is about GB£100) or US$149. It’s available from other online and real-world stores too.

Thanks to Sengled for the review Pulse.