Summer tech selection: Portable wireless speakers to get the party started


  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 31 Jul 2018

The Sony SRS-XB41's coloured lights and flashing strobe synchronise to the beat of the music. — Photos: AFP Relaxnews

Hook a portable wireless speaker up to your smartphone or computer for a quick and easy way to enjoy music from your own personal library or from a streaming site this summer. With their compact designs, these speakers are perfectly portable vacation accessories and some are compatible with intelligent voice assistants.

Sony SRS-XB41
The SRS-XB41 portable Bluetooth speaker stands out from the crowd with its multi-coloured flashing lights. Here, the speaker's coloured lights and flashing strobe synchronise to the beat of the music. Plus, the speaker's grip can be used to control the volume and to make different sounds (scratch, snare, kick drum, cowbell) depending on where you touch it – a fun and interactive feature. Thanks to its waterproof, rustproof and dustproof build, this speaker could theoretically survive being dropped in the sea and rinsed clean. Note that several speakers can be synced together for boosted sound and even more spectacular lighting effects, all in time to the music.
The Sony SRS-XB41 is priced US$249.99 (RM1,014.15).

UE Boom 2
The UE Boom 2 is priced US$179.99.
Ultimate Ears promises 360° sound and a battery life of up to 15 hours for its UE Boom 2.
This Ultimate Ears speaker will bring music to pretty much any environment, whether hostile or not. This waterproof speaker can be dipped, dunked, splashed and submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The manufacturer promises 360-degree sound and a battery life of up to 15 hours. Plus, with voice integration from Siri and Google Now (as well as Alexa, for Android only), music playback can be controlled with voice controls. The manufacturer also claims that "150+" UE Bluetooth speakers can be wirelessly connected to ramp up the party.
The UE Boom 2 is priced US$179.99 (RM730.19).

Sonos One
The Sonos One is priced US$199.
Sonos One connects to devices like smartphones over WiFi rather than Bluetooth.
The latest wireless speaker from Sonos connects to devices like smartphones over WiFi rather than Bluetooth. It also integrates Amazon's Alexa intelligent voice assistant for controlling music playback with voice commands. Plus, the Sonos One can connect to any other of the brand's speakers for instant stereo sound.
The Sonos One is priced US$199 (RM807). — AFP Relaxnews

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