Key features • Bluetooth 4.0 • FM radio with integrated aerial • Up to 10 hours battery life
Learn more: bayanaudio.com
Available from: amazon.co.uk
There is no doubt that the Soundbook X3 would look great next to your Mac as the dedicated speaker system. There is an Apple-inspired element to the design of this unit, with the brushed aluminium lining and understated look of the speaker making it ideal for subtle placement in any room.
There are also plenty of reasons for putting the Soundbook there in the first place. The unit supports the very latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology, providing a faster and better connection for your music streaming. This is coupled with an integrated FM radio, NFC technology for compatible devices and a smart cover that keeps the device turned off when closed. It’s a unique feature to see on a speaker, and the case folds back to form the stand that keeps the Soundbook upright. It may sound gimmicky but it serves as a cool design break from the norm. This is a theme that continues with the very cool LED display that is built into the speaker grill. This displays the mode you are currently using and brings some eye-catching colour to the otherwise demure design.
The biggest highlight however comes in the form of the audio – of course, the most important thing when it comes to a speaker, but the Soundbook defies its size in some ways through its output. Housed within the unit are quad 1.5-inch drivers with passive bass that produce 20W of sound, and you can certainly feel the heavy tones as they rumble forth. The bass is fantastic, and the sound in general is crisp and deep. For a Bluetooth connection you cannot help but be impressed by what you hear.
There’s also an added bonus in the ability to charge other devices from the Soundbook, and the speaker itself has up to ten hours of battery life at around 50 per cent volume.
The price might niggle at some, and the inability of the speaker to stand up when the case is closed seems like a design oversight – though this is more in theory than in practice. After all, you’re not using the speaker when the case is shut.
The removal of wires means that the Soundbook should definitely be considered a portable speaker, but the weight makes that less practical – planting the speaker around your home is the best way to get the most from it, and there is plenty to enjoy. This is a speaker to please the audiophile in you.
Pros: Plenty of unique design features and great sound output
Cons: Weighty, and takes up room thanks to the cover/stand