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Author Topic: Review of the Oontz!  (Read 7945 times)

Offline Parrish

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Review of the Oontz!
« on: August 23, 2012, 08:40:52 PM »
I ordered a Cambridge Soundworks Oontz bluetooth speaker recently.

I listen to Pandora a lot via my phone and figured this would be a good complement to that so I could listen without needing headphones as well as better quality than the built-in Droid X2 speaker.

They advertise this speaker as having great bass and high volume- especially when considering how small it is.  You know how marketing pieces go- you have to take them with a grain of salt.

Well, they are right.  This is a very small speaker (roughly 5 1/2" wide, 3" deep, and 3" high).  I pulled it out of the box and noticed basic instructions for how to pair it with your bluetooth device were printed right on the bottom of the speaker (excellent idea).  Very simple- just turn it on and press the "source" button until you hear a beep.  Then start the bluetooth connection process on your phone and have it scan for new devices.  It will find the Oontz and just let it connect.  On mine I didn't need to enter a code- but some phones, apparently, do need you to enter the standard 0000 passcode.
Once the phone was paired I fired up Pandora.  Wow!  The sound quality and volume is very impressive.  Now, I will say right up front this is not going to give you the same sound output as a larger speaker like you might find on your home stereo- nor should you expect that (afterall, this thing is TINY in comparison to a speaker like that).  But, when considering the size, it is quite incredible.  Easily plenty of volume to fill my home office with great sounding audio.  It  does have bass- although not window shattering bass.  But enough bass to give you a good full sound.  And it is a full sound- not 'tinny' like you get with most small speakers like this.  It has a very good balance of lows, mids, and highs. 

It also has some very nice features besides just great sound quality.  It's also a speaker phone.  It has a built in microphone on the top of the speaker.  If you get (or place) a call while listening to audio it will pause the audio and the call will be placed via bluetooth handsfree.  It works MUCH better than the built-in phone speaker and microphone.  In fact, I'd say this would be a great device to use for situations where you want your cell phone to act more as a conference phone.  The volume is plenty loud enough for everyone in the room to hear the call and the microphone is more sensitive than your phone's mic.

On one side of the Oontz is a control panel. This control panel has buttons for volume up and down, a multi-function button for answering calls, play, and pause, and buttons for previous and next tracks.  If you are listening to Pandora the 'next track' button acts as the skip button in Pandora.  If you are listening to MP3's then you can use those buttons to move through your music (although only the basic commands of track up or down). 

Included in the box is a nice felt carrying bag, a USB charging cable (you can only charge it via a USB cable- but it is a standard mini-USB connection), and a 3.5mm audio cable if you just want to connect a non-bluetooth device to it (which is a nice feature if you have a basic MP3 player). 

I haven't played it long enough to tell (nor have I even attempted to charge it yet- still running off the out-of-box charge) but they claim you can get 10 hours of non-stop listening at 3/4 volume.  That's impressive.

All in all I'm very happy and impressed.  Even more so when you consider that this device only costs $70 from the Cambridge Soundworks website.  Any other devices that come close to the size, sound quality, and features of this device would be double or even triple the cost.
Yes, you can easily find less costly bluetooth speakers but I haven't seen any that have the features the Oontz does- such as acting as a speakerphone and having the built-in controls.  I'd also be doubtful they'd come close to the sound quality (although I will honestly admit I haven't tried any of the others so I can't compare). 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 08:43:25 PM by Parrish »
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