Speakers

Blitzwolf BW-F4 Review: Sound Meets Style

The Blitzwolf BW-F4 is a stylish new Bluetooth speaker from the tech company. With a sleek, modern design and dual 10W drivers, is it any good? Keep reading my Blitzwolf BW-F4 review to find out.

I want to say thanks to Banggood for sending me a sample to review. Check out the Blitzwolf BW-F4 over at their store below.

Check Price at Banggood

Blitzwolf BW-F4 Review

What’s in the Box?

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Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • Blitzwolf BW-F4 Bluetooth Speaker
  • Micro USB Charging Cable
  • 3.5mm Aux Cable
  • Instruction Manual

Blitzwolf BW-F4 Review: Hardware

The Blitzwolf BW-F4 is a great looking Bluetooth speaker. Using a black brushed metal finish with silver accents, this thing screams class.

It’s also solid, weighing in at a hefty 676g thanks to its metal/ABS/aluminium build. This weight makes sure the speaker stays put and certainly makes it feel like a well-made device, though it does make it feel less portable.

There’s a small strip of playback controls along the top. I really liked that Blitzwolf have kept separate track skip and volume controls, as this eliminates the clunky “hold to skip” approach of some speakers.

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The speaker body is dominated by the large metal speaker grill which actually wraps around the whole unit. It’s looks great.

The power button, micro USB and 3.5mm aux ports are tucked around the rear of the speaker. There’s no cover however, so I’d be cautious leaving the speaker exposed to the elements.

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Blitzwolf BW-F4 Review: Using It

Using the speaker is dead simple. After turning it on and pairing it up via your smartphone, it’s just a matter of firing up your favorite music app and hitting play.

You can only pair it up to one device at a time though, so if you want to switch phones, you’ll need to disconnect it first.

Music playback controls all worked as expected and I liked that there was an audible tone when you reach the minimum and maximum volumes so you don’t keep pressing the buttons like an idiot.

I did notice that the speaker did take a second or so to boot which was a little odd, as sometimes I wasn’t sure I’d actually turned it on until the power LED lit up a second or so after.

The power LED also doubles up as a battery indicator. However, it only flashes red and blue when there’s 10% battery remaining. At least you can check the battery status on your smartphone so it’s not a major issue.

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Battery Life

Blitzwolf have claimed that the in-build 4000mAh battery should allow for 7-10 hours of music playback.

After using the speaker over the course of the week, I’ve found it generally exceeds the estimates which is great.

Blitzwolf BW-F4 Review: Sound Quality

A Bluetooth speaker is completely useless if it sounds awful.

Thankfully, the Blitzwolf BW-F4 is an impressive sounding Bluetooth speaker – particularly for its price.

Thanks to it’s dual drivers and separate subwoofer, highs are crisp, mids are solid whilst bass is impressively powerful. Detailed music such as acoustic or classic rock really shine on this speaker.

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I did find genres that pack in lots of bass such as metal see bass being a little over-represented for my tastes but most will love its bass-centric sound signature (think Beats by Dre).

It’s also incredibly loud, easily filling a medium sized room when maxed out.

If you’re someone who’s sick of anemic-sounding Bluetooth speakers, the Blitzwolf BW-F4 definitely has some power behind it.

There’s also a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. Like most Bluetooth speakers with this feature, I found it was satisfactory with no complains from those on the other end of the call.

Verdict

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The Blitzwolf BW-F4 is an impressive Bluetooth speaker. It offers impressive sound quality and connectivity in a stylish package. The flexibility of being able to use either Bluetooth 4.1 or wired connections is also a massive plus. If you’re looking for a powerful Bluetooth speaker, I’d definitely recommend the Blitzwolf BW-F4.

Pros

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Loud
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Takes a while to turn on
  • Large size/weight limits portability
  • No real battery indicator

Getting One

The Blitzwolf BW-F4 is available from Banggood.

Check Price at Banggood

Alternatively, it’s available from Amazon.

Aosder Magic Mirror Bluetooth Speaker Review: A Speaker with Difference

The Aosder Bluetooth Speaker is a unique looking Bluetooth 4.0 speaker featuring an infinite mirror design, 3.5mm Aux in and a dedicated subwoofer. Is it any good? Read my review to find out!

I want to say thanks to Everbuying for sending me a sample to review. Check it out via the button below.

Check Price at EverBuying

In This Review

What’s in the Box?

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Inside the box, you just get the basics:

  • Aosder Bluetooth speaker
  • Micro USB cable
  • 3.5mm Aux cable
  • Replacement rubber feet
  • Instruction Manual

There’s no power adapter but you can use pretty much any USB charger.

Aosder Bluetooth Speaker Review: Design

I liked the design of Aosder’s Bluetooth speaker, as it steps away from the traditional speaker designs we’ve seen a thousand times.

The speaker itself is triangular, with a rubberised coating. The front of the speaker is dominated by the speaker’s large acrylic mirror panels that expose its unique lighting design.

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Along the top “spine” joining the two panels is a full set of playback controls, as well as a button for changing between various lighting patterns.

The left side of the speaker features a small power button whilst the right side houses a micro USB port for charging the speaker and a 3.5mm input, all hidden under a rubber flap.

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The dedicated subwoofer is located underneath the unit, in addition to a wrist strap slot (though the speaker is way too heavy to carry like that). There’s also sticky rubber feet to hold it in place, though more on that later in the review.

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Aosder Bluetooth Speaker Review: Using It

You pair up the Aosder Bluetooth speaker with your smartphone like any other Bluetooth device, playing a tone when paired.

Alternatively, you can use the 3.5mm Aux in port. The speaker will automatically cut over when it’s connected via an audio cable.

Music playback is controlled via your phone or the built-in controls (when connected via Bluetooth) and everything works as it should.

The speaker’s main trick, its infinite mirror lighting design, looks great. Thanks to its clever “Infinite Mirror” design, the lights look like they go deep “into” the speaker.

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There’s a few different lighting patterns to choose from. However, only one responds to the music which feels like a missed opportunity.

Battery life was fairly solid. With its in-built 3600mAh battery, I was able to get around 10 hours at 75% volume. This can be stretched further if you turn the speaker down but where’s the fun in that?

One thing that is frustrating is the low battery warning. Aosder have decided that 30% is considered low, with the speaker playing a low battery tone every 30 or so seconds and interrupting your music. A lower threshold should have been used.

Also, pushing the speaker to maximum volume did expose another issue – this speaker LOVES to move when maxed out.

When cranked up to max, bassy tracks cause the speaker to move around like a kid on red cordial. The company tried to fix this using sticky feet, but these quickly stopped working after collecting dust as I moved the speaker around. Thankfully, it’s not an issue until you hit the high end of the speaker’s limits.

Aosder Bluetooth Speaker Review: Sound Quality

I entered this review expecting the speaker to be a gimmick without any concern for sound quality.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

The speaker sounds excellent, offering respectable coverage of highs, mids and lows. Thanks to the dedicated subwoofer, bass is impressive and offers plenty of punch.

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Music sounds good, regardless of whether you’re listening to light acoustic tracks or the heaviest of metal.

Volume is great too, with the speaker’s dual 10W drivers pumping out plenty of sound – easily filling a small to medium sized room with quality audio. Even at maximum volume, I didn’t experience any distortion.

Microphone Quality

You can also use the Aosder Bluetooth speaker for hands-free calling thanks to its in-built microphone.

However, I found the microphone, whilst servicable, wasn’t particularly sensitive so people on the other end of the call did have some difficulty hearing me. It’s handy to have in a pinch but I wouldn’t want to use it for lengthy calls.

Verdict

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The Aosder Bluetooth speaker is a solid Bluetooth Speaker. I was genuinely impressed by the sound quality, with plenty of bass unlike many Bluetooth speakers.

The lighting effect is a nice touch, though I would have liked more responsive lighting patterns.

Overall, though it has its flaws, the sound it produces and its unique design more than makes up for it.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Unique design
  • Bluetooth 4.0 and 3.5mm connectivity

Cons

  • Only 1 lighting pattern is sound-activated
  • Pricey compared to competing products

Where to Buy the Aosder Bluetooth Speaker

The Aosder Bluetooth speaker is available to purchase from EverBuying for around $60 at the time of writing.

Use coupon “EBAOSDER” via the below link to get it for $47.47

Check Price at EverBuying

Alternatively, it’s also available from:

Xiaomi Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review: Pocket Rocket

Xiaomi have released another Bluetooth speaker in the form of the Xiaomi Mi Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Incredibly compact and stylishly designed, does this little speaker have the sound to match? Read my review to find out!

Read moreXiaomi Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review: Pocket Rocket

Xiaomi Cylinder Bluetooth Speaker Review

Xiaomi are at it again with a new Bluetooth speaker sporting a stylish new cylinderical design, improved audio specs and an incredibly elegant control system.

I want to say thanks to Everbuying for sending me a sample to review. Use coupon EXMSP to get it for $27.59.

Check Price at Everbuying

Xiaomi Speaker Technical Specifications

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1
  • Transmission Distance: ~10m
  • Speaker Impedance: 4 ohm
  • Power Output: 5W
  • Battery: 1200mAh
  • Playback Time: 7 hours
  • Weight: 260g
  • Dimensions: 60x60x93mm
  • Colors: Black/White

What’s In The Box?

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Xiaomi have kept up their tradition of keeping inclusions to a minimum and their new speaker is no different.

Inside the box, you’ll get the Xiaomi Bluetooth speaker, a rubber band to keep the controls from spinning and a Chinese instruction manual. I’m disappointed that Xiaomi didn’t include a micro USB cable for charging as it feels like an inclusion that really should be in the box.

Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker Review: Design

Xiaomi’s latest Bluetooth speaker sports a brand new cylindrical design. It’s a sleek, matte-
finished tube with the speaker located on the top of the unit.

Both black and white versions are available, but I’ve opted for the black variant.

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The front of the unit sports a small dual-color power LED whilst the rear has a micro USB port for charging.

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The top of the unit is actually the controls. It’s one of the most minimalist yet elegant control systems I’ve seen in a long time.

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Pressing and holding down the top will turn the speaker on or pause the current track if you’re already listening to music. Turning the top section controls the volumes.

The entire unit feels incredibly well made, as is par for the course for Xiaomi speakers.

Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker Review: Using It

Powering up the speaker is done by holding down the top of the unit for a few seconds. The device automatically jumps into pairing mode.

Pairing is a matter of selecting the speaker in your phone’s Bluetooth menu. The speaker’s name is all in Chinese but it should be easy enough to figure out which one it is.

When it pairs up, there’s a spoken confirmation (in Chinese) and you’ll be ready to go.

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Music playback is essentially controlled entirely by your smartphone. You can pause/play the track by pressing the top of the speaker.

The speaker’s volume is tied to your smartphone rather than being independent like some of the speakers I’ve tested recently. Thus, turning the control of the speaker will adjust the volume on your smartphone too.

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Battery life was good, with 3-4 hours of playback leaving me with 50% battery remaining so I feel comfortable with Xiaomi’s estimate of 7 hours.

Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker Review: Audio Quality

Xiaomi’s Bluetooth speakers are rarely a slouch in audio quality and their latest is no different.

The Xiaomi Bluetooth speaker offers excellent low and mid performance. Bass is impressive too though it does tend to dominate when you hit maximum volume.

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Volume is pretty impressive from such a compact speaker. It’s plenty for a small or medium room but it won’t compete with a proper stereo system. I didn’t experience any distortion at all during testing either.

Verdict

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Xiaomi’s latest Bluetooth speaker is another winner. It brings their usual excellent build and sound quality with stylish design.

The lack of aux in may be disappointing for some but the design, quality and unique control method more than make up for it. Thoroughly recommended.

Getting One

The Xiaomi Bluetooth Speaker is available from Everbuying for under $30. Use coupon EXMSP to get it for $27.59.

Check Price at Everbuying

Alternatively, it’s available from Banggood.

Mpow AquaPro Bluetooth Speaker Review: Waterproof Wonder?

The Mpow AquaPro is a rugged IPX7-rated Bluetooth speaker. This means that you should be able to submerge it to 3ft for 30 minutes without any issues – making it the perfect beach companion.

I want to say thanks to Mpow for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at Amazon

What’s In The Box?

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Mpow have included a good set of inclusions in the box:

  • 1x Mpow AquaPro Bluetooth speaker
  • 1x micro USB charging cable
  • 1x 3.5mm-to-3.5mm audio cable
  • 1x English Instruction Manual

There’s no power adapter in the box, but the Mpow AquaPro charges via micro USB so pretty much any USB charger should do the job.

Mpow AquaPro Review: Design

The Mpow AquaPro is a surprisingly compact Bluetooth speaker. At around 100x100mm and being reasonably lightweight, it’s the ideal size to chuck into your bag to take around with you.

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The unit’s square design is dominated by its large speaker grill, its grey contrasting with the bright green casing. The grills and rear plates feature panel detail and fake screws adding to the rugged aesthetic.

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Pretty much everything is hard plastic though so it does feel a little on the cheap side.

The top of the unit houses the  device’s four buttons: power, play/pause and skip tracks. To keep the unit waterproof, the buttons are embossed in the plastic frame. This gives the buttons a cheap feel but it’s an understandable design decision.

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A rubber flap on the right side hides the unit’s micro USB and Aux in ports. There’s also an SOS button which activates an incredibly loud alarm if you need it.

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On terms of build quality, the Mpow AquaPro feels well made though its heavy reliance on plastic does cheapen its feel. It’s designed to be waterproof not ultra-rugged like the Mpow Armor Plus so I can’t image it’ll stand too much physical abuse.

Mpow AquaPro Review: Using It

Charging the internal 800mAh battery via micro USB takes around a couple of hours.

After powering up the unit by holding down the power button, it’s ready to pair. Just select Mpow AquaPro from your smartphone’s Bluetooth menu. The speaker will reconnect automatically to the last paired device quickly.

Music playback is controlled via your smartphone or the onboard controls. The volume buttons also pull double-duty. Holding them down skips tracks.

Aux in works as expected. Just plug the included 3.5mm cable into the speaker and your phone and you can play your favorite tracks from devices that don’t support Bluetooth.

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The SOS function is impressively loud, sounding a siren after holding down the button for a few seconds. However, it can only be triggered when the speaker is switched on which is frustrating. If you were in an emergency situation, I hardly doubt you’d want to both power up the speaker and trigger the SOS function when needed.

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The Mpow AquaPro is waterproof, capable of being submerged under 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. It’ll also float so it’s also easy to fetch if it falls into a swimming pool or river. That’s an impressive feat that makes the AquaPro an excellent candidate for those with an adventurer streak.

The in-built 800mAh battery should be good for around 8 hours of usage according to Mpow. After a week of regular usage, this seems to be about right.

Mpow AquaPro Review: Sound Quality

The Mpow AquaPro’s audio quality is impressive, particularly when you take into account its waterproof status.

At low to moderate volumes, the speaker sounds fantastic. Audio is nice and clear with good mids and highs, though bass may be a little light for some users. I personally liked how it sounded as I prefer more balanced audio than drowning my tracks in bass.

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When you hit maximum volume though, the bass can’t quite keep up, with audio sounding harsher due to dominant mids and highs. Overall clarity is maintained however and I didn’t experience any distortion at all.

It’s important to note that audiophiles aren’t the target audience though, so the waterproofing will be worth the audio quality tradeoff.

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The Mpow AquaPro’s volume is independent from your smartphone’s volume. By maxing out both your phone’s and the speaker’s volume, you can output an impressive amount of sound from the unit’s 3W speaker. It’ll be plenty for a small to medium sized room.

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Mpow AquaPro Review: Microphone Quality

The Mpow AquaPro also features a built-in microphone. The function is a “nice to have” but the tiny microphone isn’t sensitive enough so the person on the other end tended to have difficulty hearing me. Audio quality when receiving a call was excellent though.

Verdict

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The Mpow AquaPro is a great little Bluetooth speaker. It’s compact, well-made and sounds great. Couple that with it’s waterproof design and SOS features, it’s a solid package if you need the extra durability it affords.

Though the plastic feels a little cheap, the Mpow AquaPro is great value and the perfect speaker to accompany you on your adventures.

Getting One

The Mpow AquaPro is available from Amazon.

Check Price at Amazon

Oaxis Bento Speaker Review: Close Contact Induction Magic

What if I told you magic was real?

Well, I’d be lying but the Oaxis Bento certainly seems magical, summoning your phone’s music to the speaker without wires or Bluetooth.

What Is It?

The Oaxis Bento is a speaker that supports playing music via close contact induction. Just place your smartphone playing music onto the platform to instantly amplify your music. 3.5mm audio input is also available.

Thanks to Make The One for sending me a sample to review. It can be purchased via Amazon or Make The One directly.

Oaxis Bento Technical Specifications

  • Speaker Power: 2 x 2.5W,S/N 75dB
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz – 20kHz
  • Connectivity: Close Contact Induction, 3.5mm
  • Battery: Built in Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (1000mAh)
  • Playback Time: up to 6 hours continuous play
  • Charge Time: 3 hours
  • Power: micro USB port for charging
  • Size: 186 x 127 x 65 mm
  • Weight: 500g

What’s in the Box?

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Inside the box, Oaxis have provided all the necessary cables:

  • 1x Oaxis Bento Induction Speaker
  • 1x Micro USB charging cable
  • 1x 3.5mm Male-Male Audio Cable
  • 1x English Instruction Manual

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There’s unfortunately no power supply included inside the box. However, the Oaxis Bento only requires a 5V 0.5A power source, so any USB port should do.

Oaxis Bento Design

The Oaxis Bento won the iF Design Award 2014 and it’s not surprising why. The speaker looks like its straight from the future. The cylindrical case is relatively minimalist, with a small power LED on the front of the unit.

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The power button, 3.5mm audio input and micro USB charging port located on the back.

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However, it’s the red speaker grill that’s incredibly striking. Reminiscent of a black hole, the red surface curves into the body that houses two upward-firing 2.5W 40mm drivers. Thanks to the curved surface, it not only looks incredible but it also allows the speaker to offer 360-degree sound. Those wanting a brighter color scheme can opt for the white and emerald version.

The whole unit was a little bigger than I was expecting, but given that it’s designed to hold the latest big screen smartphones, I really shouldn’t have been surprised. This is definitely a speaker for the home rather than something you can chuck in a bag to take with you.

Using It

The Oaxis Bento runs off an internal battery that’s charged by micro USB. It takes around 3 hours to fully charge, with the red power LED turning off when charging is complete. It doesn’t seem like you can use the speaker whilst it’s charging, which is an odd choice.

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The top plate is where the Oaxis Bento performs its magic. After aligning your device’s speaker(s) with the guide, you just hit play on your smartphone and the Bento automatically starts amplifying your music, with its power LED flashing blue with the beat. Aligning your phone on the guide is easy but failing to do so does cause a loss in sound quality.

It’s impressive when you experience the close contact induction in the flesh. It really does feel like some sort of magic is at play here, even though that magic is actually good ‘ol physics.

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The electromagnetic induction tech only works if your device has external speakers. Thankfully, you can use the included 3.5mm audio cable to connect the device to the speaker directly.

Volume and playback control is handled entirely by your smartphone, much like some Bluetooth speakers. When using the 3.5mm connection, this works just fine, allowing you to listen to your music as quietly or loudly as you want. However, as induction relies on being able to pick up the electromagnetic signals from the speaker, the induction element only works when your phone’s volume is above a certain level. This rules out any sort of quiet listening but is perfect when you want to crank up your favorite track.

Battery life is rated at around 6 hours, but this will depend on the speakers’ volume.

Oaxis Bento Audio Quality

The Oaxis Bento’s audio quality is good, but there is a distinct difference in quality between the 3.5mm audio and close contact induction. However, it’s clear this variability is ultimately a result of the technology at work here.

The speaker is loud and can easily fill a medium-sized room. Switching over to induction does take a hit to the volume but not massively so.

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When connecting up the speaker via the 3.5mm audio cable, audio is nice and clear, offering a good balance between bass and clarity.

Switching over to the Bento’s close contact induction connection,  the audio does sound slightly muffled compared to its 3.5mm connection. It’s infinitely better than your phone’s inbuilt speakers and much louder, but there’s a loss in fidelity.

Music-wise, it’s clear that the close contact induction technology definitely responds to bass better than high frequencies. Bass-heavy tracks tend to see highs being overpowered by the lows. However, more balanced tracks are reproduced reasonably clearly.

Should I get one?

The Oaxis Bento is an good speaker with great design. It’s unique induction tech is definitely more than a gimmick, creating a speaker that can’t be easier to use. It’s great to be able to set your phone down and have the music play without needing to plug in or pair anything. It was a massive plus when showing music to friends, being able to swap between devices essentially instantly.

It’s a shame that audio quality varies when using the induction feature, particularly when playback via the 3.5mm connection allows the speaker to really shine with great sounding audio.

Overall, the Oaxis Bento is a good speaker with a really unique trick. As long as you’re ok with the limitations of the close contact induction technology, you won’t be disappointed.

Getting One

The Oaxis Bento is available from Amazon or Make The One.

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