Divoom Bluetune Bean

The basis of this post is to make you think about what in life is essential and what does getting the up-to-date earphone really mean to us

headphonesAt $29.99 (direct), it would be ridiculous to have great expectations for the Divoom Bluetune Bean portable Bluetooth speaker. Basically, as long as it turns on, pairs, and emits some form of listenable audio, it’s doing its job. On tracks that don’t have deep bass, it does indeed deliver decent, if very treble-heavy, audio. On tracks with beefy bass parts, it distorts big-time when we venture higher than moderate volume levels, but this is to be expected from such a low-priced speaker. The built-in speakerphone functionality is a plus, and the easily portable, wearable design make the Bean a solid outdoor companion for the budget-minded.

Design
Offered in red, black, white or pastel blue, yellow, or pink, the oval-shaped Bean sits flat on a countertop and projects sound upward through its speaker grille. The 3.6-by-1.7-by-2.7-inch (HWD) speaker is lightweight (3.7 ounces) and made for easy portabilitythe included carabiner attaches to its metallic loop. While the Bean is not waterproof, its rubberized shell is ideal for outdoor use. Divoom Bluetune Bean inline

Along the left-side panel, there’s a Power button and a Telephone button, and in between them a minuscule status LED. The Power button doubles as the Bluetooth pairing button, and the pairing process was straightforward and quick with our iPhone 5s. A USB charging cable is included, and connects to a covered port along the edge of the device. There’s no volume control on the speaker, so you’ll need to control everything on your Bluetooth paired device itself.

Charging time is roughly 2 hours, and Divoom estimates a battery life of approximately 6 hours per full charge.

Performance
As one might predict upon first glance, the Bean is a distortion factory on tracks with serious sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout.” The distortion creeps in at moderate volumes, and at high volumes completely overtakes the speakerbut this is what we’d expect from a tiny, $30 device.

On tracks without booming low-end, like Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” there’s no distortion, even at top volumes, and we get a clear idea of the Bean’s sound signature: It’s almost all treble. This can be good in a certain sense, as the vocals are always crisp through the Bean, and guitar strumming has a nice edge to it, but the mids and lows are almost nowhere to be foundeven much of the baritone of Callahan’s vocals seems M.I.A. Classical tracks are all treble as wellI could hardly make out the lower register strings when playing John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances.”

Basically, the Bean doesn’t really offer you a great sonic experienceit offers you the ability to take your music with you and listen to it outdoors. The speaker also tends to chop off the very first second of each track that you navigate toa common issue with cheaper Bluetooth speakers. And if you place your phone too close to the speaker, you can get some static/GSM interference strong enough to compete with the music. This was common years ago, but most speakers these days do a far better job of shielding themselves from this type of interference.

The Bean is fine for what it isat $30, you’re not going to get much in the way of solid audio performance. If you need to stay in this price range, the 808 Audio Canz Wireless Speaker offers a slightly fuller sound, but neither speaker is going to knock your socks off. For better Bluetooth audio, you need to spend more moneyconsider the Panasonic SC-NT10 or the Skullcandy Air Raidneither of these is flawless either, as they are more or less budget options, as well, but they bring a little more power to the table. If you have plenty of room in your budget, the Bose SoundLink Mini will not disappoint. The Divoom Bluetune Bean, at $30, is more tool than speakeranswer your calls, listen to audio at a higher volume than your phone or small laptop can muster, but don’t expect greatness.

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Sony NWZ-WH303 headphones review

headphonesWhat would you do if i stated I had found a earpiece article that isnt only interesting but informative as well? I knew you would not believe me, so here it is the educational, excellent and appealing article

Sony NWZ-WH303 headphones review
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It can even blast songs out of the built-in speakers, if you really want to annoy everyone on the bus. But can it compete with the likes of the Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear in terms of performance?

Sony NWZ-WH303: Size and build

The Sony NWZ-WH303 is a chunky old pair, but then it has to be to incorporate the 4GB onboard memory. Sling it round your neck and the leather earcups are big enough to double as a nice chin rest. If subtlety is your thing, look elsewhere.

We tested the white pair, which was a bit gaudy for our tastes. But it also comes in black.

It’s a solid pair of headphones, and feels like it’s built to take a knock or two. But it’s a bit plasticky, and feels cheap next to the likes of the Bose AE2.

The Sony NWZ-WH303 weighs 292g, which won’t be too noticeable in your bag. It’s worth noting it doesn’t fold up like the Sennheiser PX 200-II or the B&W P3 so it’s not the most portable pair around.

Sony NWZ-WH303: Comfort

The faux-leather earcups and headband make the Sony NWZ-WH303 a comfy pair to wear – after a while, you can easily forget you’re wearing headphones at all, which is a real plus, especially given how chunky a pair it is.

It also doesn’t make your ears too hot after prolonged wearing, which we’ve found on some other on-ear pairs, like the Sol Republic Tracks HD.

Sony NWZ-WH303: Durability

Despite being a bit plasticky, the Sony NWZ-WH303 feels sturdy enough to survive being chucked in a bag along with your other gadgets. The only delicate parts are the controls on the bottom of the right earpiece, but even they should withstand a fair bit of punishment.

Sony NWZ-WH303: Sound quality

So how does it actually sound? Not fantastic, to be honest. There’s a real loss of detail, especially when you play songs through the speakers rather than the headphones. The guitars on AC/DC’s For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) sounded very fuzzy, and this was even more noticeable when pumped up loud. Bass is heavy, but lacks punchiness, and the treble is a bit underwhelming.

They let in a lot of background sound too, which is disappointing for an on-ear pair. Walk around town in them, and you’ll have to crank the volume up to block out the traffic noise. Switch to speaker mode, and they can go loud enough to annoy the bus, or entertain a few pals. But it’s not going to start a party.

The controls are a bit limited. For a start, they’re on the underside of the earcup, which isn’t the most intuitive place for them. They can only control songs stored on the built-in memory, so you can’t use them to control tracks played from an MP3 player.

You can’t fast forward within a song either, you have to skip to the next track or folder. You also can’t play songs from your MP3 player through the Sony NWZ-WH303’s speakers, only tracks stored on the onboard memory. All of which seems a bit of an oversight.

But getting songs onto the flash memory is a doddle. Plug the Sony NWZ-WH303 into your computer, and it’ll appear as an external hard drive would. Then you just drag and drop, or install the Content Transfer program.

Sony NWZ-WH303: Verdict

The Sony NWZ-WH303 gets full points for ingenuity, and it’s a fair price given that it’s effectively three products in one. But it’s more of a (headphone) jack of all trades, and master of none.

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