SoundWave SW50 Bluetooth Speaker

Date Thu, November 22 2012
SoundWave SW50 Bluetooth Speaker

SoundWave SW50 Bluetooth Speaker

I’d been wanting a Bluetooth speaker for some time. The speakers on my laptop aren’t all the loud, and I have several other devices that would be compatible. Although my Kindle isn’t, I usually listen to music while I shower on its tiny speakers, so anything would be an upgrade. I set a $30 limit and was planning to buy one for myself, but then the folks at MobileFun offered me an opportunity to review something, so I wound up getting one from them.

The specific speaker is the SoundWave SW50 which is just a few dollars short of $30. It’s a single speaker that’s USB charged, which is important as I’m trying to move away from battery-powered things. I don’t like spending the money, and it’s so inconvenient when your batteries died.

Fortunately, the speaker was actually charged when I got it. It came in a tiny box with instructions and a mat, which I imagine is silicone and meant to keep it in place. In my experience, it’s really good at being chewed on by and collecting fur of cats.

The device itself is interestingly shaped. Sound emits from the top, which is sort of triangular. There’s three sides, which are a bit convex, but the curves prevent this from being an actual pyramid. The speaker has two buttons: a power button and a connection/call answer button. I find the placement less than optimal. The buttons are on different faces, and the connection button is on the same side as the LED light. It makes it a little more difficult to orient yourself. When you first turn on the speaker, it emits a series of tones. It does the same when you turn it off, so you’ll never be confused even if you can’t see the LED.

The connection button serves to answer phone calls, too. Let me say a few things about that function. You know how annoying it is to talk to anyone or be on speakerphone? This one is that much worse. It sounds all watery and obnoxious. While you can answer the phone while it’s connected to the speaker, don’t be a dickbag.

When you’re pairing, you hold the connection button until the LED flashes blue then red. Thus far, I’ve used this device with my phone and new iPod Nano. It paired a little easier with the iPod, but the process was just a few more clicks — er, touches — and you’re set. I’ve found that I sometimes have to re-pair the devices after turning it off, even if I’m using the same device that was previously paired with the speaker. This is annoying but not a deal breaker.

The speaker is much louder than I expected and without a lot of static or other noise. I was doubtful that I’d like the speaker while it was on its way, but it immediately surprised me. There’s no volume control on the device, so you’re using the buttons or touchscreen on your device, instead. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, an app exists that also lets you see battery level. I’m using this with an iPod Nano and an Android phone, so that’s not an option. I haven’t seen any notifications of battery level, so I’m not entirely sure if it will just die on me. I would love for SoundWave to make an Android app; however, I can’t even find the iOS app online.

Along with lacking a volume button, there’s no onboard buttons, so you have to rely on your device again for switching through sounds. This is easy with my iPod because of the third button, which really makes it seem like a remote.

I experience very little breakup in the connection unless I have the speaker in my bathroom and the door is mostly closed while I’m on the other end of the living room — so maybe twenty feet. It’s barely noticeable at that point. There’s really not a lot of delay, either, which can be a big problem with Bluetooth speakers.

This isn’t going to replace surround sound, and if you have the room for a larger soundbar or wired speakers with a subwoofer, then you will probably find this isn’t up to par. However, it’s better than the tiny speakers built into most of today’s gadgets.

Thanks to MobileFun for letting me review this item. You can buy this and other Galaxy Note 2 accessories from them.

One Response

  1. Austin Baroudi December 1 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    This is awesome! I really need a speaker for when I skate because the heaphones I have always fall out. This would be perfect for me! I think I’m going to pick this up. Thanks for the post.

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