Is this the best bluetooth speaker for under $70? I’ve tried many portable speakers and man, they’ve come a long away. They’re loud, bassy, and generally distortion free. The good ones all cost $100+ so when Soundfreaq sent me the Sound Spot to try out, I was a little skeptical. However, I am familiar with the company as I’ve tried their original Sound Platform speaker before and came away quite impressed. So what do I look for in small, compact bluetooth speaker? It has to look good, sound good, and painless to pair. Hit the jump for my review.
The first thing you notice about the Sound Spot is the design. It’s got mid-century modern mojo to it. Most competitors opt for a techno look but the Sound Spot is meant to look right at home, in your home – an accessory on your shelf when not in use. The front panel is made from wood while the main body is high quality textured plastic. The face is pretty much devoid of any branding save for a tiny logo mark in the center of the speaker grill. On top, you’ll find touch controls for basic navigation. Behind are standard line in/out inputs, a toggle that functions like a basic equalizer, and the ability to charge your phone via USB.
It sounds great! The Sound Spot is just barely taller than a standing iPhone 5 yet cranks out enough sound to fill a full 400 sqft living room. I did notice a little distortion with the volume turned up, but nobody in their right mind is going to blast their music that loud. The toggle switch in the rear lets you augment the speaker with 3 presets – flat, warm, bright. I’ve found with almost all the music I tested from classical to hip-hop to dance, warm provided the right amount of balance. Flat and bright seem better suited for spoken word and audio podcasts.
My only complaint about the Sound Spot is how long it takes to charge. The power button blinks to indicate charging status and I swear it took forever and a day to get it fully juiced up. Once it’s charged, expect about 6 hours of non-stop music with the volume set somewhere in the middle. Curiously Soundfreaq purposely left out a built-in microphone. Most competitors allow you to use their speakers as a speakerphone of sorts with varying degrees of success so I’m not particular peeved at the omission from the Sound Spot.
I totally recommend the Sound Spot to anyone on a budget looking for a portable speaker with good sound and great looks. A comparable $70 speaker I picked up from a department store was equally audibly gifted but looked more like a desktop computer peripheral than a designed audio device. I’m actually thinking about including it in our annual holiday gift guide. Comes in black or white. Get you some!