It is a rare opportunity when I get to review something I haven’t bought, but thanks to the very gracious help of gearzap.com, I am able to bring you the review of the Cygnett SoundWave Bluetooth Speaker and Dock which would be the perfect Samsung S4 accesory.
Upon first opening the box, you quickly notice the solid build of these speakers and the quality plastics used. The surface as a matt black finish with a minimalist design. The front is a soft black fabric cover for the speakers themselves. The top sports only three buttons: Bluetooth, volume up and volume down and a multicoloured LED which indicates what mode the speakers are in. When its green, they are one, but not connected. When solid blue, they are connected to a Bluetooth device, and when flashing rapid Blue/Green, the speakers are currently discoverable via Bluetooth.
The back sports the same minimalist design, with the power switch, AUX in jack and power jack. The bottom has a compartment for batteries, allowing the speakers to be fully mobile (although you will need a hefty 8 X AA batteries to power it).
The dock is finished in the same matt black finish. The base is weighted allowing for larger devices to be stood up with out toppling over. On the back of the dock is a small button, which, when pressed, will allow the front of the dock to slide out forwards to accommodate larger devices and to allow the insertion of the charger cable for said device.
Here, however, is where the SoundWave lets itself down (for Android users anyway). Having placed the micro USB cable into the dock, the end will stand out too far to securely hold the device in the dock, tending to flop to one side or the other, therefore toppling the base.
If you use an Apple 30 pin connector, however, the device (iPhone or iPad) will be held securely in the dock whilst charging (note that this is only using the ‘old’ 30 pin connector used by anything other than the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. I haven’t tried it with the new charging cable). This is evidence to the sad fact that the majority of accessory makers will cater largely for the Apple market primarily, and anything else as an afterthought. The fact that you can still use the dock without charging your phone, or by attaching the charger with the device in the landscape position is still progress to many accessories which will cater solely for Apple products. In the end, manufacturers have to lead by the majority. This small flaw set aside, though, and the dock is well suited to fit many Android devices for purposes of a desk dock, bedside dock of for watching a film.
Now, to the meat of the review. As this is a speaker, you’ll want to know what it sounds like. I’m delighted to say, the speakers sound as good as they look. There is a deep range of sound with good bases, solid mids and crisp highs. I played a variety of songs ranging from Classical music, through Jazz, Easy Listening and ending on a heart pounding Rock song. Each genre sounded well-rounded and didn’t appear to be missing any quality that I could detect, sitting with my nose almost on the fabric frontage.
The volume was stunning, reaching to an apartment filling 110db, more than enough for a small party or to make a lonely flat bounce to the beat of the music. The instructions state that the Bluetooth has a range of approximately 10 metres (30 feet). I tested this out by taking my phone and walking round the flat. With a line of sight to the speakers, the range was pretty much dead on 10 metres. Anything beyond that, the sound started to break up and cut out. Anything within range – even up to the full 10 metres – and the sound stays rich and full volume. Bear in mind, however, that inside a house, walls and electronic interference could alter the range.
Depending on which app you’re using to play your music, any notifications will interrupt playback of your music. I noticed that with the notifications, there was a second delay, noticeable only because the notification sound was also played through the phone speaker. This didn’t follow when watching video’s however, as the lip synch was fine.
Pairing is very simple and well explained in the small instruction booklet provided (in 8 languages). Simply press and hold the Bluetooth connection button on the top. When the speakers beep and the LED flashes, the device will be discoverable. Tap on the device (designated as SoundWave) and you are connected. The LED will confirm this by turning a solid blue.
If your device doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can use the AUX in socket at the rear of the device by using an AUX cable (not supplied). If you don’t know what that is, it’s a cable which has a headphone jack at each end (male to male).
If you’re looking for a midrange set of Bluetooth speakers, then the SoundWave are definitely worth having a serious look at. At £39.99 from gearzap (50% off the RRP), the portability and sound quality coming from this device is more than enough to satisfy the average user. Minor flaw on the dock aside, it is perfectly useable even for Android users as a simple dock, even if it doesn’t charge properly. I would highly recommend this device if you’re in the market for a set of Bluetooth Speakers.