Edifier Prisma Encore Bluetooth Sound System Hardware Review

Edifier Prisma Encore Bluetooth Sound System Hardware Review

Nov 4, 2014

Speakers are big business, and Edifier has a good reputation in that specific sector. It has a host of offerings, portable and not much so, but for the most part, the name invokes quality.

As such, we can’t really pretend to be unexcited by the opportunity to take a look at its Prisma Encore Sound System.

The review package Edifier sent us was sizable, and hinted at the goodness inside. The review box came with several pieces: three main pieces in black finish with silver accents, and several smaller accessories. The main unit is the subwoofer, and there are two satellite speakers; there is also a power cord, adapter, 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable, a remote with battery and documentation.

The speakers have wired plugins for connection to the subwoofer, it (the subwoofer) logically houses the power button, speaker connector ports, volume controls and 3.5mm auxiliary port. The main unit is domed, with the side units following the main design paradigm. Altogether, standing together, the system looks sleek and futuristic without slipping into the area of pretentiousness.

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In action, the setup is intuitive; I was able to get it placed and connected in wired fashion in under two minutes. The sound is rich, expansive and gets loud. The control works well, and I was surprised at the fidelity of the output. Having said that, the cool thing is that the Prisma Encore simply refuses to be a one-trick pony: it also supports bluetooth connectivity. Pairing to a bluetooth source is easy enough, and as long as the auxiliary cable is not plugged in, bluetooth audio is streamed from a paired source.

This combined solution is not really very mobile in nature, but I don’t think that it is trying to be. The semi-permanent nature works as a connected sound system for TVs, mobile devices and everything between. My biggest quibble is the relative size, though. It does take up a good deal of space, but, again it goes to what the unit really is. Pricing might give some folks pause, but in the end, we have looked at more expensive units.

Altogether, I liked the concept: remote control, sleek polished look, and quality output. Edifier has no shame in striving to be one’s one stop shop for audio needs, and it is hard to stop them from taking that title.

It is an Edifier after all.

CODE Donut Bluetooth Speakers Hardware Review

CODE Donut Bluetooth Speakers Hardware Review

Aug 13, 2014

Someone should have told me not to have a sweet tooth while taking a formal look at the CODE Donut Bluetooth Speakers. Be warned: if you have a thing for sugar highs, this interestingly looking piece might have one over the edge. Blame TaoTronics for sending us one to appraise.

The review box was colorfully presented, and gave a good idea of what was within. Inside, there was the main unit, micro-USB cable and a small NFC tag along with the requisite paperwork. We received the white unit (out of four choices including black, tan and pink); it is barely bigger than the regular-sized doughnut its design comes from. It weighs less than half a pound and has a diameter of 4.92 inches. The unit is mostly crafted with hard plastic on the exterior, with cute designs and intricate cut-outs that destroy any chance of monotony. The white has some purposeful brown splotches which simultaneously maintain the confectionery motif and serve as as structural pieces of the unit. In one color point, there are daintily placed on/call and volume buttons; another flash of brown serves as a flap to cover the micro-USB opening and on the bottom, more brown plastic signifies the base. All in all, it looks whimsical without stumbling over the line to silly.

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Connecting the Bluetooth 3.0 unit to to another bluetooth source is easy enough, and involves toggling the unit on and then holding down the same button to put the Donut in pairing mode. After pairing is achieved, audio signals go through seamlessly. The NFC works well too.

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The sound is crisp; it isn’t the sharpest though, and I thought the bass was a bit muted, and the treble could use some zip too. For admirable sound that isn’t geared towards the most extreme audiophile, this does the job. I liked the output from leveled points, and the range in my testing fell a bit short of the advertised 30 feet. The 1000 mAh battery does give a decent amount of time (it claims 8 hours, and it was still going strong at 5 hours).

I like the call functionality; it actually pauses the music to deal with calls as a speakerphone. Audio on calls was a bit muddy, but to be fair, I could not tell if it was cell-induced. It works well with streamed music and even with my laptop via external bluetooth chip.

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For a simple, atypical option, the CODE Donut is a fine option, especially if one is able to resist taking a bite out of it.

The CODE Donut is available for $50.44 via Amazon.com

G-Pop Bluetooth Speaker Review

G-Pop Bluetooth Speaker Review

Feb 11, 2014

G-Project has carved a respectable reputation in the wireless speaker market, and we got the opportunity to check out its ultra-portable bluetooth speaker, the G-Pop. Finding out if it strikes the perfect balance between price, functionality and sound output is a worthy endeavor in and of itself.

It comes in a short cylindrical form (less than 3.5 inches tall), well rounded without being paunchy, solid in hand while avoiding unnecessary heft. The black review unit is mostly comprised of hard plastic, with rubberized and chrome accents. Running down one end is a prominent strip that has LED, play/speakerphone and volume buttons; at the bottom are the power button, pair button and auxiliary toggle, while at the top there is a a recessed hook than can be used to secure the speaker, say, to a hiking bag or bike. There is also a port for charging and/or wired connection that is hidden by a flap.gpop1

The G-Pop, size-wise, revels in its portability. While it would probably look awkward in all but the baggiest of pockets, it is infinitely at home on a go-bag and/or purse.

Pairing it after the courtesy charge is as easy as turning it on and initiating the pairing sequence to an eligible device. The sound quality is, frankly, admirable. it packs a relatively serious audio punch for something as small as it is. The design seems to encourage balanced transmission of sound, and the speakers handled volume instructions well. The clarity is okay, though it feels a bit soft on base. For folks that might be looking to get some wired use, or some functionality out of non-bluetooth enabled device, the auxiliary cord that works with standard 3.55mm jacks will be quite useful.

One of the biggest draws has to be the price. Packing in such value helps one overcome concerns pertaining to sound quality or the non-universal nature of the wired component. It even came close to the advertised 8 hours of play time, which, frankly, shocking enough to make it compelling on that fact alone.

The G-Pop can be obtained for 39.99 from the G-Project website or Amazon.com.