It never ceases to amaze me quite how much technology has come on in the last few years, case in point being this portable rechargeable bluetooth speaker which syncs seamlessly with my tablet and phone and gives me the ability to listen to anything I want be it films or music, wherever I want. The speaker also supports NFC and has audio in and out. It costs around the £100 mark, and I own the black version as pictured, but it's also available in a range of more funky colours.
Out of the box, this compact speaker (it's 16.5cm long by my measurements and a little under 7cm deep) is simplicity itself to use. I was surprised when I first got it that it didn't come with a cover or anything other than the charger but then as is solid it arguably doesn't need protection. The case is hard and also the outer mesh is splash resistant. It looks and feels a bit like a glasses case; bar the power on button, volume, a charge LED and the inputs/outputs for audio and the power jack (these are hidden under a protective rubber door), there's little else to this except a hook on the top I personally never use but which could be good for attaching to a belt or the like. I really love the simplicity of the design, it looks and feels like a quality affair and befitting the Sony badge. It really is a case of charging up the speaker and then pressing the input pairing button on the base of the device and you are good to go for hours of use. I'd say the manufacturer's claim of 10 hours is about right - in any case you can check how charged it is again by just touching the button charge button, and a pleasant computerised voice will tell you how much battery remains. I've never had any issue using this speaker or experienced it dropping out, it works perfectly with whatever audio I throw at it.
Sound wise, it's pretty good. I find the volume sufficient for my use, it's certainly better than the ipad integrated speakers and copes well when for example I'm streaming a film for viewing whilst using my noisy steam iron (I know, livin' the dream eh?). It doesn't sound tinny at all and though a purist may want a bit more bass, personally I find clarity good and a nice feature is the fact that you can vary the sound to directed or surround by standing the speaker on its side or on its bottom. Putting in this latter position does give a rounded sound quality that is well suited for playing audio to a group of people, eg on a beach or picnic. You can change the volume via buttons on the device or from whatever you are using it, as you would expect. Some may want a little more volume but at top whack the sound is not distorted and though you wouldn't fill the Albert Hall with it, given its small size its excellent.
Overall I'm really pleased with this speaker and use it often. There are cheaper speakers available but I'd say this one is worth every penny and I would recommend it for sound on the go, it's a great little speaker.