* Prices may differ from that shown
It is unlikely that I would have considered purchasing the latest KitSound sound stand, even had I heard of it in the first place. Normally, I listen to music using a CD player or radio, neither of which is conveniently portable; listening to music on my smart phone with earphones irritate me, not only that, they tend to block out or muffle other sounds such as the door bell or telephone.
Even though it is possible to listen to some music without earphones, the sound quality for the classics was one dimensional and not very special, so there was no other option for me.
No other option that is, until I was fortunate enough to win and receive a Kitsound, sound stand, generously donated by Phones4U.
Depth: 4cm (with the 4cm long wings folded)
Supplied with stereo cable with 3.5mm jack to fit most smart phones, iPods, iPads and tablets.
USB cable for recharging inbuilt battery.
Output power: 1.5W x 2
The elongated body of the unit, rounded at both ends, is of a matt black plastic, with a smooth, velvety finish. The unit contains two special, Neodymium speakers with SRS technology, this I will endeavour to explain later. The speakers are protected by a thin plastic cover perforated with hundreds of minute holes about the size of a pinhole. In the centre of the perforated grid is an LED light, which is blue when unit is in use. It is red when unit needs charging and on charge, changing to blue when charge complete.
At the top of the unit are two pairs of rectangular, padded plates, one pair at each end, one of each pair is larger and thicker than the other, both of which go to support and hold a smart phone, tablet or iPod securely in place.
At the back of each of the larger support plates, is a black knob about the diameter of a 1p coin, this seems to be some sort of adjustment for the holder, in that there appears to be a moveable, rubberised square pad inset into the larger rectangle. When the knob is turned in one direction the pad is locked into position.
I popped into our local Phones4U shop to enquire about these knobs, but have, as yet, been unsuccessful in finding out if I am correct or not in thinking they are adjusters, to lock the phone or tablet in place, or whether they may be something to do with the tone produced. I have twiddled the knobs, whilst music was being played, but did not hear any discernible difference in sound quality or effects.
At the back of the unit are the jack and USB ports, and the three positioned, sliding power switch. On, Off and SRS position. (Will explain later) Below the ports and switch are two, hinged wings, which stabilizes the whole unit on a desk or table when in use, these can be folded back into a recess when not in use.
Since this was given me, the only price I can find is £28.75 on Amazon.
What is so special about this KitSound Sound system?
Intrigued I Google the term and one official definition of SRS technology (Sound Retrieval System) is that it is a system invented by Arnold Klayman in the early 1980s producing an ' Immersive 3D sound-field using only two speakers.' These speakers being Neo magnetic rather than ceramic. It is claimed that Neo magnetic speakers reduces distortion and improves efficiency.
A brief explanation of sound dimensions as I understand them:
When I think of dimensions, I automatically think of solid objects. Yet sound also has dimensions. Music from a radio (unless it is stereo) is one dimensional, music from a stereo is two dimensional, music from surround systems is claimed to be three dimensional.
It simply means that when listening to music on this lightweight, portable system, you can actually hear and pick out the positions of instruments being played, rather like, but slightly better, than stereo. ..you get a 3 dimensional sound quality, which one normally gets from four speakers, rather than a 2 dimensional sound as from stereo . Although having said that, I do not think it would be fair to compare this little unit with top-notch quality surround systems.
My thoughts, experience and opinion.
Fortunately I did have a few of pieces of music on my phone that I could listen to using the KitSound system and so was able to compare the results with listening to the same music from my phone speaker only, the phone using stereo earphones and finally from the KitSound system.
One piece of music had been recorded in stereo and the other mono.
The battery life is longer than the 4 hours claimed on the box, I have used it without recharging for at least 5-hours. Recharge time is 2-hours.
When I listened to both recordings using only the phone speaker, the music was, as expected, mono, in that all the instruments were in one place.
When I listened to the stereo recorded music with the earphones, I found, the quality of sound equal to that of the KitSound system, in that I was able to pick out different instruments and the harmony's, accompanying to the solo instrument.
However, when listening to the mono recordings, I found my stereo earphones were no match for the KitSound Surround system, which came out on top, where I found the crisp, clarity of sound was almost equal to that of any stereo recording. I could distinguish and follow the harmonies as well as the solo.
One further note; when I switched from SRS to On, by that I mean switched off the SRS mode from the KitSound unit, and used it as an ordinary twin speaker set up, there was a discernible difference in sound quality the music lost its clarity; a clear demonstration that the SRS mode does add another dimension to music.