Just when I thought Bluetooth speakers won’t be able to surprise me anymore comes along the AIWA SB-X350J compact acoustic speakers, blowing my mind on how audio technology has progressed over the past few years.
The AIWA SB-X350J is a really compact Bluetooth speaker, which though a bit heavy can fit inside your pant pocket if needed and sits easily on any living room table. It has an oblong design with metal mesh speakers firing towards the front and back. An LED panel on top also houses simple controls with power, volume, and mute buttons. There is a USB-C port for charging and an Aux-in port next to it.
My first few minutes listening to the AIWA SB-X350J reminded me of the demo session of the Bose Wave Mini many years back, when we could not imagine the room-filling sound coming from something that could be held in your hand. Now, that defiance of physics is not such a big deal. But to do that with such clarity in the music adding layers and bass is still quite something.
My eyes, and ears, of course, opened up to this prowess of the AIWA SB-X350J when shuffling through a Rabindra Sangeet playlist in Apple Music. Suddenly the room was booming with Hemant Kumar’s unique baritone. The speaker was not even at full volume. I touched the coffee table on which it was placed and you could feel the vibrations, almost as if I was touching the voice of the legendary singer. These are the front and back bass radiators of the SB-X350J at work along with the 40mm active audio drivers. That kind of combo is still rare in speakers with this size or price point.
This Japanese attention to detail has its impact on everything you hear. Be it the latest Bollywood numbers or even streaming a movie like Churuli on your TV. In fact, the speakers are so good, I used them almost like a soundbar over the weekend as I binged on movies late at night at the risk of waking up the entire block.
But somewhere I felt the SB-X350J is ideal for those who love the more pure stuff from Carnatic to Western Classical and vocal-heavy numbers. These speakers bring so much soul to the music, every strum of the guitar has life in it, every hum says more than it intended.
But it is fun too and of course, you will enjoy your Sid Srirams and Shreya Ghosals. Since the speaker comes equipped with TWS multilink technology you can connect multiple units for a party.
Do remember that the audio profile changes slightly depending on where you have placed these speakers in the room. It sounds different on the sofa to when it was on the wooden table.
The SB-X350J can also be used to take calls and is a good addition to your work desk. The battery life is not that great given the quality of the audio output, so better keep this plugged in when you are not on the move.
At Rs 17,990, I can safely say the AIWA SB-X350J is one of the best Bluetooth speakers I have tested in recent times. It is both impressive and versatile enough to take care of all your music needs. Highly recommended for those who really love their audio.