Bluetooth speakers have pretty much replaced old music systems and most of seem to think compact wireless units are better that five-piece setups that take up a large part of your living room. But small does not mean you compromise on audio quality. In fact, some of the smaller units are so good that you will not be able to guess where the music is coming from, even when the original source is a smartphone.
Creative SoundBlaster Free
Price: Rs 7,999
When it was launched at IFA last year, the Creative SoundBlaster was clearly ahead of the game offering superb sound as well as array of features which no single Bluetooth system was able to give. A year later, we have the lighter and more affordable Creative SoundBlaster Free, which is a multi-function Bluetooth speaker that promises a lot thanks to its pedigree.
The SoundBlaster Free has a cylindrical design that makes it convenient to hold. But what is more crucial about the design is the fact this enables the Free to offer 360 degree audio output.
The sound quality is both good and robust. By robust I mean the unit has an ability to fill the a decent-sized room and it is hard to imagine that the sound is coming from something that can be easily held in your hand.
Usually, small speakers have an issue when the volume is ramped up. But the Free has a loud setting which means it can go beyond its highest volume and still without any jarring. In fact, I played most of the songs at high volume and the audio quality was really good.
Actually, I was more impressed with vocal reproduction of the Free and Jagjit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal both were at their soothing best even at those high volumes.
The Free is a multi-function speaker and this means you can easily take calls using the same. The voice quality is good on both sides. The battery lasts 10 hours on a full charge. But I felt this number is affected when you are on the Loud mode.
From a performance perspective, the Creative SoundBlaster Free is one of the best Bluetooth speakers I have used. The best thing here is that it is not overpriced, at least not by the kind of features it is offering.
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