There are plenty of bluetooth speakers out these days, which makes it that much harder to find ones that are worth investing in. This last year I have been able to review a handful of speakers and I am able to gauge how I judge the quality of a speaker. For the most part I’ve handled some nice speakers. Spracht offers a few choices of speakers like the BluNote and for this review the Conference Mate.
Design – The Conference Mate is compact in size. There are two color options of white or black. This unit is white in color and I like it a lot. The top of the speaker is black with all the touch controls for volume, mute, answer/end calls and play/pause music functions. The main speaker is located on top of the unit along with the controls, but is centered. One of the sides of the squarish shape has the on/off pairing switch, led light, usb port, and aux port. Overall, the speaker looks nice and has functional flow for ease of use.
Functionality – The Conference Mate is easy to setup especially if you have an NFC enabled device. Many Android devices have NFC, so this is a great opportunity to take advantage of the feature. NFC for this speaker pretty much just makes life simpler by bypassing all the steps of setting up bluetooth pairing between the device and speaker. With that said, it is still not a hard task to pair the two together.
The touch controls are accurate and work well. I did not have any issues of poor sensitivity while activating the buttons.
Call Quality – During my test call I stood at 3 feet and 6 feet away from the speaker. The 3 foot distance was clear, while the 6 foot distance was a little foggy, but manageable. 3 feet away is ideal placement for using the call function. Another fact to consider is I was outside while testing the call quality. Therefore, it’s safe to say the quieter the environment the better, which the speaker is designed for conference calls and calls like that happen in an office space. The caller on the other end reported the call sounded good.
Sound Quality – Apart from using the speaker for calls you can obviously use this for music/ audio. To me the sound was pretty good and the volume gets rather loud for such a small speaker. The bass was just enough without being too thumping and the highs sounds decent too. This is no Bose speaker, but sounds good regardless. I’ve got no complaints about the sound quality.
Connections – If you noticed on the Blunote speaker the charging port is a DC port, which I don’t really care for. These days I really like usb ports instead of a DC cable. The Conference Mate has a usb charging port. Although this is a bluetooth speaker there is a aux port for the times you might need it.
The Not So Good –
The only complaint I have about the Conference Mate is I had a little trouble using NFC with the my Galaxy S4. It wasn’t hard, it just took longer than I would like for it to connect. In short, just place the device on top of the speaker, let it sit there for a minute, and it should connect. I will add that I was testing this out on a Galaxy S4 and it could be the phone’s fault for the little lag. Other than that I have nothing bad to say about the speaker
In Conclusion – This is a great little bluetooth speaker that perform and sounds good. The price isn’t too shabby, which is about $80 on Amazon at the time of this posting. This is ideal for the office, home desk, or simply anywhere you need some audio. If you want to grab one check out the link below. To see it in action be sure to watch the video!
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