Stream music with your phone or tablet: 3 Bluetooth speakers compared {Review}


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Disclosure & Image Rights: Chal-Tec GmbH supported us with several free test devices, which we were allowed to keep after the end of the test period. Hama has supported us with several free test devices. Pictures created with a smartphone provided free of charge by our sponsor Mobilcom Debitel. Tivoli partially supported us with free trial devices that we were allowed to keep after the trial ended.

Stereo systems are a thing of the past, today music is streamed from mobile phones or tablets to devices in the whole apartment or in the office. 3 manufacturers with different concepts in comparison.

Stream music with mobile phone or tablet: 3 Bluetooth speakers compared {Review} Stream music with mobile phone or tablet: 3 Bluetooth speakers compared {Review}

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Hama Soundcup-D: Much more than a can

Overview

My first test candidate is also my favorite: Hama's Soundcup-D is a waterproof 2in1 Bluetooth speaker for listening to music wirelessly with a smartphone, tablet, desktop PC or notebook and other Bluetooth-enabled devices with a maximum 10 meter range.

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With a dimension of 8,4 x 8,4 x 21 cm and a weight of 745 g, the speaker fits well in the hand like a slightly larger cola can. The design, like many other Bluetooth speakers, is designed for mobile use and comes with a silicone sleeve with a strap-hanging tab so you can take it anywhere: to the office, on a bike, to a picnic on the lawn - and even for swimming. Because even if the speaker falls into the water, it does not sink, but floats on the surface and continues to function through IPX7 standard (although not so good in the water).

Unique feature

Overview

The sound is superb: full, loud and as an extra gag, two useful ones at the top and bottom provide for a full bass. The highlight, however, is a unique function: Both halves of the Soundcup-D can be disassembled (and later screwed together again) with one hand and thus be placed separately in the room.

With a music performance of 2 X 20 Watts (or 2 X 10 Watts) creates a true wireless stereo experience, which makes for me the Sound Cup D also the ideal device to be able to enjoy music in good quality at home - with a wireless operating time of about 6 hours and an average charging time of 3 hours.

Connectivity and operation

Overview

The device has two separate Li-Ion batteries with a power of 3000 Wh and a cable with two micro-USB ports. It is for me synonymous the only drawback to the device: It just contains only the USB ports, USB C or AUX inputs are sought in vain.

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But I'm thrilled by the ease of use: just turn on, select on the transmitter and already plays the music. As we'll see at the next review, this simple-sounding connection is by no means self-evident.

Stream music with mobile phone or tablet: 3 Bluetooth speakers compared {Review} Stream music with mobile phone or tablet: 3 Bluetooth speakers compared {Review}

Tivoli Art-Cube: listening to music via multiroom function

Overview

If you want to listen to music at home and stay in different rooms, multiroom technology can be helpful. Because you do not necessarily need a large stereo for streaming music or podcasting today, sometimes several small loudspeakers are sufficient to allow you to hear music and sound in every corner of the apartment, and you can easily do so via WLAN or Bluetooth with a mobile phone and PC control - all of course wirelessly. In my setting can even access via Wi-Fi to a NAS connected to the router storage.

The Tivoli Art Cube could be impressive for its size, design and sound. Unfortunately, the multiroom method does not work as easy as you would imagine: The technology is not yet at the point, as the advertising wants us to believe: Music on and off by finger snap or soft tap on the device - so Unfortunately that's not all. The main problem in my opinion is the connectivity between the individual devices as well as between devices and app.

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Enjoying music only via app?

Overview

One is so used to wired devices that you can simply connect the speakers of different manufacturers together or connect to any amplifier: The wireless technology does not work: To control the devices wirelessly, you need the app of the manufacturer, with which the music can be played via Bluetooh or WLAN. The volume is usually controlled via the smartphone or with the physical buttons attached to the devices.

With Tivoli only with the app is Multiroom possible, ie the music and podcasts can be played on speakers in different rooms. But the multi-group configuration usually also allows the simultaneous playback of different audio to different speakers. Conversely, this unfortunately means for many devices that via the AUX input no stereo or multi-room function is possible: One can then connect via AUX cable exactly one device to the PC.

Frickeln comes before the music pleasure

Overview

It may be convenient that the app can also be operated via services such as Spotify. For anyone else who does not use Spotify, it would be better to just use the music player on the phone or the podcast app to play local audio files. Difficult in my view is that you can barely separate such devices actually from the electricity:

Once the speakers have been disconnected from the power, the setup process is set in motion every time - and that means more cumbersome chattering on the devices. After some time, the setup process was even hung up, so I had to do a cumbersome software reset. It was this handling that made me not just cheap speaker then return in the end.Stream music with mobile phone or tablet: 3 Bluetooth speakers compared {Review} Stream music with mobile phone or tablet: 3 Bluetooth speakers compared {Review}

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Numan Internet Radio: Stream music stationarily with mobile phone or tablet

Overview

The electronics manufacturer Chaltec, our sponsor, offers various variants of its internet radio under the Numan brand. The Numan One and the Numan Mini Two are priced in the same segment. In my test of two devices provided by Chaltec, I was able to connect my mobile phone wirelessly with a loudspeaker / internet radio.

To begin with, the hope of being able to connect both devices together and play them in stereo mode or in several rooms at the same time was not fulfilled - in fact, one has the impression that the corresponding technology is still in its infancy, because while streaming works well on a device, the problems usually begin with two devices.

The Numan One

Overview

So also with Numan: The Numan One 2.1. has an attractive design in a retro look and comes in four colors - black, white, mahogany and walnut. Bluetooth, WLAN, Internet radio with a DAB + function and finally Spotify Connect make wireless listening pleasure possible and allow access to music libraries in the home network as well as on Bluetooth-enabled devices. In addition, shared audio files in the network can be played via the integrated music player.

There is a large, high-resolution color display, which can be operated with a rotary knob on the top, for example, to select the appropriate audio channel - a handling that I personally found somewhat awkward. Comfortable is the operation of the included remote control and the Spotify Connect App, unfortunately, you have to be Spotify customer for it.

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connectivity

Overview

An AUX-in connector secures the possibility to connect cable-connected devices such as MP3 and CD players. Thanks to the LAN connection you can also connect the NUMAN One to your network via cable. There is also a line-out connection for connecting to your stereo system or sound system.

Two compact 6,35 cm (2,5 ??) broadband loudspeakers ensure accurate sound quality through precise frequencies and deep bass. Crystal-clear treble and intense mids are enriched by pressure-laden basses, which are guaranteed by the integrated downfire subwoofer. Nevertheless the device for me despite all rum play on the Equalizern not beyond the sound of a better kitchen radio.

Numan Mini Two

Overview

The Numan Mini Two 2.1. I like it because of its compact shape, the handle and the sound much better. Unfortunately, here is the multiroom function, which I could not test the connection of two devices. The mini not only cheaper but also significantly more compact than the big radio, but also has only an 6,35 cm (2,5 ??) - broadband loudspeaker.

But that does not detract from the sound, on the contrary: The Mini Two beats for me the Numan One with otherwise almost identical functions, especially in the sound. Practical is also the battery compartment, so that the device can be operated with a battery in the open, where you get the device easily transported with the handle. Unfortunately, the battery in the standard equipment of the device is not available, so I can say nothing about the effect and sound under changed conditions.

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Conclusion: The test winner of Hama is small, practical and with good sound

Overview

Especially the speakers from Hama are highly recommended if you are looking for a practical, waterproof and affordable device that you can play music at parties, at the table, on the computer in the kitchen or outdoors, in addition to the practical stereo function.

After all, all devices are available as standard or optionally a lithium-ion battery, so that the already very light speakers can be recharged. A battery charge can supply the device with energy for one day, making it possible to enjoy music outside your own four walls. However, the Tivoli Art Cube and the two Numan devices are not recommended for their high sensitivity.

My personal test winner is clearly the Hama Soundcup due to its flexible design, low price and handling. And also the sound quality including excellent basses does not have to shy away from the comparison with expensive devices. At least the sound is also much fuller than with the radios of Numann, which is supported by the practical stereo function. The Soundcup D is exactly what I was looking for and painfully missed with the other devices.

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