Present this product to a Middle Ages hi-fi convention and you’d soon find yourself sinking to the bottom of a well to the tune of ‘witch, witch, witch’. Yes, Orange’s Bluetooth speaker system delivers music, wait for it… without wires.
Now for the science bit
It works like this: the system plugs into the mains (okay, so that’s one wire), you hit the search button and it sniffs out any A2DP Bluetooth-enabled sources within range. A line-in means you can connect up other stereo kit too, including your iPod, but there’s no remote, which is a bit of a pain.
Within seconds the speaker system had exchanged niceties with our Sony Ericsson Walkman phone, leaving us happily sitting on our backsides selecting the soundtrack to our afternoon. But the big question is how did they sound?
Better with or without wires?
Well, thanks to Acoustic Energy, the brains behind the operation, the system sounded better than many of the non-Bluetooth speaker systems around. But before you get carried away, we’re not talking sound to rival AE’s excellent Aego M-System – this offering lacks the finesse and is in need of an extra serving of mid and lower punch.
Sound quality also varies significantly according to your choice of tune. Mellow songs are well balanced, but go for a more aggressive sound and the top-end gets tough, fizzy and indistinct.
So if you crave a convenient system to play wirelessly from your source, this will do the job nicely. Just bear in mind for the same cash you could get more sonic satisfaction from an old-fashioned wired system.