With an ever-increasing number of tiny $50 wireless Bluetooth speakers arriving in our offices for review, the first thing I ask when I get a new one is what distinguishes it from the rest of the pack?
When it comes to the Bluetune Solo from Shenzhen, China-based Divoom, a couple of attractive design traits, decent sound for its size, and built-in speakerphone capabilities, plus an audio output, make it worth considering if you're shopping for this type of speaker.
The first thing you notice about the Solo is that it's got a little bit of weight to it. At 8 ounces, it's not heavy, but there's some substance here, which makes it seem like less of a toy speaker.
Not much bigger than a can of Red Bull sliced in half, the speaker comes in a few different colors and has a nice texture, along with some blue lighting at its base. Some people will like that lighting and some could do without it.
There are no volume buttons on the speaker. Nor are there pause, play, or skip track forward/back buttons. Everything has to be controlled from your Bluetooth-enabled device, most likely a smartphone or tablet. A power switch can be found on the bottom of the speaker.
As far as extra features go, as I said, the Solo has an integrated microphone and can be used as a speakerphone. It works pretty well as long as you remain pretty close to the speaker when talking.
The Micro-USB port does double duty as a charging port for the integrated rechargeable battery (battery life is rated at 8 hours, which is decent though not fantastic) and an audio input (cable included).
The speaker also features an audio output, which means you can string a few of these together and augment the sound or just connect the Solo to a larger home audio system, turning the speaker into a Bluetooth receiver (translation: you'd be able to wirelessly transmit sound to your stereo from abut 30 feet away).