Best Bluetooth Speakers in April

4/3/2014 10:05:56 AM

Jabra Solemate Mini

In some situations (festivals) going smaller and cheaper is a wise move, and that’s where this little Jabra comes in. In its colour guises, it’s bright enough to be found in the mud and solid enough that it should still work once you’ve dug it out; you can use NFC for Bluetooth pairing, and it’ll run for eight hours on a charge. It’s even got a mic for hands- free calls. No, we’re not sure why either.


For those who need something with more portability, the company is back with a new offering, the Jabra Solemate Mini, which it hails as an ultra-portable design with surprisingly big sound.

You can’t pick up a speaker this small and this cheap and expect hi-fi quality. Got that? Good, because in that context the Jabra is very good. Most speakers this size sound like two wasps fighting in a tin, but the Solemate Mini sounds bigger and bassier, with vocals that actually sound like someone singing. It gets flustered at high volumes and a little digital fizz creeps in at times, but if that’s a problem you need to spend more.

The cheapest on test, the Solemate Mini performs better than expected and is just the thing to provide the tunes in the gadget-punishing great outdoors.


·         Power: n/a

·         Bluetooth 3.0, 3.5mm

·         Battery: 8 hrs

·         Remote: no

·         60x53x125mm

·         $134

Dali Kubik Free

Trust Dali to bring sophistication to the Bluetooth party. The (swappable) gauze wrap hides a column made from a single piece of extruded aluminium, making it mighty strong. The glossy metal top is a nice touch, and the myriad connections are neatly hidden under a flap on the bottom. Want to take it to the next level? The Kubik Xtra package ($1,500) adds a second speaker for stereo.


This elegantly designed active speaker enables you to enjoy music from a wide variety of sources and can be connected via Bluetooth, USB, Optical or Analog inputs.

The Kubik sounds as classy as it looks. Oodles of tight, punchy bass underpins party-rocking rhythm and more detail than you can comprehend in one listen. More than the others here the Dali will reward you for playing high-quality tunes, but it’s not stroppy when you slum it with Spotify (use the ‘Extreme’ setting). Excellent all round, and unless you want a very posh TV-flanking system, the second speaker isn’t really necessary.

The Dali’s sharp choice of outfit and beautiful finish give a taste of what’s lurking inside. Any track you play spills over with the precision of its hi-fi heritage, even polishing Spotify tunes.


·         100W

·         Bluetooth 3.0 (aptX), USB, optical, RCA, 3.5mm

·         Subwoofer out

·         Remote: yes

·         305x145x145mm

·         $1,088



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