I am pretty excited this week.
First, I absolutely love finding products that hit the sweet spot with quality, design, and price all coming together without sacrificing anything. Additionally, I have been on the quest to find a portable speaker with impressive results for quite some time. I was not very happy with the Jambox as the sound was relatively dull and the price excessive. Other portable Bluetooth speakers I have tried have been more reasonably priced, but not offering much in the way of sound quality. High priced speakers like Dr Dre’s beatbox at $400 is simply laughable at the poor quality sound for the price. Novelty solutions like the iFrogz Boost or the Boomb(())x are certainly fun and have their place, but again, don’t offer high quality sound.
This week we will take a look at a portable Bluetooth speaker that offers fantastic sound quality, is extremely reasonably priced, designed well and a perfect companion for your laptop, tablet, MP3 player, mobile phone or even as a substitute for desktop speakers. The SuperTooth Disco offers 28W of pretty impressive sound via a 12 watt subwoofer and two stereo drivers. With a built in battery that can play for up to ten hours and wireless streaming with Bluetooth, this is the mobile speaker I have been looking for.
Also, I simply love giving away cool devices that we find on Hidden Track to our readers and sharing the sound. Read on to win a SuperTooth Disco and learn why I was so thrilled with the performance of this speaker!
In a nutshell: The SuperTooth Disco speaker packs a serious punch! With its “soundbar” design, the Disco offers two front facing stereo speakers and an additional subwoofer in the rear. Music can be played via Bluetooth or from the headphone jack in the rear. The built in battery can play for several hours depending on volume. In my testing, five-six hours was about average on a full charge. At medium volumes (apparently not what I listen to), the Disco can play for ten hours.
Size and weight At 12″ long by 3.5″ tall and a weight of approximately 3 pounds, this is easy to move around from room to room, out on a picnic, day at the park, tailgating, in the car, or any other place you want great music. Obviously, it is not quite as small as the Jambox and can’t be slipped into a coat pocket, but the trade-off in superior sound and battery life more than compensate for that. At this size and weight, I found it easy to transport between my car to office to home.
Bluetooth The Disco is extremely easy to pair with using any mobile device. Simply holding the power button for a few seconds makes it discoverable and ready to pair with up to eight separate devices. Of course, like most Bluetooth devices, only one can be connected at a time. However, you can simultaneously be connected with both Bluetooth and the stereo jack allowing you to use the Disco as a desktop speaker for your laptop, while at the same time, streaming music from your mobile device. The Disco does not have a built in microphone allowing you to use it as a speakerphone, yet will automatically fade volume if you have an incoming or outgoing call on you mobile device.
Controls In addition to the volume dial that turns smoothly and precisely, the Disco offers play/pause, forward, and reverse which worked flawlessly for me regardless of which media source I was using: Google Music, Subsonic, MOG, local files or anything else. The power off button requires holding it for several seconds which is mildly annoying, but as that is the only issue I found with it, certainly not a big deal. There is no remote control device, but as this will often be used as a Bluetooth speaker, not really a big deal. Indicator lights show power and proper wireless connection.
[SuperTooth Disco looks as good as shelf top speaker as it does on the road]
Sound The sound is stellar and can produce volume and depth that blows other small Bluetooth speakers out of the water. There is actually a BASS boost button that can dramatically increase the already deep bass sounds. I found using this feature unnecessary as the speaker already delivered full, deep bass sound without it. The Disco can absolutely fill a room with sound, provide a decent listening radius outside, and fill your car even with highway drone at high speeds that drowned the Jambox out. At the highest of volume levels, the sound gets a bit muddy but that’s easy to rectify by spinning the volume down just a touch.
I used the Disco for a week and couldn’t be happier with the sound quality of not only music, but also movies and videos. The audio was crisp and clean with absolutely no background static or digi-noise during silent moments. While the quality of the sound doesn’t quite match a quality three piece desktop system like the Altec Lansing system I reviewed a couple weeks ago, it was pretty close in approaching it. There’s no question that the Disco is a great solution for people looking for a speaker that can transition from semi-permanent desktop speaker to one that can be taken on the road when need be.
I had to change a flat tire yesterday and was thrilled to grab the Disco to perch on the hood of my car. For the next 30 minutes, the Disco streamed the previous night’s Phish show and everything from cymbals, to keyboard, to nuanced guitar teases from Trey, to bass bombs from Mike came through with exceptional clarity. After the tire change, a two hour drive awaited me and the Disco pumped along swapping songs nimbly between my daughter and I offering rock, bumble gum pop, rap and country all with equally impressive results.
[Disco with Neoprene Case and Mobile Phone for Size Comparison]
- The Disco also comes with a nice protective neoprene carrying case allowing for ease of carrying around and protection. Flaps and cut-outs in the rear allow for simultaneous use of the carrying case as well as no compromise in sound quality and use of headphone jack and power cable if need be.
- The wireless range is well beyond many Bluetooth devices I have used offering me a range of about 40-50′ with my Galaxy SII.
- Standby time is rated at an impressive 1500 hours
- You can fully charge the speaker in three to four hours
Bottom Line and Cost Great quality that rivals similarly priced desktop speaker systems. Shop around and you can find the Disco for not much more than $100. For example, you can buy from Amazon currently for $118 while directly from SuperTooth it is $148.
Interested in owning one of these amazing speakers? Hidden Track has one for a lucky reader:
To enter, simply leave a comment below with what song you’d first fire up first on your Disco and you are entered! Tweet a link to this column for an additional entry. One winner will be picked next Monday night and the winner announced in next week’s column.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Hidden Track’s
Hidden Track Technology Tuesday
voice-mail: (781) 285-8696
Have an idea for an article? Product, app, or web service you are passionate about? Feel free to get in touch with me.