The Soundfreaq Sound Platform 2 has the same scintillating full-throated sound of its predecessor. But why use one set of speakers when you can use two?
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This version 2.0 brings with it a unique new feature: the ability to combine two of the speaker units from a single source using Soundfreaq's new dual-system streaming (DSS) capability.
If you're familiar with Soundfreaq's products, you'll recognize the minimalist and clean styling of this $125 Bluetooth speaker. Keep in mind, this is not a dock, and that's not a bad thing. It works with just about any Bluetooth device, which sends its audio wirelessly to the speaker.
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There's a ledge onto which you can place your Bluetooth device as it plays. You can charge it with a little help from a couple of USB ports in the back.
Those USB ports send 5 Volts at 1 Amp, just the right amount of power to charge an iPhone or any other USB-compatible device. If you want to charge an iPad or other tablets that require 2.1 Amps of current, it will still power the unit, but it won't be able to charge it at full speed.
Once you've connected your Bluetooth device to the Sound Platform 2, you can play any audio your device can output, including Internet radio such as Pandora, or any games, music or movies you have. If you don't have Bluetooth, you can connect your device via headphone jack to the aux input. And if you're so inclined, the Sound Platform 2 has an FM radio on board.
Listen to the unit and you can immediately tell it had plenty of power. Representatives told me there was a 40 W amplifier powering two 3-inch drivers under the hood. That means thumping bass you can feel in your gut, midrange response that makes a saxophone actually sound like a saxophone, and convincing highs that faithfully reproduce everything from cymbals to sibilance.
Now let's take a look at its newest feature, dual system streaming (DSS). At first I was wondering why Soundfreaq lent me two Sound Platform 2 units -- but when I found out about DSS, I was eager to configure the speakers accordingly.
Pairing up the two speakers was just as easy as pairing a Bluetooth device to them -- it was simply a matter of placing both of them into DSS mode, and then they found each other within a minute. You can place them as far as 33 feet away from each other, giving you just as much stereo separation as you desire.
When I added the second one, I was even more impressed with its lush stereo sound. The pairing of the two speakers works beautifully -- when you adjust the volume either with your mobile device on one of the speakers itself, it controls the volume on both speakers. I wouldn't say the Sound Platform 2 sounds twice as good with two speakers, but it's close.
I noticed these units are small and light enough to carry around with you. Soundfreaq offers an optional battery for $49.99 that will let you unplug the speaker and play it for another six hours -- at the beach, say.
The only thing missing in this package is a remote control. Perhaps it's redundant, since you can download a Soundfreaq app to control the system. But that's not the same as having a physical remote. There should be one included, or at least offered as an option.
The company is apparently aware of how effective a pair of these speakers works together -- it's worked out a deal with Target to offer these speakers for $250 for a pair, or $149.99 each when it launches on Feb. 27.
I've been impressed by all of Soundfreaq's products so far, and this Sound Platform 2 is no exception. I think a pair of them is a tremendous value for $250, giving you full stereo separation with excellent sound. Even if you manage to just pick up one of them for $149.99, you're still getting excellent sound that turns your Bluetooth device into an instant party. Highly recommended.
Photos by Mashable/Charlie White
This story originally published on Mashable here.
- Audio Technology
- Technology & Electronics