Music is something that needs to be shared. The musicians do it out of a need for creative expression, while fans possibly do it out of a desire to find like-minded admirers and to validate their own tastes. Personally, I adore helping other people discover new artists. There’s something about seeing someone’s face light up when the music touches them in some way, gets their feet moving, and they start grooving to it.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to really share your favourite playlist on your smartphone, because their speakers are just not adequate for entertaining a room full of people, much less an outdoor event such as a beachside barbecue.
Fortunately, there are a wide range of portableBluetooth speakers out there on the market, coming in at a variety of price points, too. My big question was: Are the less expensive wireless speakers just going to be as tinny as the smartphone speaker? Seeing as I was already looking for a wireless speaker for home and patio use, it was pretty convenient that I got to test out and review the attractively priced 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker, to see if it could deliver the kind of sound I expect.
Out Of The Box
Inside the NRGGLO box and minimal plastic packaging, you’ll find the little wireless speaker, a USB charging cable, and the obligatory Quick Start Guide, available in several languages. It wold be nice to have a little cloth carry bag, as even though the speaker can easily be tossed into your backpack (or one of its side pockets),or glove box, I’d hate to scuff or scratch up its nice matte finish.
The 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker is about the size, shape and weight of a can of Red Bull. It comes in black, blue or grey, with a metallic-looking hexagon-patterned grill on the top part of the “can” from which it projects the sound upwards.
Around the rim of the grill is a ring that glows blue and pulses to the music when you press a button located at the speaker’s base. The base of the unit is also where you’ll find the micro USB charging port, the Power/Bluetooth pairing button, power and pairing indicator light, the aforementioned LED glow button, plus a 3.5mm Aux input, which is great to see on a wireless speaker for those times you don’t have a Bluetooth enabled device, but still want to rock out with your tunes. The bottom of the speaker is fitted with a black rubber ring to keep it from bouncing or sliding around on your table.
Setting Up the 808 NRGGLO
Setting up most Bluetooth-enabled devices these days is as easy as pressing a button, really, and the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker is no different. Once you’ve charged the speaker, you simply press and hold down the Power/Pair button, and you’ll hear the power up tone. After a few seconds, the speaker automatically goes into Bluetooth pairing mode. Then, just enable Bluetooth on your smartphone or device (if it isn’t already) and you should see the speaker listed on your device’s list. You’ll get an audio signal from the speaker when it pairs successfully, and you’re good to go.
The first test for the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker was how well it could deliver my favourite web radio station. It plays a wide range of music, from punk to classical, and everything in-between, and in the 15 years I’ve been listening, I can’t remember them ever playing a single bad song. So, I paired the speaker with my iPhone, and tapped up my station. Suddenly, my downstairs was flooded with sound. And it was pretty decent sound, at that.
We have an open floor plan downstairs, and the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker was located on the dining room table. In the kitchen, my wife remarked that it “had pretty good sound.” We listened for about a half hour, and the speaker did indeed deliver consistent and clear sound, with nice bass response, for all kinds of music.
I later went through some of the albums on my phone, cranking out The Ramones, some classic rock, a little Bach courtesy of Glenn Gould, as well as a little Beastie Boys and Tribe Called Quest. Everything sounded sharp, clear and definitely not as thin as I would have expected from such an affordably priced speaker.
Even at max volume, the speaker didn’t bottom out, or offer up much distortion, if any. I’m sure more expensive wireless speakers will surely offer a bigger bass boom, and a fuller higher fidelity sound, however the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker is pretty decent.
Another little plus, is the little LED ring at the top, that pulses in five different modes in time with your music. I know it’s gadget-y, but for any nighttime party, it’s a feature that makes the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker stand out, for sure. It also supposedly gets 12 hours of use out of a single charge, which is good enough to last my parties and barbecues.
Final Word on the 808 Audio NRGGLO
I like the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker. It’s small, stylish, easy to setup and use, and it has pretty good sound, and an LED light-show feature.
Sure, you can absolutely get better sounding speakers for more cash, and also get more features. But, for what it is, and its price point, the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker is certainly worth considering for your next backyard barbecue, or a night at home sharing a newly discovered band with friends.
Do you own a good Bluetooth portable speaker? How do you think it would compare to the 808 Audio NRGGLO Wireless Speaker? Let me know in the comment section below.