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  #1  
Old 09-14-2023, 03:45 AM
JonWer JonWer is offline
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Default Bluetooth speaker recommendations

Looking to purchase a good quality Bluetooth speaker for streaming music from iphone as a gift for the Mrs. who would use it while quilting in our finished basement. Any recommendations on features, brands, et. Al? Iím looking at ~$300 range. Thoughts on Marshall, Bang & Olefson, other brands?
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2023, 04:33 AM
Rolph Rolph is offline
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A Spark Mini, you can also use it to amplify an electric or acoustic guitar, or a bass! Good luck. (Mfg: Positive Grid)
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Old 09-14-2023, 05:33 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Pairing with others is one thing to consider. Some models have to be same, not just brand. Some popular ones that were stereo within same unit have change to monaural in past few years.

-Bose SoundLink Mini II has been around a long time, not the most feature rich, but kicks out a lot of pleasant sound for the size.
-Very often places like COSTCO have last versions of the JBL that are good at attractive prices.
-The small Wonderboom units are worth knowing about. They can be used in pairs, are monaural, but 360 degree sound so are great in a work space or on a picnic table. Ratings usually show them with flat sound profile and they really are tough and float.

You can spend a whole lot or not. We've had premium and modestly priced models. I don't feel there are rights or wrongs with the choices. It is also really nice to have good Bluetooth earbuds with NC, transparency, and Dolby Atmos compatibility so have no regrets that we replaced a pooped out premium Bose with the Wonderboom.

Our kids' JBL while small kick out more bass and volume overall but don't have that 360 sound like Wonderboom and radio/podcast listening is nice with the latter. It's all good.

Not fully wireless and a system, but if you have iPhones and Macs, know their little globes and non-Apple stuff plus the computer speakers them selves can all work together and be adjusted or coordinated with the Home app and Apple Music settings. For example our TV 3rd party speaker and subwoofer, the Apple speakers and a laptop's speakers can be all at once or adjusted. The little HomePod Mini can be stereo or monaural.

If you have Sonos system they have a battery only unit but in a different higher price point than lots of fine basic speakers.

It's not coming to mind but I found a web site where a guy does actual tests of sound profiles if you want particular characteristics and flat tone or something scooped or bass heavy.

Edit: Yes on Spark products. One of our kids has the small one. It's a higher price than lots of choices, can be some learning, but really nice. We also have the well regarded Yamaha THR amp we'll use to play music and podcasts.
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Old 09-14-2023, 05:59 AM
EZYPIKINS EZYPIKINS is offline
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I'm a JBL guy.

JBL means music speaker.
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Old 09-14-2023, 06:15 AM
CodeBlueEMT CodeBlueEMT is offline
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Tribit StormBox Blast. $199 on Amazon. Sounds better than any of my Bose or JBL speakers. I love mine and use it every weekend at the lake.
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Old 09-14-2023, 06:53 AM
Gee Man Gee Man is offline
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I picked up this Sony a few years ago and am still very happy with it. The battery lasts a long time and is USB-C charging, and while it is heavier than most, the bass is totally worth it. A nice full sounding speaker. One of these days I may pick up a 2nd one to run them in stereo, but don't feel a pressing need to do so as it already sounds quite good.

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-SRS-XB43...086CYQ22F?th=1
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Old 09-14-2023, 09:16 AM
RedJoker RedJoker is offline
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Could you add a bluetooth receiver to an existing stereo? We did that to our 1972 console stereo and we always get surprised compliments on how good it sounds. Cost us $30 to make the worlds heaviest bluetooth speaker!
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Old 09-14-2023, 09:22 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I have a Bose Smart Speaker 500 that sounds great, relatively small footprint, full stereo sound.
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Old 09-14-2023, 05:57 PM
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tinnitus tinnitus is offline
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I'll blame Mrs. Tinnitus for choosing the Bose SoundLink Mini probably 9-10 years ago. It's not horrible, but we both wish we got something else.

Impressive volume and clarity for something the size of a couple decks of cards, but here's no way to turn down the bass or turn up the treble. So, essentially, it really is a "boom box." I'm sure Bose has updated their offerings since we got this one, but I'll never buy anything again without some way to adjust tone or EQ.

Last edited by tinnitus; 09-14-2023 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 09-14-2023, 07:55 PM
robj144 robj144 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinnitus View Post
I'll blame Mrs. Tinnitus for choosing the Bose SoundLink Mini probably 9-10 years ago. It's not horrible, but we both wish we got something else.

Impressive volume and clarity for something the size of a couple decks of cards, but here's no way to turn down the bass or turn up the treble. So, essentially, it really is a "boom box." I'm sure Bose has updated their offerings since we got this one, but I'll never buy anything again without some way to adjust tone or EQ.
A lot of apps that play music have EQs though.
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Old 09-16-2023, 11:40 PM
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tinnitus tinnitus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robj144 View Post
A lot of apps that play music have EQs though.
Agreed. I'd just prefer some way to reduce booming bass on the gadget itself. But who knows? Maybe I'm looking for a unicorn. I haven't shopped for one in a long time.
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Old 09-17-2023, 07:03 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinnitus View Post
Agreed. I'd just prefer some way to reduce booming bass on the gadget itself. But who knows? Maybe I'm looking for a unicorn. I haven't shopped for one in a long time.
With that Bose, the kids' JBL, others past and the Wonderboom, you are in part mentioning a characteristic a lot of the speakers have. Some software can help tune but not too much.

If you check out the Sonos also designed to be portable and not need WiFi or the flat tone Wonderboom also small you'll notice they don't have a lot of sound to just fill a space I believe a lot of consumers want.

An observation I've had with the small and flat tone Wonderboom paired is they fill the space a lot more, and the same os sort of true with Apple's smaller globe speakers.

Our living room and sound for TV system with sub is boomy, the little Apple globes not, and if you use "Home" you can mix your laptop and the rest tone to take the boom away. For that you have to have something compatible with "Home". The older style Bose and Wonderboom (all simple speakers) don't have that capability.

I don't think I would buy a high end Bluetooth speaker again. We like that Wonderboom for a few reasons and like the way the HomePod and sound system our TV has filling the whole house and so adjustable. We also have high end computer speakers and sub without any smarts but plugged into an iMac they get all the "Home" features and mixing abilities.

Noise cancelling with spatial audio earbuds also weigh on my no longer wishing to spend a lot on Bluetooth speaker now.
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Old 09-17-2023, 09:03 AM
AX17609 AX17609 is offline
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Around the house, we use the Bose Soundlink Mini.

At the golf course, every single cart occupied by guys who have to listen to music while they play carries a JBL Extreme. It is the universal standard for golfers.
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2023, 01:54 PM
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I have a Sonos 5 and really like it. Not sure how it compares to other brands on the market, but they're highly regarded.

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop
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Old 09-17-2023, 03:57 PM
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I donít like the ďengineered sound of Bose, Sonos, and other similar products: they sound OK at first, but as soon as you hear a piece of music that you are familiar with, you will recognize their limits.

Bang and Olufson has many nice products, but they are much more expensive than your budget.

My advice would be to increase your budget (if you can). The nice speakers we could buy for $150-$300 in the mid-70ís would, adjusted for inflation, cost $850-$1700 today.
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