The portable speaker market is certainly not new, and it seems there’s no end to this product category’s exploding growth. More and more consumers are demanding portable Hi-Fi, which they can play their tunes on without having to dock their smartphone or tablet device.
New-kid-on-the-block Native Union’s ‘Switch’ Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a pretty nice and sturdy little device. Named for its ease of use in both vertical and horizontal orientations, the Switch is available in a variety of colors, and has a distinguishing volume dial on the side/top, giving it a unique look.
The Switch can rest on its side or on its end. Its very simply designed, and looks more like a post-modern accessory for the coffee table, rather than a speaker. The Switch is fairly weighty, and the speaker’s rubberized exterior encases all sides of the box except the metal speaker screen, giving you an easy grip to the device.
The easy-turn volume dial on the Switch’s right side serves as the unit’s control center. The dial is digital, and in the center of the dial is a multi-function button, which handles commands such as pairing, power, play/pause and basic calling functions. Beneath the dial is a white LED indicator, which turns red while charging. On the left side is a small button that, when pressed, tells you the battery level. And speaking of battery, this 1800mAh puppy lasts around 14-hours on a single charge, with 180-hours of standby.
Underneath the the Switch’s front screen are the unit’s 2 class 2 small drivers, accompanied by an active subwoofer. On the back of the device is a small rubberized flap which opens to reveal an assortment of ports, including a a 3.5mm aux input, a USB power output, a mini-USB power input and a 3.5mm speaker/mic line out.
As well as being host to your tunes, the Switch can be used as a conference call hub. It is not a mere speaker, but houses a duplex microphone as well, so you can chat to friends over voice or voip without having to take your phone out of your pocket. It also has smartphone charging, and a full-duplex speakerphone with conference call capability, which allows both parties to speak and be heard at once.
Sound quality is unparalleled for this entry level device. The speaker has a deep sound with a thumpy punch. It will fill a normal-sized room with plenty of sound. Its Bluetooth connectivity is stable up to 30-feet away, and its easy to set up with any Bluetooth-enabled device. If you don’t have a Bluetooth device, the auxiliary input will take care of that.
The Switch is a super debut device for Native Union. Its unique design and wide feature set are nice, and sound quality is superb. It’s available in five colors – Black, White, Bordeaux, Slate and Aquamarine, and runs around $150. To purchase or find out additional details, check out their website at www.nativeunion.com
Check out the video review by Twin Geeks….