Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Denon Envaya Mini nur heute um 69€ auf

Heute gibt es den Denon Envaya Mini in schwarz und weiss im deutschen Amazon store um 69€ im Angebot. Schnell zuschlagen, da dieses Angebot nur heute (16.12.2015) gilt.

Der Denon Envaya Mini zählt in seiner Klasse meiner Meinung nach klanglich immer noch zur Spitze, auch wenn sich mittlerweile einige interessante Alternativen in diesem Preisbereich tummeln: Klipsch GiGAnker A3143 Premium Stereo Bluetooth 4.0 SpeakerAudio Dynamix Atom V3 

Ja selbst gegen den heiss erwarteten RIVA S schlägt sich der Denon wacker bei weniger als 1/3 des Preises: 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fugoo XL - donation campaign and giveaway raffle

With every new video that I post I am asked why I don't review the Fugoo XL and compare it to the JBL Xtreme. The answer is simple: because I couldn't get a unit yet.
I have been in contact with Fugoo for some time now back when the small Fugoo was released in Europe last year. I also asked about the Fugoo XL immediately when it was announced the first time and was originally promised to receive a unit as soon as they became available. Unfortunately now when they have been finally out in the U.S. for nearly one month, I didn't get any answer about a possible unit anymore. I might have the chance to grab one when it becomes available in Europe which is supposed to be at the end of November, but this may be a bit late for many who are interested and still not sure which speaker will suite them more: Fugoo XL or JBL Xtreme!

As I want to stay as unbiased as possible for my reviews and not count on charities from companies who in return expect positive reviews for their free review samples, I would prefer to buy the speaker on my own. Unfortunately currently I cannot afford buying the Fugoo XL as it is available only in the U.S so far. It would cost me around 480€ including shipping costs, taxes and customs fees to get it to Europe. I already ordered the new and just announced Libratone Zipp Mini some days ago, which seems pretty interesting as well, therefore I cannot buy another speaker right now.
That's why I decided to start a kind of donation campaign for a review unit of the new Fugoo XL speaker.

My idea would be to ask for donations to cover the ordering costs of the Fugoo XL in order to be able to prepare an extensive review, make some comparison videos and add it to the audio-database. When everything is done at the end of my review I would of course give the speaker away and raffle it among all those who donated for it. My goal would be to achieve 500$ which would hopefully cover the shipping to Europe with some rest amount so that I can hopefully ship the speaker worldwide to the "winner" who will be chosen at random with some kind of lottery.

Why 500$?

some rough calculation:
300$ - Fugoo XL
~30$ - express shipping to an U.S. address of a friend or service
~80$ - shipping to Europe
+ 22% taxes and customs fees

I would like to collect 500$ until the end of October 2015. As soon as 500$ are reached, I will order the Fugoo XL "Style" immediately from Bestbuy or Amazon depending on availability, also because it is the cheapest model while "Sport" doesn't seem to be in stock yet. Then I will hopefully still have enough time for shipping it to Europe and doing my videos including a review etc. If everything works out, my plan would be to have the first videos up in mid November.
If 500 people donate 1$ each, the goal would be achieved quickly. I will stop the donation if the amount exceeds 550$, but I need some safety buffer depending on where I will have to ship the speaker afterwards. I have no idea how much shipping might cost to Australia for example!

If I don't manage to achieve 500$ until 1st November I will of course return all payments to the original donators, so there would be no risk for you that I keep the money unjustifiably. If you like the idea and would like to contribute but also to get the chance of winning the Fugoo XL afterwards, please donate through the button below.

(Update: I changed the payment method to now, as the with the usual donation procedure paypal charged around 14% fees from the donated amount. This way I will have quite a loss in case I have to refund all donations if the final goal isn't reached. On just leave the box at the bottom unchecked, as you don't pay for any goods).

Update 2: donations are closed now, the donation goal was reached, more updates coming soon!

Of course I will prepare Vlogs of any step and goal achieved and post them on Youtube, so that you stay up to date. And at the end there will also be a video of the final tombola, where the official winner of the Fugoo XL will be drawn. Maybe I can even broadcast it "live" through Youtube.

I hope it's obvious that I have no financial interest or profit from this campaign and simply want to contribute my part for anyone interested in the Fugoo XL.

I hope you like this idea and beg for some support.

Thanks a lot, your O!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Audio Pro Addon T3 - smaller and better than the Marshall Kilburn?

Prior to the IFA I didn't know much about the Swedish speaker company "Audio Pro". I have seen their Addon T10 speaker quite often when browsing through amazon, but it didn't catch that much of my attention until I discovered their latest announcement of the portable Addon T3 Bluetooth speaker.
Someone on Youtube claimed that the T3 sounded so much better so than he had to return his JBL Xtreme, while Whafhifi even awarded the T3 the first place in their Bluetooth speaker group test among other devices like JBL Xtreme, Onkyo X6 etc. And although Whathifi often awards highest ratings to rather mediocre speakers like the B&W T7 or the Cambridge Audio Go V2, I got nevertheless curious about the Addon T3 and thanks to the Austrian distributor Novisgroup I was able to receive a review sample from them, so that I could finally convince myself if this speaker really sounds that great. Jump in to find out more.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: Canton Musicbox XS - Bose clone "made in Germany"

Some time ago the original Jambox became a kind of template for many copycats which started bringing out speakers looking pretty much the same. In the meantime the Bose Soundlink Mini seems to have taken over this role as many companies are simply trying to copy the design and the sound of Bose with mostly just so-so results. Even Bose didn't change much for its Soundlink Mini II, they still pretty much look and sound the same with the same flaws and the same uncontrolled and distorted sound. And although the Soundlink Mini is far from really good sounding many companies still seem to take this as a kind of reference for their own speaker designs with the Canton Musicbox XS being probably the most extreme example I have tried so far. I highly regard Canton as a well established German speaker manufacturer delivering high-quality prodcuts and when I heard about their first Bluetooth speaker that was presented at the IFA I became really curious to hear it in person because it seemed pretty promising. Jump in to find out if the Musicbox XS is just another of these rip-offs or if Canton managed to deliver some really unique product.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

News: Coming up next...

First of all thanks to anyone who still finds it worthy to donate, I really appreciate any kind of contribution that allows me to cover my expenses.
Due to the strong interest I finally ordered the Brookstone Big Blue Party, which I only managed thanks to some income from the amazon-links you can see here. I still had to pay nearly as much for shipping and taxes to get the speaker here, just to let you know that I don't get this stuff for free.

Next I would like to excuse the lack of new posts, but I am a bit behind with my reviews because I got so many interesting speakers that I still have to cover including the Teufel Boomster, the BenQ Trevolo, but also the Aiwa Exos-9. In the meantime I had the chance to test out some further new speakers including the Canton Musicbox XS and the Audio Pro Addon T3 or the Denon Heos-1 and a promising low-budget tip: the Anker Premium Bluetooth speaker.
Now it seems as if I will even get some more soon like the long awaited RIVA S, the interesting KEF Muo and hopefully the Fugoo XL. Therefore it is hard for me to keep up with all the reviews. Writing a detailed review takes quite a long time, therefore I am considering to shorten my upcoming reviews a bit, in order to be able to finish more of them.

If you are interested in the latest news, please also check out my Youtube channel regurarly, as I keep that more up-to-date. I have more viewers and subscribers on Youtube, therefore I mostly concentrate on doing videos because these manage to generate 10 times more revenue than my site, otherwise I won't be able to do all this. Although my videos are maybe not best quality, they should nevertheless give you a pretty realistic idea of how the speakers sound as I really set a high value on audio quality. I already prepared some videos of the Teufel Boomster, of the BenQ Trevolo and also several videos covering the Aiwa Exos-9, including a funny loudness test if the Aiwa manages to annoy the whole neighbourhood:

You will also find a very recent sound comparison for the Canton Musicbox XS: (english) (german), and I am currently uploading a video for the Audio Pro Addon T3.
Although my speaker database is still in works and far from ready I am nevertheless trying to add new and new speakers. I just added the Canton Musicbox XS and the Brookstone Big Blue Party and I will add the Addon T3 and the Heos-1 next, but still need some time for additional recordings.

So coming up next I will hopefully manage to offer you some new reviews bit by bit. I will try to concentrate on the most newsworthy products that are still hardly covered anywhere yet, and then work off all the rest.

Please be patient and thanks for all your support!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

News: IFA - best portable speakers

I could not attend the IFA and I think all the hullabaloo wouldn't be the right place for me. But I read lots of announcements during my holidays and needed some time to sort everything before finally posting some summary. So here you have some late news about the IFA including some afterparty latecomers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: JBL Flip 3 - the UE Boom killer

According to JBL the Flip together with the Flip 2 are their most popular portable speakers. To tell the truth, neither of them really managed to impress me. They were rather tinny sounding, the first version had also quite harsh treble response with some honky upper bass boost, although the second version was smoothened out a bit, it still sounded far from impressive and the battery life was pretty underwhelming as well. Now JBL came up with a completely new design more similar to the new JBL Xtreme or JBL Charge 2. Let's have a look if the JBL Flip 3 (buy from amazon) is really an improvement over the predecessors.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: JBL Xtreme - how much bass can you handle?

The JBL Xtreme (buy from amazon) (not to confuse with the older and meanwhile discontinued JBL OnBeat Xtreme) suddenly appeared in an inconspicuous way without any preceding official announcement. There was just a leak on Youtube and some weeks later it was already available on the european JBL site for pre-order, which I did immediately as I had this particular feeling that JBL might really have an interesting product here. So far it doesn't seem to be available in the US yet, and to tell the truth I have no idea when it is going to be released there and why it hasn't been already released. Update: JBL Xtreme was released in the US on September 1st as well.
Looking back in the history it took JBL a long way to finally come up with some impressive portable speakers after a period with rather underwhelming devices. Although JBL always had great sounding speakers, their portable speakers were rather lacking, including all the old onTour models, the JBL Flip series, JBL Charge, to finally redefining their standard with the JBL Charge 2. The JBL Charge 2 despite having some initial issues is a pretty good sounding portable speaker in some ways even better than all competing models. The cylindric design with 2 opposing passive radiators at the sides was afterwards used for another Harman speaker: the Infinity One. The Infinity One was something like a blown up JBL Charge 2, bigger, with bigger sound and a more premium finish. Now the JBL Xtreme seems to continue with this obviously successful design and looks like a blown up Infinity One, again larger, heavier and more "extreme". Jump in to find out if the Xtreme can really take it to the extreme?

Friday, July 17, 2015

News: JBL Charge 2 firmwareupdate 1.4.1 - do it yourself

Thanks to this great community here, some anonymous contributor has published a way how to update the JBL Charge 2 on your own. The necessary firmware file was already posted by someone else some time ago, but so far there was no way how to perform the update without the right software. As many still seem to fight with JBL-support who is taking their customers for fools  claiming that there is no firmware update available for the JBL Charge 2 I think we have to thank our unknown hero for posting this. He provided an archive including the 1.4.1 firmware-file, an installation manual and the CSR BlueSuiteNow.
Of course I cannot provide any warranty that you will not brick your device, but acoording to many owners they were able to successfully update his Charge 2 from 1.3.8 to 1.4.1:

Here are some alternate download-links:

Please let us know if your update was successful!

WARNING: Some already managed to brick their speakers, so apply on your own risk!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review: Braven BRV-PRO

Braven BRV-PRO Review:

:by Kyle Weldon (July 1, 2015)

Bravens latest rugged outdoor entry into the portable bluetooth speaker scene is an overall solid speaker.  The design follows its little brother, the BRV-1, in many respects and for those familiar with the BRV-1, you know its a decent portable rugged speaker design.  Bravens approach on the audio spectrum is for these devices to be used in an outdoor environment.  I will break down the various aspects of the speaker below, but overall the sound signature is set for outdoor listening, with an emphasis on the midrange and treble section of the audio output.  But, the PRO does carry a good solid low end as well, once you hit certain volume levels.  Lets get into the particulars on the speaker:

Friday, June 26, 2015

First Impressions: Marshall Kilburn & JBL Xtreme... and the winner is?

It was a stressful evening. I got the Marshall Kilburn from my friend and wanted to concentrate on this next, prepare some preview video or even a full review. But arriving at home the JBL Xtreme was standing in front of my door.
I already had a short listen to the Kilburn together with my friend where we did some switching between the RIVA Turbo X and the Kilburn, and although quite a bit fuller sounding than the RIVA, the Kilburn didn't really manage to knock my socks off, but when I turned on the JBL I immediately knew this is going to be more fun. Suddenly the Kilburn started sounding a bit honky and tinny. Both are not neutral speakers like the RIVA for example, but the JBL is simply tuned for more fun. It is a bass-monster, very powerful, louder than the Kilburn, louder than the RIVA Turbo X and probably as loud as the Beats Pill XL (RIP), but with the difference, that the JBL still sounds punchy and powerful with lots of bass at maximum volume and the bass sounds like bass, not as if someone was knocking on wood. I couldn't notice any stronger distortion at maximum volume, and although there was some slight dynamic processing, it was not as extreme as on the JBL Charge 2 or on the Infinity One. The JBL Xtreme is a real party machine. Take it to the beach and crank it to the maximum, it will still sound impressive. They claim 40W but from AC-power, I tested if it became any softer from battery and although there is a slight difference in loudness when run from AC-power, I had to check several times to really hear the difference, it is by far not as pronounced as on the Harman Kardon Onyx for example. The JBL Xtreme gets just slightly louder maybe 1-2dB when plugged in, but it doesn't reduce bass or deteriorate sound by any means.
Everyone who is already in panic looking for some substitute for his Pill XL, because he sent it to Apple already, don't look any further. Even if you are still undecided if you are really going to send it in, just take the 300$ from apple and order the JBL Xtreme immediately!
Now the Megaboom really became an expensive toy.

Meanwhile I managed to prepare a short introduction of the Kilburn and soundcheck between Kilburn and the Xtreme, as well as a full review for the Xtreme here.

Please have a listen and let me know what you think:

And the winner is? I think I must have a bit more listen to the Kilburn...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

News: and speaker comparison tool (beta)

Dear readers&friends,

Maybe some have already noticed, but oluvsgadgets is now reachable through its own domain:

I would also like to give my trusty readers the ability to try out my speaker comparison tool.
There is still some work to be done with this speaker audio database, but many will hopefully appreciate the ability to test it already now in an unfinished state. There are some bugs, and some features like "real volume" is not working properly yet, as well as "volume guide". The tutorial links at the top "how to use the tool" and details about the "recording setup" are also just placeholders so far and when everything is finished there will be an introduction video published on Youtube to make it really official.

There are currently more than 30 different speakers added, I also have measurements for nearly all of these speakers, but I have to edit and prepare them first before being able to add them to the database. I will also work on the description for each speaker, but as I am continuously adding more and more speakers (next will be the Marshall Kilburn for example and the JBL Xtreme shortly after), I have little time to work on all the small details now, therefore I would like you to try everything out as is.
The tool only works on desktop systems so far, as there seems to be a limitation with Android and iOS which are not able to play 2 videos simultaneously.

I hope you will enjoy it, feel free to play with it. I am not really sure yet, how good the tool will work and how much acceptance it will gain. But I hope it will become helpful at some point.

Here you go:

yours, Oluv

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: JBL Charge 2+ where's the plus?

It's time for an update of the JBL Charge 2. After Bose added "II" to their new Soundlink Mini, Sony made an X33 out of the old X3, now JBL added a "+" to the new JBL Charge 2 which in contrast to the other two seems to be the better portable speaker for the upcoming summer especially because of its claimed water resistance. I thought I will do a detailed review of the Charge 2+ but after trying it out, I would say that it is the same speaker as it was before without the "+". Not much has changed or improved at all, therefore if you are really interested in all the details about the JBL Charge 2+ you can also read my original review of the JBL Charge 2, just simply ignore all my ranting about any distortion or DSP issues of the first version, as the JBL Charge 2+ has none of those problems. But when buying a Charge 2 you can always check if the latest firmware is installed. The latest firmware (1.4.1) finally fixed all problems for the Charge 2 as well and made both sound and perform virtually identical. If you have a JBL Charge 2 with the latest firmware, in reality you have a JBL Charge 2+ just without the alleged water resistance. The JBL Charge 2 can be meanwhile found for much less (Deutsche Telekom started offering it for 88€ recently), therefore I would rather go for the old unit, as I don't really believe any of the JBL Charge 2+ water resistance claims. If you are still interested jump in to read what has changed or what hasn't changed at all between the two.

News: Class A speakers - Braven BRV-PRO, UE Roll...

It is quite rare that iLounge gives an "A"-mark for a speaker, which according to them would mean "highly recommended". Now 2 recent releases got an A with the Braven BRV-PRO which got a straight flat A, the highest mark for any portable speaker (only some few other portable speakers received an A from them so far, like the JBL Flip, the G-Project G-Boom, Soundfreaq Sound Kick, id America TouchTone and the Soundfreaq Pocket Kick (you can find my own review of the Pocket Kick here btw). The other one being the UE Roll, which although just an A- is still highly recommended and impressive.

Of course I would like to test both speakers and give you some real unbiased opinion on them, but the Braven BRV-PRO costs 178€ here in Europe, when I could get two JBL Charge 2 for the same price with the recent offer from Deutsche Telekom. The UE Roll costs even 129€ in Europe and given that this is a European product, I find it questionable that it should only cost 99$ in the US. In this case I would definitely rather choose another Denon Envaya Mini instead.

Therefore folks, probably no review from me on these highly recommended speakers as I am not going to spend 300€ for these toys, but will rather invest the money in something more serious like the new JBL Xtreme, which in fact is already on order... This one will probably get a "C" on iLounge btw, just like the JBL Charge 2 which only got a "B+" from them. But I want to hear real music, not play lasso with my speaker or fetch it with my dog!

Of course any first hands-on experience on these is highly appreciated, feel free to comment if you already heard them and find them really that great!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

News: JBL Xtreme available for preorder for 299€

The JBL Xtreme is already listed for preorder on the European JBL Site and should be available from 25.6.
There are new details regarding power and battery, and this Xtreme thing will have a 10.000mAh battery built in, which is obviously necessary to power the 40Watts amp.
The battery indicator is similar to the one on the Infinity One, but it was moved to the front now (clever!) As visible from the other product images the JBL Xtreme has an own kind of zipper to protect the ports. They finally seem to take water protection more serious with the Xtreme than with the Charge 2+, which has the ports completely unprotected.

Could be a real beast of a speaker, making the UE Megaboom sound funny...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review: Bose Soundlink Mini II - lots of improvements and still on top?

The original Bose Soundlink Mini was released nearly 2 years ago and managed to change the current portable Bluetooth speaker market completely. While most compact portable speakers prior to the Soundlink Mini pretended to sound good with phony claims like "the JAMBOX delivers shimmering highs and thumping lows that you can literally feel - the richest sound all in the palm of your hand" 
or even more exorbitant the Beats Pill which cost exactly the same: "the Beats Pill produces powerful sound [...] enjoy soaring highs and deep, booming bass" it was finally Bose to show what kind of "thumping lows" was really possible to squeeze out of enclosures that small. The Soundlink Mini was not perfect though and many complained about the "thick" sound and still seemed to like their Jamboxes more. Others complained about the lack of handsfree or USB-charging. But the huge success and what probably became the most popular portable speaker on the market, the Soundlink Mini managed to sell more than 10 million units according to some sources. Recently the Soundlink Mini II hit the market and it seems as if Bose didn't try to revolutionize this model but rather improve on numerous aspects in detail.
Let's see if they managed and if the Soundlink Mini II is really worth an upgrade.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Review: Sony SRS-X33 - who is going to be killed this time?

When I reviewed the "Bose Soundlink Mini-killer" Sony SRS-X3 nearly one year ago, I was quite taken with it because it was the first smaller portable speaker that achieved a similarly full-bodied sound as the Bose Soundlink Mini. No other speaker so far, managed this. And the SRS-X3 even did some things better than the Bose, because it was less boomy overall but had better and less directional treble response at the same time while the Bose is rather missing any upper treble at all.
The SRS-X3 was not perfect though, it suffered from considerable intermodulation distortion at levels already close to half volume. Bass reduction at higher levels as well as strong dynamic compression was pretty obvious and last but not least the battery life was a joke if you really wanted to use it at higher levels.
Shortly after the SRS-X3 the JBL Charge 2 was announced and the JBL managed to top the Sony by nearly all aspects. Unfortunately the JBL suffered from some initial DSP-processing issues, which finally were fixed with the latest firmware now. But the JBL Charge 2 made the Sony SRS-X3 obsolete thanks to a much more consistent sound across the whole volume-range, a punchier more dynamic sound and much better battery life.
Now Sony came up with the successor to the quite popular X3, which managed to find lots of fans in the meantime. Let's see if the new Sony SRS-X33 can kill the old X3 or even kill all the competition.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

News: JBL Xtreme coming soon - blown up JBL Charge 2?

Mediamarkt Netherlands posted another interesting video showing a supposedly new speaker similar to the JBL Charge 2 or rather Infinity One: the JBL "Xtreme". Similar to the JBL Flip 3 the JBL Xtreme will be water proof and have the ability to connect with multiple speakers wirelessly thanks to JBL connect, but what makes it extreme, is either the extreme sound quality as claimed in the video, or the fact that it can charge 2 devices at once!

It looks a bit as if this model was indeed based on the Infinity One with quite a similar form-factor and the same carrying lugs at the top. Instead of the useless rear drivers from the Infinity One JBL/Harman seem to have included tweeters this time as the blueprint rendering below would suggest. Maybe they finally noticed the overly strong intermodulation distortion of the Infinity One as well? This is what you get when little fullrange drivers are pushed too hard to deliver both high and low-end at the same time!

With all those new releases this is going to become a pretty interesting summer if all these videos are not fake but really showing leaked upcoming JBL products. No price nor availabilty yet, but the JBL Xtreme could be a new benchmark even outperforming the Infinity One among most other contenders in its class.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

News: Bose Soundlink Mini II released

Not quite surprising 2 years after the announcement of the original Soundlink Mini, Bose just revealed the new Bose Soundlink Mini II, sucessor of the maybe most popular portable speaker worldwide that I reviewed here (although in German). According to some rumors the Soundlink Mini managed to sell about 10 million times, quite impressive for a little battery driven speaker.
Interestingly it seems as the Soundlink Mini II just appeared in some European Bose-stores so far and can be ordered from there immediately, but it is not listed in the US-store yet and they don't seem to know even any release-date. In the meantime it has appeared on the US-site for preorder as well.

The new model looks just like the old one, but it is available in black or white now. It gained some new features like speakerphone that was missing on the original model, voice prompts (probably the same as on the Soundlink Colour), it can finally be charged through MicroUSB and battery life seems to have been slightly improved, but no other obvious changes so far. I am not sure if the new one will really sound much different, there is not a single word about changes in sound etc.

To tell the truth I was expecting something completely new, more rugged maybe, water proof or whatever, but it seems as if Bose just tries to sell the same speaker again only with some new added features that were simply lacking from the original.
As soon as I can get my hands on a unit, I will check out if the sonic qualities have indeed improved over the old Soundlink Mini, if not the Soundlink Mini II will have to fight against some strong competition with the JBL Charge 2+, Denon Envaya Mini or the upcoming RIVA S.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

News: Finally! JBL Charge 2 - 1.4.1 firmwarefix

Finally with the latest firmware the JBL Charge 2 manages to be what it should have been from the very beginning back in September, when it still suffered from teething troubles.
Until now I couldn't fully recommend the JBL Charge 2 without reservations, as the issues were too disturbing and it remained rather a "also-ran" speaker among all the others.
In the meantime there was lots of discussion on Youtube regarding all those problems with many users complaining about their units still to distort, while others claimed to have no problems at all. There were theories established about serial-numbers which would indicate when the unit was manufactured and when it would be without issues. I was enjoying all this similar to reading a crime thriller.
Then finally someone from Japan came up with an undocumented trick to check the currently installed firmware on his JBL Charge 2. He finally claimed that only the latest firmware "1.4.1" would fix all problems, while all firmwares below suffered from this or that DSP-issue.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

News: JBL Flip 3 coming soon - shrinked JBL Charge 2?

It seems Dutch Mediamarkt leaked a video of the upcoming JBL Flip 3, as there has been no official announcement yet.
In contrast to the farting bassreflex port of the previous versions that were not able to produce any bass worth mentioning, the Flip 3 uses the same dual passive radiator design of the Charge 2 and rather looks like a shrinked version of it, but the Flip 3 is claimed to be waterproof with support for wireless pairing of several speakers (maybe up to 3 as the video suggests). I am not quite sure if stereo pairing with 2 speakers is also possible, but this would be great. If the JBL Flip 3 manages to sound as serious as the JBL Charge 2 which is to be assumed as the acoustic design looks very familiar, then the JBL Flip 3 might become a very serious portable speaker and a much better alternative to all this UE junk out there.

It will be available in 8 colors and comes with a handy wrist strap. Of course no information about availability nor price yet, but I guess it will be announced soon and come to the stores this summer.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

First impressions: RIVA (Turbo) S - sneak peek and interview with chief engineer Donald North

I got a visit of RIVA's and ADX' chief engineer Donald North and we had lots of talk about RIVA's current and upcoming products as well as portable speakers in general. I have prepared a short interview with Donald where he talks about the challange of speaker design and finally shows off their upcoming smaller speaker: RIVA S

Monday, May 11, 2015

Coming soon: Oluv's speaker audio database

I would like to briefly introduce the upcoming speaker audio database. All programming work has been meanwhile finished. I also finished the first recordings of most speakers I currently have at home, it will still take some time until I have all the content put together to finally publish everything. Here I just want to give you some information about the idea behind this database and what you can expect from it.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Review: RIVA Turbo X - Vrrooommmm!!!

Despite the sheer number of Bluetooth speakers that flood the market every day, it is still quite seldom that a unit manages to stick out of the whole crowd in some particular way. The B&W T7 stood out because of its funny design and mediocre sound, the Fugoo stood out because of its ruggedness and unique approach to 360° sound, which worked so much better than what UE is trying to sell as 360° and the JBL Charge 2 stood out because of all the artefacts and distortion noises it managed to produce... But now a rather unknown company "ADX" (Audio Design Experts) came up with an own brand called "RIVA" and a first own product, the Turbo X which is a portable battery driven Bluetooth speaker. Jump in to see why the RIVA Turbo X manages to set itself apart from all the rest.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

News: Minirig - now with Bluetooth!

Yes, finally Minirigs brought us their great Minirig with Bluetooth included, something many owners were already asking for from the beginning.

The great thing about the new one: it supports AptX for best streaming quality and 2 of them can be wirelessly paired for stereo sound! Apart from that it is as sturdy and great looking as the old one. It is water resistant and still has the impressive battery life of 8 hours at maximum volume or up to 50 hours at moderate levels! If I think about the UE Boom which dies after 2 hours on top volume, but hardly manages to sound as good as the Minirig...
You can check out how both compare at maximum volume from my video I did last summer, although I was still using the old non-Bluetooth Minirig. The new one is supposed to have even better sound especially at lower levels as according to the engineer there is some bassboost included now, which makes the sound even more full-bodied than before, which also shows up in the specs: while the old Minirig was only rated down to 100Hz the new one should play to 75Hz which is on par with the JBL Charge 2 now.

Let's hope I can get one of the new Bluetooth Minirigs for a test soon...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Music selection for the upcoming speaker comparison tool

For my upcoming speaker comparison tool or interactive database (or however it will be called then) I wanted to cover many modern and representative music-genres that should give you a better idea of how a speaker behaves with this or that kind of music. Jump in to help me finding the right tracks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

$$$ - A short note on my own behalf

First of all I want to thank everyone who was willing to press the donate button in the meantime. As you can see I had added a "donate"-widget at the top of this site some time ago for everyone who finds my work helpful and who wants to support me. Any small amount will help me to continue the work on this blog.

Although I am not a big fan of advertisments many will probably also have noticed that there are some more ads in the blog-layout now. In future I will also add affiliate links to various amazon-stores which will be just a way to help me cover a fraction of the costs this blog is causing.

Just to let you know, I am not getting rich with this, I started this as fun project in my spare time and because of my passion for music and portable devices. Every amount of money I "earned" was put back into the blog by buying new speakers, new recording and measuring equipment and lately paying the programmer who is currently coding the new "interactive audio database":

To tell the truth I currently have more financial loss because of all this than benefit, not even mentioning the time which goes into this. Meanwhile I am even not quite sure if I will be ever able to finish everything as I liked, because there is still lots of time to be put inside to prepare all the recordings etc. My family is already protesting against this...

But with this tool I really hoped to be able to create something unique and helpful for everyone who is interested in portable speakers as much as I am and I think the new audio database could become a first important resource for everyone who wants to get a first impression of how this speaker compares against another one.
I put lots of thought into the setup to make the recordings as consistent as possible and the intention is to complement the database with new speakers continuously, although please understand that I cannot afford buying any new speaker just because someone asks me to do so. Neither do I expect any of the big boys like JBL, Bose, Sony etc. sending me speakers for free, but I welcome any loaner of anyone who would like to have their speakers recorded and added to the list. Please be patient a bit. I have already got some cool music from great musicians to be used for this tool, I am still waiting for a response from other artists if they would like to contribute. When the final playlist covering many different genres is finally finished, I can start with the recordings and then publish this tool online.

Thanks to everyone for your support and let's look ahead at even some more interesting gadgets in future!

Your, Oluv!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Music: essentially worth listening

I have been working on something new for some months now and there will be a big surprise coming soon on this site, so please be patient.
Along the way I also contacted various musicians for the right content and would like to present a unique artist who gave me permission for using his music for my speaker comparisons:

Soulpersona with Digisoul records already released some outstanding artists like Carl Hudson who I presented last year with his "Zoology for Martians". But Soulpersona did some brilliant own recordings together with Princess Freesia as well which you have to check out if you are into electronic R'n'B/Funk groove with some deeper inspirations taken from the Discofunk/Boogie sound of 80s.

The first album by "Soulperfreesia", which is an "Amalgamation" of Soulpersona and Princess Freesia is still from last year, but nevertheless sounds fresh and funky even today and should be played at any event where real groove is in great demand.

"FateFul Attraction" by Princess Freesia is more of a "solo-album" and might appear a bit more "mainstream", but still bears the strong sound signature of Soulpersona who was responsible for all the production work.

Here comes "Fast Forward" from Soulpersona featuring Princess Freesia again, the most recent release from last month with great pounding production work and one track featuring legendary vocalist Jocelyn Brown and a funky disco instumental with Carl Hudson playing a spacy lead-solo. One of my favorite albums currently which gets played just in a repeat-loop.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Denon Envaya Mini teardown...

Mark, a good friend of mine finally took the risk to open his Denon Envaya Mini. For all those interested about the drivers and their specs (the drivers are rated at 4W btw.) but also those who want to know what kind of battery is built in and if it can be easily replaced, you must have a look at his video where he managed to tear his Envaya Mini nearly completely apart. Of course he also reassembled it again and made it work just like before:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: UE Megaboom - too much boom to be good?

Happy new year with hopefully many new happy speakers! Therefore let's immediately start with the first one, the new UE Megaboom that was just released recently.
The Megaboom should hopefully improve on many aspects of the smaller UE Boom promising bigger sound, bigger bass and better features out of a bigger body. I was never a big friend of the original UE Boom. Although it had some great potential, it failed completely on overall sound quality and I also found it to be overpriced too much for what it offered. Now the Megaboom seems to continue with this fashion to be priced higher than the competition and equal to many other comparable portable "permium" speakers thus at 300$/€ it competes directly with current offerings like those from Beats with their Pill XL, or the Infinity One and the Bose Soundlink III maybe even the slightly more expensive B&O Beoplay A2 which has a similar 360° sound concept. Come in to see if Ultimate Ears can really keep the promise of offering something outstanding this time.