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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.


First of all the RIVA S is finally close to being production ready. RIVA managed to sort out all software bugs, and they are still fine tuning the speaker to bring it to the market in mid-October. I had a meeting with RIVA's main engineer Donald North and managed to record a short interview about the current status:


Another interesting and comparable portable speaker comes from German speaker company Canton. They announced both the Musicbox XS which is quite similar to the Bose Soundlink Mini, and the larger Musicbox S which will be released later this year. The Musicbox XS is already available and I will hopefully be able to check out soon how this compares against the Bose and some other speakers in its class.
Onkyo has announced 5 different speakers starting with the high resolution X3, X6 and X9 but also more travel-friendly T3 and T1 speakers. So far only the X6 and the larger X9 have been shown on the show, although the X3 already managed to appear in the media earlier this year. I have not seen any images of the X3 and T3/T1 speakers yet, but all of them could be pretty promising.



After the Kilburn, Marshall showed with the upcoming Stockwell that they really take the portable speakers market seriously. The Stockwell is much smaller and rather resembles the first generation of the Bose Soundlink, especially when equipped with the optional foldable leather-cover which also acts as a stand, if you like retro-design this is definitely the perfect speaker for you, I am sure it will sound great as well after having heard the Kilburn:
AudioPro Addon T3 is a new portable speaker from the swedish company, which claim to allow 12 hours of battery life at maximum volume for the Addon T3. This would be definitely class-leading. According to some chat with a swedish owner, the Addon T3 should sound considerably more mature and refined than the comparable JBL Xtreme. Would be interesting to hear the Addon T3 in person.


Teufel from Berlin announced several different portable speakers starting from the smallest Bamster XS to the new Bamster Pro and Rockster XS, also interesting could be the upcoming Boomster XL, which is already available for preorder in contrast to the other new Teufel announcements. The Boomster XL is a blown up heavy-weight version of the normal Boomster, which I already showed in some videos and that I will review soon. I hope to get the Boomster XL as well to see how much sound you can get out of 10kg.
KEF seem to have been late to the party and announced their first portable bluetooth speaker KEF Muo after the IFA, maybe to gain even more attention and not get lost completely unheard. The Muo could be a promising little speaker with stereo pairing to another one, but equipped with 2 drivers and one passive radiators it doesn't seem to improve much on all the existing designs that already exist on the market. But it will be definitely one of the most expensive ones, this is for sure!

There were some other promising appearences which I would just like to mention, e.g. the Trendwoo "Kraken" seemed to be a pretty decent sounding mini-speaker, Philips showed the new BT6600 which sounded much more serious than its predecessor the BT6000 and the Fugoo XL should finally be available soon, after I write this. I hope to get the chance to hear this on as well.

PS. yes, I am aware of the new UE Boom 2, but I doubt anyone wants to hear it being even louder but still sounding the same as before?

If you discovered some other interesting "Boombas" at the IFA please let me know ;-)


33 comments:

  1. Will marshall stockwell, canton musicbox xs or anything from Teufel be comparable to riva s sound quality wise? or will riva s top them all?

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  2. Canton Musicbox XS vs Bose Soundlink Mini II !! sounds promising ! I'd be very interested by the new Onkyo ones.

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  3. Ok! So much good bluetooth speakers ..... and no one with a special mount for a bicycle!(( except for the pitiful craftworks from China ( I do not understand why none of these of monsters like JBL, JVC, Bose, etc. not thinks about millions of cyclists who with pleasure would have brought the music in the ride! For example, JBL Flip 3 - It has all of the necessary qualities for this - good power, good sound, small size and weight... but I do not have any thoughts how to fix it on the steering wheel or the stem of a bicycle! But do not tell me about the bottle holder - this is not the best place for music system! I have Tommyca 3100 - it's good sound system, but it need to change... I would buy another one the same ... but unfortunately they do not produce ( Realy sorry((( Oluv, what you think about that? Sorry for my english! I'm from Russia!)

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    1. yeah, you're right ! If I was young, I would probalbly use my portable speaker on my bicycle. There's for sure many chinese crap around the internet, the only one fixation system I've found is for Beats here in France for example :http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00164478.html

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    2. I know about Fugoo Sport, it's have special mount for bike, but it's very expansive and hard weight that JBL Flip 3!( And have not so good mount fot bike( Now i think about same variants for mounting JBL Flip 3 on the bike! Very sorry, but JBL Corporation not want to think about that!(

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    3. there would be one option that would work for every speaker, which would be to design a 3d printable fixture and print that out. Using a service like 3dhubs.com for example makes the actual printing rather affordable and accessible to anyone as you don't need your own a 3D printer.
      it would definitely be an interesting project

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  4. There's a bluetooth speakers test in the last november 2015 issue from the magazine What-Hifi. Audio Pro Addon T3 is the winner of the contest. I would be curious to know your impressions compared to their conclusions for each speaker. In the test, there were : Audio Pro Addon T3, Bose Soundlink mini II, Fugoo Tough, BenQ TreVolo, JBL Extreme, Ministry of Sound Audio M, Cambridge Audio G5 and Onkyo X6.

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    1. Yes, the T7 sounds very good indeed, very natural and flat frequency response, one of the best sounding portable speakers I have tried so far, not very loud but much more refined sound than Bose and also JBL Xtreme, but not very suitable for outdoor use, seems a bit sensitive and also despite being smaller than the Xtreme it is not as easy to stow away. I will prepare a video of the T3 soon as I got a demo unit yesterday.

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    2. I meant T3 of course not T7

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    3. Thanks for the reply. The T3 seems hard to find for the moment, The most bizarre thing is that the price of the T3 seems to be the same as the price for the T9 (2290 Kr) in Sweden.

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    4. By the way, do you happen to own the Whathifi magazine? I wonder about the conclusion of their test? Which speaker did take second place etc? How did they argument about the T3?

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  7. The KEF Muo looks amazing!

    KEF has said that their Uni-Q technology is one thing that makes their speaker stand out from the others. "Our High/Mid range driver is a specially designed version of KEF's patented Uni-Q driver that is capable of delivering sound radiated from a single point source, as well as greatly increasing the area of dispersion for the listeners. This means the sound is spread more evenly around the room creating a greater physical area where listeners achieve the best listening experience.

    At KEF our goal when engineering and developing a speaker is always aimed at reproducing the sound without any coloration. Our signature KEF sound is built around reproducing the sound as true to the artists intentions as possible. "

    Are you planning to review this speaker in the near future?

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    1. yes, I am in contact with KEF Germany and as soon as review units are available, they are planning to send me one.

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  8. It seems the good stuff like AIWA EXOS9 and AudioPro Addon T3 is not planned for countries such as France or Germany.....

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    1. AudioPro has a distribution for Austria, that's where I got my unit from, I am not sure about France or Germany though.

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  9. I think the kef one will be great. What hi fi gave it 5/5 stars but they also gave b&w t7 5 stars which seem to sound boring when listening to it. I have only heard your youtube clips of it. So you can question what hi fi's credibilety on that one(what hi fi and b&w both british also kef), but another reviewer that i trust more is an nordic one (ljud och bild) from norway and sweden that also gave muo 6/6 stars but gave b&w t7 only 4/6 stars(same person that reviewed) and he said it sounded boring. He also compares them in this muo review. Heres a link its in swedish but use google translate

    Kef muo review http://www.ljudochbild.se/test/hogtalare/kef-muo
    B&w t7 review http://www.ljudochbild.se/test/hogtalare/bw-t7

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    1. whathifi also gave the Cambridge Audio Go 5 stars, although it's total crap. I am still curious about the Muo, but Lasse gives a hint that the Muo doesn't have much bass. It should at least be on par with the Denon Envaya Mini to sound good. But with 3-4 times the price it should. I hope I willl get a unit, then I can say for sure how good it is and hopefully do some comparisons.

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  10. Oluv it would be great to here you try soundcast melody in a youtube video

    http://www.digitaltrends.com/wireless-speaker-dock-reviews/soundcast-melody-review/

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    1. it's 4kg, twice the weight of the Xtreme or Fugoo XL. but an interesting speaker for sure.

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    2. I am looking forward to hearing you try the muo.
      And here is another review again in swedish on the soundcast melody, if you want to read. Yes it seems really great.

      http://www.ljudochbild.se/test/hogtalare/soundcast-melody

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    3. here you have the Soundcast Melody:
      https://youtu.be/_pgIvA71QeU

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    4. Hello i have now whatched the video, thats great thanks. I thought it sounded alright when you turned it up a bit at 3 minutes in. To bad about the distortion at max volume, seems like a most to turn down the volume a step or two. 360 sound worked well i think. I wouldent buy it myself, to expensive.

      I read about an interesting thing you can connect to any speaker and make it a portable bluetooth speaker called the vamp
      i thought you might found it interesting.

      http://thevamp.co.uk/
      http://www.ljudochbild.se/nyheter/hogtalare/ge-dina-hogtalare-tradlos-bluetooth (in swedish)

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  11. I want to be able to bring one with me while I'm on trips. I have an Android device that supports NFC but I'm not sure how that actually works even with NFC compatible speakers. There are bluetooth ones but I don't know which one's better.

    If you're unsure of particular models then brand names will do fine.
    wifi speakers

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    1. The ones with NFC also always have bluetooth.
      The NFC Chip is only used to pair the phone and the speaker, so it's just a bit more convenient to hook everything up. I wouldn't neccessarily say that a speaker needs to have it. It doesn't affect anything besides making pairing easier.

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  12. What about Onkyo X9? Now it's March '16 and there aren't reviews anywhere yet!

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    1. I did a review on Youtube, check my videos please.

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  13. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.
    creative music

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