Portable speakers

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
17,580
Location
My own little Idaho
I found myself standing at the portable speakers in a local Best Buy this afternoon looking at Bose products. I had read about how life like their little blue tooth speakers are. Eh, too boomy to me. I mean for music with a lot of punch they're great. But for jazz and piano or accoustic guitar they sounded muddy. Mids were too off tune and highs all but missing at low (think office) volumes. But nearby there were some JBL speakers that sounded way more natural with a smidge of low end without being boomy. Highs are just about ideal and mids not bad at all. And they cost less than Bose. So I bought this little 5" long (or tall depending on how you place it) cylinder called Flip 6.
F156F279-D070-4872-8CBC-E955BE83F44D.jpeg

The fancy box it came in.

FCA3DC4D-D963-4D81-9672-6DFA9123E426.jpeg

An inkpen next to it for size comparison.

At my job there are days I go into report writing mode and like to play music through my pass through ear buds but.... by song 2 somebody wants to tell me something. Even though I have the volume at a whisper and ear buds in pass through it's still odd carrying on a conversation so I wanted a good sounding speaker. I had some Best Buy cash back so, why not? They're like a tiny little Bazooka brand speaker with full range ability.

When you push the volume up or down the battery meter lights up showing remaining charge. The up/down are like brail with down being a minus, up a plus. There's a "loudness" button they call party boost and a play/skip button. Push once for go or pause, twice quickly for skip. It can be used through a phone so it pauses for answering the phone if you're into that stuff.

I'll use it in the shed, at the office, while grilling, and lots of other stuff. Right now Foghat live is playing through it via an mp3 player at a volume you can talk to a person next to you and it sounds great. Absolutely amazing little piece of technology. One to the right and one to the left would be the ultimate but sitting in front of you aint bad at all. No sound stage presence to speak of but I can live with that in the office.
 

PhotonWrangler

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
13,619
Location
In a handbasket
Just watched a video teardown review of this unit. It looks well-made and from what I can hear on the video it sounds good also. There are two speakers inside, one handling the low to mid frequencies and a tweeter for handling the highs.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
17,580
Location
My own little Idaho
Made it to the 3rd commercial. It was pretty impressive how user serviceable that little thing is. Some serious micro-craftsmanship involved in the initial assembly of parts. Thanks for the video PW. The music kept me interested that far into it but I don't think I'm equipped to repair it if ever needed.

I read about their equilizer app for the but think it sounds ok as is so I won't be using that.
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
4,409
Location
New Mexico, USA
Interesting.
You know some of you with compact Bluetooth speakers might experiment with position affecting sound dynamics. Placing it near a hard wall on a counter or perhaps better into a corner can give the sound depth and more defined bottom end.
 

PhotonWrangler

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
13,619
Location
In a handbasket
Interesting.
You know some of you with compact Bluetooth speakers might experiment with position affecting sound dynamics. Placing it near a hard wall on a counter or perhaps better into a corner can give the sound depth and more defined bottom end.
A long time ago I found that if I suspended a speaker cabinet in the air rather than having it sit on a hard surface, it dramatically improved the clarity of the low frequencies. I think this was because a speaker that sits on a hard surface winds up using that surface as a mushy low-end resonator, which kind of distorts the sound.
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
4,409
Location
New Mexico, USA
Good point, but tiny portable speakers trying to make long wave sound can benefit from some defined reflection. Our countertops are quartz, thus adding nothing I can hear.
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
4,409
Location
New Mexico, USA
In the mid 70’s Dad and I got a tour of the Klipsch facility in Arkansas. The man himself went to the same university as my electrical engineer grandfather way back when. I first met him at a homecoming at what is now New Mexico State. Paul Klipsch invited us for a visit to Hope. What fun, what a character. Although I never was a fan of folded corner horn technology, it was instructive. His answers to my questions were expansive. His work area was a sight.

And speaker placement played a significant role on my favorite speakers, Magnepan.

 

Gimpy00Wang

b0rk, b0rk, b0rk
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Messages
841
Interesting.
You know some of you with compact Bluetooth speakers might experiment with position affecting sound dynamics. Placing it near a hard wall on a counter or perhaps better into a corner can give the sound depth and more defined bottom end.

1000% yes! I have an older Flip (4 I think) and it's a great little speaker (for what it is). You can really get it to punch above its weight class by experimenting with placement. We have a built-in bookshelf where it sounds particularly fuller...still detailed and not boomy.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
17,580
Location
My own little Idaho
Resonance can be a good thing or a bad thing.

My Klipsch KG2 speakers were/are one of those miracle portable things back in the 80's where they made the sound of a large speaker from a bookshelf-ish speaker by using a rear passive radiator and really dense particle board panels. Good bass at low volume using an 8" woofer. Where they were placed made a big difference.

So with that said I noticed the JBL stood on end on my maple table due to resonance added a bit of boomey texture I did not care for so I set it on a ceramic coaster and the issue was solved. My desk at work is cheap particle board so I'll find something solid to set it on.
 

aginthelaw

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
2,579
Location
NJ, USA
I got the marshall emberton. It’s a beautiful piece but it does have some boomy bass. There’s complaints about the mids but so far they seem reasonable. I wish i saw this sooner though. The new emberton speaker comes with small upgrades and an app to control it
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
17,580
Location
My own little Idaho
About a month later:
I found that placing the speaker on its side on its box soaks up the boomey aspect vs setting it on a wooden object that adds to the bass. Don't know why. Perhaps because the cardboard box doesn't resonate at all?

I bought a 2nd one this week for home use. The other one is at work. I'll try the 2 paired at some point to check stereo. However the way to pair them has to be done through the app and my music player is not internet ready so adding the app that it won't be possible.

At home I set it on a maple table and BOOM BOOM was ridiculous so I stuck it onto a counter top and it cleaned up nicely. I was listening to a Wang Chung album that's pretty boomy with muddy mids from the studio recording. (points on the curve with songs like Dance Hall Days.)

On its side or stood really doesn't matter. Thing is the farther away you get from it the better the bass sounds. Like up close you hear the resonance of the little cabinet the speaker array is housed in, which adds some boom. Get 10 feet away and you hear a bass guitar or low note, even at low volume but the mids are not clouded by the resonance. So having it some 6 feet or so (2m) provides a nice sound.

I tried the equilizer, which is a low/mid/high. I turned down the bass about 25%, the mid down about 10% and highs up about 10% and found that even more pleasing at 6 feet away sitting on the counter top. On the maple table the bass had to be nearly all the way down. But that had a bad effect on the mids I could not fix. Oh, and that only works using the app too, unlike my Sony MF 1000 ear buds that the equilizer feature changes the sound all the time, app or not. So that was a bit disappointing.

Overall it sounds pretty good though. You just have to be careful what you set it on. Right now Seal "crazy" is playing. His sorta baritone voice and a strong bass line sounds pretty good without being muddy. Thomas Dolby "she blinded me with science" was recorded with a less than ideal bottom end but on the JBL you actually hear some bass and the crisp, over the top highs aren't so sharp. So yeah, there are compromises based on how the music or pod cast was recorded. But to me the algorithms JBL chose sound way better than the Bose speaker this size.
 

SamKormak

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Dec 8, 2022
Messages
8
Location
USA
I found that placing the speaker on its side on its box soaks up the boomey aspect vs setting it on a wooden object that adds to the bass. Don't know why. Perhaps because the cardboard box doesn't resonate at all?
Maybe larger object(wood) resonates at lower frequency, hence why it's bassy. Cardboard box is thin(and I assume it's empty) so it creates air pillow below, hence reducing vibration and boomey part? Hard to tell, I ain't no scientist :D
 

KITROBASKIN

Flashlight Enthusiast
CPF Supporter
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
4,409
Location
New Mexico, USA
In the mid 70’s Dad and I got a tour of the Klipsch facility in Arkansas. The man himself went to the same university as my electrical engineer grandfather way back when. I first met him at a homecoming at what is now New Mexico State. Paul Klipsch invited us for a visit to Hope. What fun, what a character. Although I never was a fan of folded corner horn technology, it was instructive. His answers to my questions were expansive. His work area was a sight.

And speaker placement played a significant role on my favorite speakers, Magnepan.

Written on this screwdriver is “Stolen from Paul Klipsch” that he gave me. It was well used from his work area.
 

Attachments

  • 83FBF1D6-38D7-499D-AA93-7B1D05836F56.jpeg
    83FBF1D6-38D7-499D-AA93-7B1D05836F56.jpeg
    299 KB · Views: 10

Latest posts

Top