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(Image: Matthew Miller/ZDNet)
Retail package of the blue color speaker
I have tested a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers over the years; you can view a wrap up of many of them in this Gift Guide post. I don't travel without a portable speaker, and I think I just found my next traveling companion in the Divoom Bluetune Solo speaker.
You may think of turning the other way after seeing a speaker available for just $49.99, but stick around and check out my gallery and video walkthrough of this speaker. The sound is surprisingly good, the build quality is great, and you can use the Bluetune Solo as both a speaker and a speakerphone.
The Bluetune Solo is available in black, blue, white, red, and orange. I was sent a blue one to evaluate, but may have to pick up an orange one or two soon, since I am a fan of the color orange. Given that you can daisy chain these speakers, and they are available for a decent price, you may want to pick up a couple and improve your sound experience.
The Bluetune Solo comes in a small clear plastic box with the speaker and a USB cable that also serves to connect to non-Bluetooth devices with an audio jack. The cable is also used to charge up the speaker via the micro-USB port.
The on/off switch is found on the bottom of the speaker with rubber pads to keep the speaker from sliding around on your table. You will find a 3.5mm headset jack and micro-USB port around the base of the speaker, where there are also openings showing blue glowing lights.
On the top, you will find a single button that is used for pairing, toggling the Bluetooth connection, and accepting/hanging up telephone calls. That's right, this portable, inexpensive speaker comes with a microphone so you can use it as a speakerphone.
Specifications of the Divoom Bluetune Solo include:
Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
Output power: 4 watts
Driver size: 50mm micro speaker at 4 Ohms
Signal to noise: 80dB
Microphone sensitivity: -36db
500mAh rechargeable battery with reported life of 8 hours continuous play
Dimensions of 60x60x68mm and 230 grams.
You will see X-Bass branding on the top, and I understand this is a technology designed to provide deep bass in a compact size. Even when I had my smartphone cranked to full volume, there was very little distortion, and the sound was still quite good.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Bluetune Solo, and couldn't believe it when I saw it was available for just $49.99. I have seen it on Newegg for as low as $29.99. I may be picking these up for gifts in the future, as they offer a solid Bluetooth speaker experience.