Thursday, January 30, 2014

Product review: August SE50 Bluetooth Speaker System with FM Radio

The August Bluetooth Boombox with FM Radio combines an FM radio with a Bluetooth speaker for your mobile device. It also comes with an audio cable, so it can work as a speaker for devices that do not have bluetooth. The Boombox is 12"L x 4"L x 4"W and it weight 2.11 pounds (or 2.15 pounds if you count the power supply). It has a 39.5" metal antenna (the collapsible type) that extends from the back of the radio. It provides excellent reception for the radio but you need to allow 39.5" of vertical space when placing it to take the full advantage of its power.

Its finish is plastic which is made to look like dark wood. It runs on AC power and does not do have a battery. On the back there is on/off switch, which allows you to turn off electricity draw for the display if you are not using the unit all the time. The display is only used when using the radio, otherwise it just displays the model number SE50.

The FM antenna is 39.5" and this fairly long length gave me an excellent reception for a large number of stations. The radio allows you to save 10 different stations as preset. The display in the front of the radio shows you the station and as well as the preset number. The only thing I wish the radio did that it does not do is have an automatic scan function. I had to hit FM+ or FM- to scan the entire FM range manually to find the stations I wanted to store as my pre-sets. If you want to listen to one of the presets you need to click through all presets preceding the one you are interested in, there is no way to select a specific preset directly.

The bluetooth pairing worked easily with my iPadMini. The pairing was easy, and the settings was remembered when when I turned off and turned on devices back on.

The speakers plug into the AC source with a cord which is 59" long. The speakers are power by 15V power supply and can be made quite loud. In my video I turn up the volume to the max for a demo and sitting next to it during the test was not pleasant due to the loudness.

The speakers did fairly well at most ranges with the exception for the deepest bass, where the sound became a bit muddy. I use Bach's Fugue in D minor as my stress test for the bass because it is easy to see how different speakers handle bass by listening for a short snippet of this music.

Overall, I am pleased with August Boombox. I've set it up in the laundry room so now I have something good to listening to as I fold fresh laundry! It gets good FM reception and I can listen to Pandora without having to carry my tablet with me.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

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