Monday, April 20, 2015

Product review: BOHM MATE Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker with DuoLink

Let me start by saying that these speakers have a nice sound. They sound rich and they can handle base. I really like the surround sound effect I am able to get with them. They worked well streaming music from my phone via bluetooth. I liked the sound so much that I decided to hook them up wired to my den TV and this is where I ran into some limitations. I would describe setup with two speakers as quirky (see details below), but the main issue is that the duo link introduced sound delay by a second or so and everything looks and sounds like a dubbed movie where the lips are not synchronized with the words.

Duo link introduces a bit of complexity into set up. I hope my notes will add additional details to the manual and save someone time.

Power indicator light has several meanings:
(1) Solid red means the speaker is charging. You can charge and play at the same time.
(2) Slow flashing blue means the speaker is on and active.
(3) Fast red and blue means it is in pairing mode

The LED ring around the on/off button has several meanings.
(1) Blue ring means bluetooth mode
(2) Green ring means aux wired mode

You need to hold on/off button down for a few second to turn on and off.

Bluetooth connection

To connect the speakers to a mobile device I paired the first speaker. Speaker appeared in bluetooth as "Mate". The speaker was not detected by my older tablet that does not support Bluetooth 4.0, but no problem with the newer devices.

Once I connected and tested a single speaker I paired the two speakers together. First, I turned on the second speaker, then pressed "M" twice on the first speaker. The speaker power indicator starts blinking red and blue. The I pressed "M" twice on the second speaker. The manual is not clear whether you need to press twice at the same time or not, and initially I tried pressing both buttons at once but that did not work. Pressing first button twice and then the second button twice worked. The speakers have an audio indicator that it worked. This operation does not need to be repeated if the speakers turned off and then turned on, they continue to be linked.

For the mobile devices that have Bluetooth 4.0 the set up was fairly easy and the sound is excellent.

Aux connection

To set up the Aux connection with the TV took several attempts. It is possible that this was because I already had a bluetooth connection set up, I am not sure. Later I discovered that I can delete the bluetooth connection by pressing and holding Prev and Next buttons together for 2 seconds at the same time. Both speakers need to have this operation done to remove history from both speakers.

Connecting the first speaker was easy. I put an audio cable from TV into the AUX port of the first speaker, turn on the speaker, and hit "M" once to switch to AUX mode. It worked well, there were no delays.

Then I tried pairing the second speaker. First I repeated what worked for me in the Bluetooth mode: double press "M" on both speakers. This did not turn on the second speaker. Then I tried connecting two speakers with an audio cable using headphones connections on the first speaker and aux port on the second speaker. The instruction say that inserting cable into the headphone port turns off disables the first speaker but the speaker can be reactivated by holding "M" button on the first speaker for 5 seconds. This did not work for me right away. However, as I removed the audio cable both speakers became active.

So the final set up I have is the first speaker is connected by an audio cable to the TV and the two speakers are paired to each other via bluetooth. I have both speakers plugged into the power continuously as I wanted them to be permanently hooked up to the TV. I hear no interference when I am using the speakers while they are charging.

This set up was not easy, the sound is excellent, but there is a small delay so when people on TV speak their lips do not match the sound.

What can be better?
It would be better for watching TV if duo link did not introduce a slight delay.

Pairing dance could have been simpler. Maybe having more buttons rather than overloading one button to do so many things would have made things more straightforward.

Each speaker comes with a AC converter plug. Each plug has only one USB port and each plug covers up 2 slots. It would have made more sense if the AC plug that came with the speakers had two (or more) USB outlets. I am using a different AC converter as I did not want to give up 4 slots for 2 speakers.

Overall, my experiences average out at 4 stars - below expectations for TV and excellent for music on mobile devices. In attached video I show the sound of one, then both speakers. I have short snippets from bluetooth operation with my phone and then wired mode with my TV.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

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