Gadgetslab: Sony SRS BTV5

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Sony SRS BTV5SPECIFICATIONS:

Driver: 34mm

Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0 (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP/HFP) & NFC compatible 3.5mm audio port (cable not included)

Battery: Li-ion; 5 hours playback time

Dimensions: Approx 66×67.6x65mm

Weight: Approx 135g

WHAT’S HOT:

  • Loud enough to fill a small room and/or personal listening
  • Portable
  • Aesthetically pleasing

WHAT’S NOT:

  • Shape is hard to pack
  • Audio jack not included
  • Needs more bass

BOTTOMLINE:

If you have money to spare and have an NFC device, it’s worth the buy.

Sony SRS BTV5 1

The more wires, the better-said no one ever. In this digital world we live in, wireless connectivity is no longer optional-it’s a requirement. We got hold of one of the two portable wireless NFC (Near Field Communication) and Bluetooth speakers that Sony recently introduced, and we gave it a good workout during our recent company outing.

Because of the sheer number of portable speakers available in the market today, manufacturers have literally been coming out with devices in all shapes and sizes just to find their niche. The SRS-BTVS is one of the newest devices to be made available in our market, and it comes in about the size and shape of a tennis ball.

The core of the spherical device is a 34mm diameter speaker with an impedance of 6 ohms, and an output of 1.2 watts. It makes use of Sony’s 360-degree Circle Sound audio diffusion technology to deliver sound to each and every corner of a room. Located at the very top of the speaker is a square-ish logo that is actually the NFC tag. On one side of the device are the volume buttons, and on the opposite end is the mic and answer button for the speakerphone function. Lifting a small door at the back reveals a www.gadgetsmagazine.com.ph Gadgetslab .indd 35 microUSB slot for charging, as well as a 35mm audio port for wired connection to a music source (audio jack not included).

Underneath the device is a sliding power switch that also disables the NFC pairing when clicked to the left and prompts manual pairing when slid to the right and held for two seconds. Also located there are the indicator lights that cue you when your device is charging (steady orange) and pairing via Bluetooth (flashing blue when pairing, steady blue once paired).

During a recent company outing, three of us took turns streaming songs from our personal devices, and it was really easy to do. Pairing multiple devices via Bluetooth didn’t require us to bring out the accompanying manual. Connecting via NFC, did, however, for the fact that not all NFC devices are coded equally. While the Sony Xperia Z paired flawlessly as expected, other NFC-compatible devices we had required us to download NFC Easy Connect from Google Play to use the feature. While the SRS-BTVS’s 1.2-watt speaker wasn’t loud enough to fill the entire rest house we had for the day, it was able to entertain those of us (nerds) who stayed indoors, plopped in front of our laptops (with industrial fans on full blast).

Using my MacBook Air USB port, it took about three hours to charge the Li-ion battery until the orange pilot light when out. The fresh charge gave it almost five hours of wireless play time paired with my iPod Nano.

The matte black unit we received was cleverly packaged in a recyclable egg carton-looking box, and labeled “Free Range Music;’ and came with a microUSB-to-USB cord as well as mesh carrying case. We’ve seen it in a more utilitarian packaging so we assume that that is what it will look like on the shelves. The SRS-BTVS is available in Black, White, Blue and Vivid Pink and is priced at PHP 4,999.00.

Overall, the SRS-BTVS is a nifty device to have for those who want to listen to their music on the go without having to worry about cumbersome cables. It produces good sound quality, even at maximum volume. It’s size and weight makes the device ultra-portable, although it’s round shape makes it a bittricky to pack, and impossible to carry in one’s pocket. It’s perfect for out of-town trips or those impromptu gatherings with friends that involve certain intoxicating libations. Although it’s a bit more expensive than other portable Bluetooth speakers in the market, its NFC connectivity is well worth the convenience.

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First published in Gadgets Magazine, June 2013

Words by Mika Fernandez-David