Bluetooth Speakers

If you fancy listening to music on your smart phone there's far better ways than using the built in speakers.

They're called Bluetooth speakers and they come in all shapes and sizes. I've seen them shaped like traditional speakers and in all manner of other shapes including Doctor Who's TARDIS.

They connect to your smart phone, digital music player or tablet via Bluetooth radio, and can also connect via a physical cable with 3.5 mm jacks at either end.

Bluetooth speakers deliver a far better music experience than the tiny built in speakers on your smart phone, or whatever other device you have digital music stored on, and like most things two is better than one. You can connect two together to get a better sound and this is called daisychaining.

Power comes from either plugging the Bluetooth speaker into a personal computer or the mains via a USB cable to charge the on board rechargeable battery, or if it hasn't got one directly from the main power supply from the electrical socket on the wall.

The output of a Bluetooth speaker can vary from one room filling to house filling or more so.

If you want to buy one there's two basic rules to remember.

When it comes to make, model and price you get what you pay for. You should also always try the model you are considering with your own music before you buy. At entry level Logitech makes the Logitech X100 Mobile Wireless Speaker ($79.99) in four bold colours and the X300 Mobile Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ($99.90) in blue, pink and brown. More upmarket is Logitech's Ultimate Ears brand. There's the entry level UE Mini Boom ($99.99) and the super funky cylindrical UE Boom ($199.99), which is available in a range of funky colour options.

The Logitech range are more than adequate for most uses.

If you want something a little more rugged you could turn to a Braven.

The BRV-1, at $99.99, is a nice waterproof speaker with plenty of punch. Its bigger brother, the BRV-X at $229, is twice the size and is also water proof. Both come with a screw top which covers their USB ports and other electronics to keep the water out. So if you're going to be partying outside, sometimes in inclement weather, these are ideal for you.

Back indoors. Bose is a high end manufacturer. It has Bluetooth speakers starting at $219 for the Soundlink Colour Bluetooth Speaker.

The Soundlink Mini comes in at $339, and the larger Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker III comes in at $549. But the other market Bose plays in is full on wi-fi connected sound systems which start at $999 and must remain inside.

Alternatively, if you want something just for home, you could try Sonos. Its speakers are wi-fi connected, rather than Bluetooth, but do much the same thing as their Bluetooth counterparts. Except that its various models of speakers, the Play:1, Play:3 and Play:5, are designed for different sized rooms and scenarios and are designed to work with other Sonos accessories in a joined system. So if you wanted to you could have the same song play from your Apple iDevice or Google Android device simultaneously on a Sonos speaker in every room. Wakey wakey, rise and shine.

Whatever your purpose and budget there's always something you can make a song and dance about.

Need A Nerd

Need A Nerd, 201 Pakowhai Rd, Hastings, Hawke's Bay, 4120, New Zealand