Tech News on G4
Bluetune Bean: a truly portable wireless speaker
Oct 21, 2013
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada
There's no shortage of small portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, but the Divoom Bluetune Bean with a built in loop and a supplied carabiner is designed so you can carry it along with you anywhere. All you need to do is clip it onto your bike, belt, purse or backpack and you're good to go.
When I first came across the Bluetune Bean, without any point of reference, I thought for a minute that it was a mini wireless speaker you attach to your keychain. Upon further investigation, I discovered at 68mmx45mm92mm that it was not ultra mini, but still small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
It has a fun and funky design that’s almost bubble like and comes in six vibrant colours, each with a contrasted coloured loop. It has a rounded top and more or less a flat bottom, so that it would sit nicely on a desk or a tabletop. When attached to your backpack, for example, it can sit flush with your straps and doesn't have any hard protruding edges to interfere with your movement. In fact, the one with the red perforated rubberized speaker grille and black loop resembles a ladybug, although I think the company may have been thinking about Jack and the Bean Stalk when they named it.
Beyond its sound output capabilities, it also acts as a speakerphone with a built-in microphone. It has minimalist design. No fancy dials, just a simple blue LED, a power button/pairing button and call answer button clearly marked but cleverly masked under its rubber coat. On the end is a micro-USB port accessible by pulling out the matching rubber stopper.
There are no additional onboard music controls so if you needed to go forward, back or adjust the volume you would have to return to your source. Although undocumented, I did discover that you can mute the music by pushing the call answer button, whether or not a call was coming in. This makes perfect sense since you’d obviously want to mute your tunes in the event of a call.
Bluetune Bean is a great little ultra-portable wireless external speaker for those on the go. It’s certainly not a boom box type speaker, but its built-in 50mm micro driver does put out a crisp clean sound, albeit a little light on the bass. It does support A2DP Stereo (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), so it can stream stereo audio from its source, but with a single speaker you certainly won't get any stereo separation - if that's what you are looking for. Interesting enough, I also discovered when I attempted to pair it with a MacBook Air, that it offered me both mono and stereo pairing options.
It has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that’s designed to be good for six hours of use and recharges in about two hours.
Bluetune Bean by Divoom is Bluetooth 3.0 compatible, so it will work with most Bluetooth enabled tablets, smartphones and notebooks. It comes with a micro-USB charging cable and carabiner (clip) and retails for $29.99. It’s available directly from Divoom and through their Amazon Store.
Rating: 4 / 5
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