There was once a time, not so long ago, when people either had bang up to date, modern-looking sound systems, or they owned older stuff that they had inherited from their gran. These days, you can have both; a modern, tech-packed speaker that merely looks like something your gran would've owned. We review one such device, the Intempo Classic Retro Reverb Bluetooth Speaker.
In a nutshell, Intempo have taken a classic 'retro' looking speaker, with a pleasingly 1950s wireless aesthetic (wireless meaning radio, not what you're probably currently connected to right now) and stuff it full of the latest sound innovations, namely Bluetooth and a portable battery. The result is something that not only looks great, but also performs very well.
Those chrome dials and switches on top really pop in contrast to the wooden and faux-leather body. It feels great in the hand, and it is one of those speakers that you want to handle and move around – despite it capability of being completely remotely operated. Still, adjusting the volume, bass, and treble with those shiny knobs (tee hee) is a pleasure.
But... using Bluetooth to connect your phone, tablet, or laptop is by far the best way to use the Intempo Classic Retro Reverb Bluetooth Speaker. Connecting a multitude of devices was easy, with the maximum range being the fairly standard 30 feet-ish. We never experienced any glitches or pauses within that range, so the connection seems strong. Should you wish, there is also an aux-in port on the top, to let you connect non-Bluetooth players to it. Like your equally retro-looking vinyl record player, perhaps?
In terms of sound quality, the Intempo Classic Retro Reverb Bluetooth Speaker is very good. It sounds like you'd expect modern speaker of this size and price to sound; good, but not amazing. It seems to be have been designed to nestle into a spot on a shelf and blast out music for that one room, and no further. It certainly wasn't underpowered, but don't go buying this if you have church hall to fill with tunes.
The bass was quite impressive, and holding the speaker in your hand during a beat-heavy track resulted a deep vibrating sensation, while highs and vocals were nice and crisp. Crank up the volume and a slight degree of distortion will creep in, but a steady level to fill that room produces great sounds. And, obviously, as it is battery powered, you can move it from room to room.
So a great option for the retro-inclined music lovers, and a pretty bang-on fifty quid speaker for everyone else.
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