5 April 2013

REVIEW: iLuv MobiTour Bluetooth Speaker

Tour blimey.

As summer fast approaches, finally banishing the icy tendrils of Jack Frost and all his annoying, lingering, snowy mates, your thoughts may turn toward the outdoors. For us, the epitome of the British summer has always been lounging around in a park with friends, Marks & Spencer sandwiches on hand and brolly close-by just in case. And music. Ah, summer music; that which defines the season and makes you utter, months later, “Oh, this reminds me of last summer…” But how to listen to those memorable, scene setting songs?

Easy, get the iLuv MobiTour Bluetooth Speaker.

A compact little sound set, the MobiTour is just that; speakers for your mobile while touring. Nice and tidy, this handy gadget will become your new best friend this summer, easily replacing those actual human friends who can’t connect to your phone wirelessly. Losers.
Contained in the neat packaging is the speaker itself (we opted for manly purple, although the MobiTour is available in black and pink as well) and a simple USB to micro USB cable. The wire is for charging the built-it, non-removable battery, and after plugging it in you’ll find you get a four hour battery life after just an hour or so of charging. Once primed and ready, it was time to connect.

Pairing to your Bluetooth capable device was easy peasy, with one of the four buttons on the speaker conveniently being marked with ‘Pair’. And what a lovely pair it was. Tee hee. Our phones and laptops found the MobiTour easily and pairing took only a few seconds. So then we got with the playing.

Here out excitement was slightly deflated.  Although the speaker boasts a 30-metre connection range (which we did indeed test and found to be true) we weren’t that enthused with the quality of sound. What struck us first was just how quiet the music sounded – even after upping the volume on both our phones and the device itself. We had ours sitting atop the espresso maker in the kitchen to provide musical entertainment while we did the dishes (we’re pretty rock and roll). However, we had difficulty hearing the lyrics over the sound of the running tap and squelching sponge, despite the fact that the speaker was placed right next to the sink! So ‘room-filling’ the MobiTour is not.

The size of the MobiTour is aptly
demonstrated in comparison to a human's hand
But it got us thinking; do you really want it to be? As we said, summer cometh quick, so how would the speaker do while out in nature? On one of the rare sunny days that spring has so far offered, we ventured out into our local park, clad in coats and scarves, and sat about with the MobiTour as company. And….? Actually, not too bad. Outside the speaker provided a pretty good background music level – nothing spectacular, but okay for giving you want you’d want while lazily enjoying the sun. Plus, the size and weight of the speaker meant that we hardly noticed it in our gadget bags as we strolled about the town. Having not to connect using wires was a big advantage, as was the MobiTour’s sturdy build and solid base – perfect for sitting in grass that may be slightly damp.

One thing that caught our eye was the moulded message on the front of the speaker: “Designed by iLuv in New York”. Are they trying to be funny, mocking Apple’s claims of being designed in California that feature on all of their products? If so, far play to them. If not… oh dear.

So to conclude, we love the styling, the size and ease of use; particularly as summer approaches. But we couldn’t get over the poor sound quality and low volume level. Still, at under thirty quid for a four-hour Bluetooth speaker, perhaps this could be this year’s holiday romance.


Visit www.iluv.co.uk
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