27 November 2014

REVIEW: Cambridge Audio G2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker


Since reviewing the Cambridge Audio Go Bluetooth Speaker a while back, we've been keen to find out more about this intriguing British sound company. If you read the Go's review you'll see that although we loved the sound the speaker produces, we weren't all that kind about its looks. And so Cambridge Audio have very kindly sent us the Go's smaller, better looking, brother - the G2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker.

At just seven inches across the G2 is a speaker designed to be moved around. Whereas the Go had more of a shelf or desktop feel, the G2's gentle curves and wrap-around metal casing makes it a pleasure to hold and a breeze to transport. In your hands it feels like a precision-designed bit of kit and certainly not thrown together as other Bluetooth speakers of this size and shape (but not price) tend to.

Available in black, red, blue and champagne (which ours was - because we're dead posh, like) the Cambridge Audio G2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker boasts a few pretty impressive features despite that bag-friendly size. For a start the onboard battery will provide you with ten hours of music playback - yes, ten (10)! That battery life is not wasted either, as the G2 has a full-sized USB port on the back (under a convenient rubber seal - take that damp grass!) into which you can plug your phone or tablet to charge. Which it can actually do very well. We had a phone receive a full charge from flat from the G2, and the speaker still had hours of play time left in it.

Connection wise you have the standard Bluetooth (with set-up being as easy as pie) and also NFC to make things even simpler - if your device is so equipped. There is a 3.5mm jack input for old-schoolers as well, again nicely protected by that rubber seal. The G2 can also be used as a speakerphone thanks to the built-in microphone which, after crank-calling a few local pizzerias, we found was sensitive and clear. According to the shouts of "You stop calling 'ere! You not really want pizza!"

But the headline with the Cambridge Audio G2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker has to be the sound quality. Good God this is awesome, and we really mean that - surprisingly startlingly awesome. Room-filling doesn't do it justice, as we left this playing downstairs and ventured upstairs and could still pick out vocals pretty well. The highs are as crisp and as clear as a fresh mountain spring, and the lows are as rich and as deep as James Earl-Jones reading aloud passages from Descartes.

All kinds of music sounded great out of this thing, and even podcasts and other spoken-word files sounded like the speaker was in the room - but from such a tiny package! Also, if you prefer your music more immersive, the Cambridge Audio G2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker can be paired with another G2 to create a surround sound experience. Dot those around your party and your guests will be entertained wherever they wander.

So this is a great looking portable speaker that reproduces sounds fantastically. Could this be the Christmas treat you get for the audiophile within you?


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