The first thing I do upon entering a hotel room (after checking for bedbugs, that is) is reach for my music to ignite an overture to announce that I am, in fact, on holiday — that these are indeed “the good times”.
Early attempts have seen me fiddle on with clock radios, suffer indigenous music television stations, and rue the fact I dedicated so much luggage space to my ghetto blaster only to discover I didn’t bring my plug adaptor. The evolution of the iPod and its ilk have made transporting a wealth of personal music scandalously simple, but until recently, getting this music from its hard drive to your ears has been a job for earbuds, which apart from alienating your travel companions and damaging your ears, is just not practical.
Which is why the mini-speaker is almost as revolutionary as the iPod — at least for travellers. And with the latest incarnation harnassing bluetooth technology, you can be wired (or, un-wired, as it were) within moments of setting up shop at your destination.
The latest example to cross our desks comes to us from the good (Canadian) people at Matrix Audio, whose Qube speaker — while no second coming — should impress those who hold sound and quality in equally high esteem.
Complying with the “simple is best” maxim, these little golf ball-sized cubes are five faces of unblemished anodized aluminum, the sixth being the black-meshed speaker. No volume or screen. Just a speaker, power button, and the 3.5mm jack. Given its composition, the device has quite a bit of weight to it (78 grams to be exact), so it should be more durable than its plastic brethren. The speaker should also impress with its battery life, clocking in at eight hours of uninterrupted playback.
As mentioned, bluetooth devices are where it’s at these days so this particular speaker loses points for not providing such luxury. However, a quick peek at the Matrix website and you will discover bluetooth speakers available for purchase. If going wireless is that important to you (and you like what you’ve read so far about the Qube), you may want to these a go.
Last, but not least, the sound. The Qube keeps up with several mini-speakers in its class, delivering clear sound with substantial bass. It doesn’t have the same dynamic sound as some other products, but its battery life and design more than make up for such a minor flaw.
The Qube retails for $49.99.