Using the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker
One would think the product is very heavy, considering that it has magnets, electromagnets and other metal components. Actually, the "orb" is lighter than we thought, and so is the base unit (in total, roughly 8.8 oz or 250 grams). Both the base and the orb are made of cheap plastic, but they feel solid and are resistant to scratches.
The first step is powering on the orb from its small switch on the side. The orb switches to pairing mode in a few seconds after it is turned on. This is signalled by a red LED flashing inside the otherwise completely blue LED band of the orb. The speaker also emits a beep when powering up and another (different) beep when it switches to pairing mode. The device remains in pairing mode for a minute or until the pairing is completed, whichever comes first. We had no issues connecting both to an Android 5.1.1 device and to a laptop running Windows 7. It is recognized as "SC-25 Bluetooth headset" and on most systems, it will be selected as default playback device. The pairing didn't require any password.
The next step after turning on the orb is plugging in the base unit. The orb will not levitate unless the base unit is powered on, so check for the blue LED circle on the base plate before attempting to position the orb. Speaking of which: levitating the orb in the magnetic field is as simple as placing the positioning tool on the base (which has a groove for centering the tool), putting the orb on top and then splitting the tool and removing it.
Unless you are a very calm person, we do not recommend positioning the orb without the tool. It will take precise handling and many failed attempts (with the most likely result being that the orb hits the base unit and sticks to it).
The orb is very well built and has a piece of rubber on the bottom which protects both the base and the speaker, but even so, hitting the base repeatedly can't possibly be good for the components.
After removing the positioning tool, the orb will float at a height of roughly 0.4 inches (10mm) and will start spinning slowly, without any outside interaction. When it's floating , you can spin it or destabilize it a little without having to realign it, but you have to move it gently. It's fun to watch when spinning, so those of you who like gadgets will absolutely love this one.
After playing around with the orb, we tested the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker with hours upon hours of music, and the results were pretty surprising, considering the specs. The frequency response is good, with the speaker keeping up with sounds as low as 100 Hz. On the high end, the speaker can reproduce sounds up to 15 kHz, which is below the stated value but still ok. What this means in real life is that it has a decent amount of bass for its diminutive size while handling the high pitched sounds well. In spite of having only 3W RMS power (competitors have more than 5W), the speaker is very loud and will fill a medium sized room with normal office noise at about 60% of the maximum volume. The sound will not be distorted unless you max out the volume on your media player. Overall, we were pleased with the sound, although it will be mono, since you can output the sounds to only one Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker at a time.
What really surprised us was the battery life, though: we were easily able to reach ten hours of play time! Granted, the media player was close to the speaker and we mostly used it at 30% of the maximum volume, but still, it's an impressive value, not necessarily compared to the competition but rather compared to its own spec sheet. We double checked the battery life and we can confirm that the "up to 5 hours" stated in the manual is a conservative value. When the battery is low, the speaker will beep distinctively and then power off. Charging took under three hours.
The Bluetooth connection was good, with no interruptions even when having the player and the speaker in different rooms. Compared to the competition, the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker is lacking the NFC connection.
Of course, the orb can be used separately from the base, and because the weight is concentrated on the bottom, it will not roll off the surfaces you put the speaker on.
The only issue we had with the device was that the mains plug did not connect perfectly to the base unit, and sometimes when moving the unit it would disconnect from the mains. When the orb was positioned on the base, the base would produce a faint humming noise, but it was barely audible and did not create any inconvenience.
If you are not satisfied with the power output or quality of your mobile phone or laptop speaker, the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker is a step up in both power and quality.
The pros and cons of the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker
To summarize, here's what we liked about the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker:
- The "cool factor" - it's a levitating speaker! You feel a little like Luke Skywalker when you hav e this on your desk (honestly, we tried very hard to avoid the Star Wars references, but the first thing that comes to mind when you first see it is DEATH STAR ).
- Sturdy construction.
- Blue LEDs - who doesn't like blue LEDs?
- Good sound for its size.
- Good battery life.
However, there are also negative aspects:
- No NFC connection
- Cheap plastic all around
- No option to use two of them for stereo sound
- Poor product information and support
- No USB socket on the base unit
The Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker is a cool gadget with relatively good sound and good battery life. Its construction is solid and it's very easy to set up. On the down side, the materials used don't feel premium at all and, compared to the competition, it lacks several features like the NFC connection and a USB socket on the base unit. The device is cheaper than most of its competitors, which have a price of over 100 USD/Euro at the time of the review. Overall, the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker performed well in our tests and we had no real issues with it. Is it worth its price though? That's for you to decide. If you want to make a cool gift or you need a Bluetooth speaker for your mobile device and you want to impress your coworkers or just have a new hi-tech toy on your desk, the Tec+ Dynamo Levitating Bluetooth Speaker is a good choice.