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Thread: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

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    <Insert witty one liner> Kanoe's Avatar
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    Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    Hi All,

    Been looking for a Bluetooth speaker for music playing that has good sound that can fill a large room, in the 200-300 range and wondered if anyone had any recommendations (If it has LDAC support, even better)

    I have a fairly nice sound bar in the room for home cinema (Samsung Q990C) that has bluetooth but music doesnt sound all that good through it, missing mid range sound and seems to project in a very linear fashion, if i sit at the height of it or lower than it it sounds OK but if you stand up the sound sounds like its below round sort of round the waist level.

    Got hold of Sony SRS XG500 and gave that a go but that sounded very bass heavy and really depended on the angle you were standing to it as to the sound profile you were getting.

    Maybe I'm asking too much.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    I'm not sure about filling a whole "large" room, but I hunted around for speakes recently and ennded up with a pair of Sonos ERA 100's.

    Note - as I understand it, while you can connect to these with Bluetooth, you MUST cnfigure them via their app, ON WIFI, first. Once initial config is done, you can switch to Buetooth .... if you still need to, which will depend on exactly what usage you have in mind.

    That particular Sonos model falls a bit under your price range per unit. They can be used standalone, but I wanted a stereo pair, and then, they're going to fall above your price range (£250 each, unless you get them in a sale).

    I'm mentioning this not to speciffically suggest tthat model, but to point out you might want to look overthe Sonos range. Sound, IMHO, is very good but with the usual caveat that good sound is very much in the ear of the 'be-listener'. i.e. hugely subjective.

    What Sonos do have is a pretty wide range of options, including those both for less than yur price range, or more. Some are designed for fixed locations, while others are moveable - i.e, built-in battery and a charging dock to stand it on. Yet others are designed to be portable enough to carry around in a bag when travelling.

    You may, or may not, find a model to fit your needs.

    Oh, and the pair I have fill a 12 x 18 (room) and go as loud as I'll ever want, on about half power.
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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    I was trying to avoid Sonos, maybe it was some of their other ranges but they seemed to be WIFI only in the specs, also it might not be the case but didn't they have the whole bricking old devices thing to try and get people to buy new speakers?

    Whatever happened with that tainted my opinion of them as a company.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    JBL Charges get good reviews, I've got the Flip and it's pretty good for its size. As per Sonos, can be paired for Stereo. If that's not big enough, they do a Boombox which RRPs at £400 but can probably be found cheaper

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    I notice richer sounds have a bunch of options, I might be best going to try some to see how they sound before buying anything else.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanoe View Post
    I was trying to avoid Sonos, maybe it was some of their other ranges but they seemed to be WIFI only in the specs, also it might not be the case but didn't they have the whole bricking old devices thing to try and get people to buy new speakers?

    Whatever happened with that tainted my opinion of them as a company.
    Yeah, there was the 'bricking' thing, but IIRC they backtracked on that after the negative reaction.

    As for wifi only, I THINK that may have been the case on some models, possibly including th predecessor to the ones I have. it rings a vague bell, but as i was looking at the ERA 100 (and a soundbar, but for a different room) I didn't pay that much attention. I have also seen quite a lot of comment about how both sound quality and reliabilty over BT are .... limited.

    Nonetheless, I get where you're coming from and normally, I'd be coming from the exact same place. I looked around a fair bit and couldn't find anything else that seemed to fit my exact needs, central to which was a size sufficiently compact to fit where these had to fit - they have a pretty small footprint, and suited my needs perfectly. Still, i was hesitant because of concern over sound quality, from what is, all said and done, pretty expensive for a small bookshelf speaker. What finally tempted me was the assurance from Richer of a refund if I wasn't happy with the result. I'm not naturally trusting of retailers but my experience, over 20+ years, of Richer is that they've always had excellent customer service so even I extend trust towards them, until/unless they do something to lose it. So far, they haven't.

    So I tried the Sonos. i must admit my personal circumstances fed into that situation so i wouldn't necessarily recommend them to others. That said, while not cheap for small speakers, I have been very impressed both with ease of use, and especially with the sound for small speakers.

    All I'd suggest is to give their range a look. If you can find someting else that isn't Sonos, then I sure get the reluctance after the 'bricking' thing, That, IMHO, was truly moronic and in the past, would have stopped me giving them a second look, and put them on my 'no way in hell' list. Those circumstances I mentioned made that a lower priority, and so far, I've been delighted.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Smudger View Post
    JBL Charges get good reviews, I've got the Flip and it's pretty good for its size. As per Sonos, can be paired for Stereo. If that's not big enough, they do a Boombox which RRPs at £400 but can probably be found cheaper
    I've not tried JBL in recent years but have used them in the past, especially for car audio. They're the main drivers on a £3k+ car system and, I gotta say, are damn good. I'd certainly check them out too.
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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    How about these? https://www.richersounds.com/steljes-ns3-dark-blue.html

    They seem to get a fairly positive review on What Hifi: https://www.whathifi.com/steljesaudio/ns3/review

    Although they support Bluetooth, & couldn't find out which variety of enhancements it uses; even the manual doesn't seem to mention it.

    If you have a Richer Sounds store near you, you might be able to drop in & audition them?
    Last edited by MrJim; 21-12-2023 at 05:21 PM.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    Thanks all, The documentation for the Sonos suggests that the Bluetooth is for app discovery only and it can't receive music over bluetooth (as it uses BLE only).

    The JBL I hadn't considered cause for some reason I thought they were a budget brand, might be cause their brand name is close to JML.

    Yeah, I wouldn't say it is near but I think I will have to go to a store and hear some options.

    I did wonder if actually I might be better off with a BT receiver and a pair of good but dumb bookshelf speakers and then as tech changes, I could change the receiver and keep the speakers.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    If i get a chance, I'll try the bluetooth pairing.

    If you're going down the separae BT receiver route 9and I very nearly went that way) it does open up anotheroption for .... erm ... Sonos.

    Out of the box, the ERA's only have a wifi connection, and a single USB-C ort. Howeveer, threvae a couple of (optional) adapters available, one being simple line-in, the other being a dual line-in and ethernet. Either way, they plug in to that USB-C port. So .... if you have a BT receiver with a line-OUT, one option is to go from that receiver to the adapter, and hence to the Sonos.

    But this is beginning to sound like i'm on commission /9hmmm, there's a tought ) from Sonos.

    I think the "go listen to speakers" point is far and away the best. Richer certainnly carry Sonos (I bought mine there) so, if you feel inclined, listen to some of em while there. It may convince you .... either way. Speakers are SO subjective, I hate suggesting makes/models because the fact that I like the sound dosn't mean you will. Far from it.

    But if you were to like them (and the ERAs aren't the ony option) thenthat line-in ad adapter trick should work, as it effectively turns the Sonos into a conventional active speaker. Just a (IMHO) good one.

    As for JBL, it's a speaker company I associate right back into the 60's, and for large and fairly up-market sound, and my mental association (right or wrong) is also with rock music. Car speakers are obviously a different breed entirely from home speakers, due to car acoustics, but the ones I have, on the end of a couple of £750 amps, are bright, clear, punchy in sound and suit (IMHO) the challenges of car acoustics very well. I've heard a fair few domestic JBL's over the years but never owned any, and never spent huge amounts of time listening to them. I still have the large IMF transmission line speakers I bought back in, ummm .... late 70s r early 80's. Though I had been thinking about, literally, downsizing to a couple of Sonos speakers just to remove the large wooden enclosures. We'll see.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    My brother was mates with a guy that used to drive around the JBL show car in the 90s, I think it was a Peugeot 605. He was sat outside our house, shaking the house windows with the bass, but from the inside, no ear pain at all.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    I've changed tack a bit and looking at a D Class amp with a set of passive speakers. Also increased the budget a bit. Going to Richer Wednesday lunchtime to test some floorstanding speakers

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanoe View Post
    to test some floorstanding speakers
    I have a pair of nice big old Mission 763 speakers which I've had for decades, driven through an AV amp. They effortlessly fill the room with music, and one of those little luxuries that makes me smile every time I looks at them. Given I bought them over 30 years ago, that's a lot of smiles

    These days I send music to them from Spotify via a Chromecast.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    I'm not sure why everyone raves about Richer sounds the customer service experience I had has not been great.

    After listening to the speakers they were very pushy about ordering them through the store instead of online (even though that don't have them in the store and they essentially have to order them in online). I get it that they have let me listen to some speakers so they went the sale booked against the store but after the 4th time of telling me I'm less inclined to do so.

    Added on top that they refused to honour the offer for new vip sign ups getting a discount off their first order despite again pushing heavily for a sign up to vip.

    And to cap it off I was measuring up for where the speakers would go and checked the dimensions on their site and noticed they were clearly wrong so phoned them and they just spouted what was on the site and when I tried to challenge that the phone was going and they told me they had to hang up to deal with another customer despite not having actually finished with my query.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanoe View Post
    I'm not sure why everyone raves about Richer sounds the customer service experience I had has not been great.
    I think in this area they are simply the last man standing of hifi shops. There used to be better ones, but that was years ago

    it is still often a better experience than buying online thanks to being able to see and hear stuff.

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    Re: Bluetooth Audio Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanoe View Post
    I'm not sure why everyone raves about Richer sounds the customer service experience I had has not been great.

    After listening to the speakers they were very pushy about ordering them through the store instead of online (even though that don't have them in the store and they essentially have to order them in online). I get it that they have let me listen to some speakers so they went the sale booked against the store but after the 4th time of telling me I'm less inclined to do so.

    Added on top that they refused to honour the offer for new vip sign ups getting a discount off their first order despite again pushing heavily for a sign up to vip.

    And to cap it off I was measuring up for where the speakers would go and checked the dimensions on their site and noticed they were clearly wrong so phoned them and they just spouted what was on the site and when I tried to challenge that the phone was going and they told me they had to hang up to deal with another customer despite not having actually finished with my query.
    I guess every rule has an exception. Maybe you got the exception. Or, given they went out of their way to help me, both a couple of months ago, and about 30 years ago, and more than a modest number of times in-between.

    Why rave about them? Because, in my experience(s), they've been excellent. But it is just my experience. Certainly, your experience wasn't even good, never mind excellent.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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