Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OXA NFC Bluetooth Natural Wood Design portable wireless stereo speaker Review


2014 will certainly be known as the year of the portable speaker or it will for me anyway. I have had the opportunity to try quite a few of the new speakers that have flooded the market this year.
This speaker from OXA really took my interest over some of the other Ive reviewed due to the fact it has NFC and I'm a complete sucker for LED's and touchscreens plus its sleek elegant black design. I have also reviewed quite a few products from OXA and know they have really fab modern design and excellent quality products.

OXA is a San Hose, CA based designer and manufacturer of external batteries and accessories for mobile products. They have a tagline
"More Juice, more life," 
represents their foundational principles of extending the life of your mobile devices so you are never without them.
As a newcomer to this industry they offer the latest most advanced technology in the marketplace for the best price.

Click the jump to read my full photoloaded review




Great packaging

Packaging
I have to say I really love the packaging on this elegant speaker, Its modern graphics goes perfectly with this highly techie speaker. The black sleeve has all the info needed to tell you about your new speaker and it slides off to reveal a bright red sturdy strong box.
 In the box

As well as this gorgeous looking speaker you get
  • Micro USB charging cable.
  • Axillary 3.5 jack cable.
  • A removable battery.
  • Spare sticky feet pads.
  • Battery cover.
  • User manual.

Description
I was nicely surprised when I first got this speaker out of the box at just how substantial a weight this has. It has a wonderful luxury expensive feel to it.
This black cube is constructed of natural wood to deliver high quality crystal clear audio clarity; this is then covered in a thin textured black plastic.
The front touchscreen panel seems to be plastic or acrylic and I love, love, love the fact when its turned off you have a sleek hi-tech black cube that could be anything. Its looks like something from another Galaxy had just materialized on the Holodeck on the US-Enterprise from Star Trek. Its elegantly perfect for geeks like me.
What makes this speaker quite unique to any Ive seen; is the fact you can replace its rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery as its removable from its back panel. It also comes with a spare battery panel which I'm unsure why but it could be handy. To be honest once the battery is in, its in for me; but it may be really useful for some of you that want to buy an extra battery.
The digital panel lights up to reveal its touch sensitive buttons with red LED's; you know Im a complete sucker for LED's. Plus it talks..no I haven't been on the happy juice it really does...more later.
This clever speaker is so versatile with its multifunction design which includes not only Bluetooth to access your music, but also Micro SD cards and as a bonus it has an FM radio and and Auxiliary Line in.
Its the first portable speaker I have that offers radio, this for me is a real bonus and added luxury.
 Top of the speaker
On top is the central Bass speaker and the main working panel.
Either side houses the two small satellite speakers.

You have in order of appearance
  • Micro USB charging port.
  • D 3.5mm audio input jack for Laptop, PC, MP3/MP4/mobile devices.
  • USB port.
  • Micro SD card slot.
  • On/off button.

Do you notice anything strange about the panel?
If you view the speaker from the front as if you were going to use the touchscreen; the OXA logo is facing you..yep everything so far correct. But what about the working panel thats "UPSIDOWN" to your view...what...why...Ive no idea!
Let alone why on earth its "ontop" of the speaker let alone upsidown; it would have been far better at the back.
Okay most probably OXA had limited space with its design of this; with all the functions inside but it just feels odd.

The back of the speaker houses the battery compartment, you can see the mottled texture better in this shot that covers the whole unit.

 The battery just slides in and you press the panel over the top.

 It simply clicks in place.
"The battery is fully charged before using"
Is it...isn't it...I don't know charge it anyhow.
 The Science Bit
 For those that wanna know these things.
  • Power; 5C external battery.
  • Output; 3W x2 + Base.
  • Frequency; 50Hz-18KHz.
  • SNR; 90dB.
  • Memory; Micro SD card, USB.
  • Power input; 3.7V.
  • Dimensions; 11cm x 11.3cm x 11cm.
  • Weight; 565gms.
  • FM radio function and frequency range; 87.5MHz-108MHz.
  • Compatible with; ipod, ipad, iphone, Blackberry, Android devices, MP3/4, MD/CD, PC, Notebook, PDA, 3.5mm.


OXA speaker charging.
Charging
It charges quickly via the micro USB cable with a first charge of about 4 hours; approximately 3 hours every time thereafter. But it still feels very odd having the cable sticking out of the top and dragging over your desk; it would have been better out of the back so much neater.
Still you don't forget its there charging do you.
When its finished charging the red LED's all go out and it turns itself off.



Bluetooth
When you first turn on your speaker "blue" lights up immediately and a voice says Bluetooth On and its ready for you to pair to your device.
Nexus 10 screen and Samsung galaxy S4 screen

This OXA speaker paired quickly and easily to both my Samsung Galaxy S4 and my Nexus 10. It didn't need any codes or numbers to type in; it paired within 3-4 seconds.

When using Bluetooth you have 15-20 meters and I would say that's correct as I can go up and downstairs around our cottage with no jumping or stuttering. We also have foot thick blocks in the cottage and it still traveled through those; I'm so impressed.
 The NFC tag situated here.
NFC
This is what interested me most about this new OXA speaker as both my main devices have NFC (Near Field Communication) which works perfectly so I was excited to try another device. The NFC tag is situated in the bottom corner of the speaker with a really big sticker over it saying "NFC" you cant miss it...you know...where it says NFC...hmm...!
Just check in your manual where your NFC tag is on your smart phone or tablet and simply hover over the tag for a few seconds. It instantly switched on my Bluetooth and continued from the last song I played...brilliant...doncha just love technology. 
I then couldn't help keep turning it on and off I could do this for hours I find it so fascinating and oober clever. I just like the sound of her voice...Bluetooth activated/Bluetooth cancelled lol...its the geek in me!
If you want to know more about NFC please see my full post with all the ins and outs of NFC technology HERE.


 You know exactly what your on by the large red LED, it has FM radio and automatically scans and saves your channels just by touching the fast forward button.

The Line in enables you to plug into a PC or laptop; perfect for me as my laptop speakers are crap and I can use this for gaming as the volume really pumps up high. Giving me super atmospherics while gaming.


Sound Quality
Gorgeous sound quality, great bass but does distort at about 29-30, 32 being maximum. This though is almost too loud to hear in a room. outside is fine. For the sound officinadoes I think you'll really like it, for a portable speaker it has brilliant range from treble to bass; the songs are clear and crisp. One of the best speakers I have!

This speaker has a novel addition in that it talks to you...no really I haven't been on the mushrooms it really talks. It was a lovely surprise when the speaker first spoke this is only usually seen in expensive speakers. The feminine accent speaks when you turn on or off and when you switch modes.
"Bluetooth activated"/"Bluetooth cancelled" and the best when your battery is running low she says "Not enough power"...I love this a speaker that can communicate; now I have to name her you realize that.


My phone and speaker
Calls
This clever little speaker can also be used to receive calls from your phone and it will even show the person's phone number if they have call privacy off. Ive never known this before.
This is perfect for conference calls and calls that need to be shared within the room.
*Some of you have been asking about my favorite Strawberry Bling case here's my photo review.

My only niggle and its not really a niggle but a clock would have been nice on the front screen. It has everything else in red LED's but it would have been fab to keep it by the bed and use it as an alarm clock too. That would have been perfect then.

Opinion
I love the black elegant cube design and the sound quality is just gorgeous filling the room with only half volume. Bluetooth doesn't cutout even if you've nipped into another room or gone up or downstairs; not a stutter.
NFC and Bluetooth gets rid of cluttered wiring and takes advantage of the internet access as well as maintaining a sleek neat designer appearance. The touchscreen buttons are extremely responsive and gives a real luxury feel to it. It offers approximately 2 hours of charge as the manual says and its really does even with the volume on high levels.
As for portable...yes its a small compact cube compared to many sound systems and if you mean portable to pick it up and carry from room to room absolutely. But portable to carry camping or shopping or to the beach or barbeque...not really as its a bit bulky/heavy for a handbag or rucksack...unless you've tons of room. I also feel the front acrylic screen would get easily scratched jostling around at the bottom of your bag with your keys. If you had a little pouch to pop it into then it could work.
However this really comes into its own for dorms, flats, bedrooms, even as a main speaker for your lounge with its quality sound and will most certainly rival some of the best on the market easily filling your room with your favorite beats. Mine has pride of place next to me as I type its perfect for the desktop and the bonus of having radio is just brilliant,
Its affordable price makes it a gorgeous gift for anyone as they will think you've spent alot of money on this.


Pro's
  • Bluetooth.
  • Excellent sound quality.
  • NFC.
  • Micro SD card.
  • USB slot for music.
  • Replaceable battery.
  • FM radio.
  • Touchscreen.
  • Audible commands.
Con's
  • Not really as portable as it says.


Get yours from Amazon Uk
in a choice of 5 colours.
For ONLY
£15.99

All my thanks goes to the lovely OXA team for sending me this speaker for this review for you all.
All my views and opinions are my own.


See more of my reviews from OXA below.

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