Dec 4, 2013

[Gadgets] NudeAudio Move S Wired

I have to admit that the external speakers of my HTC One are pretty impressive. For individual viewing, they're more than enough to get the job done in terms of audio fulfillment. But sometimes you need something with a little extra kick, especially when you're in a place with a lot of ambient noise like at the beach or something.

Thus we have a whole segment of the mobile market dedicated to external speakers that turn your mobile devices into serious music delivery device worth of the boomboxes of old. So this little gadget was certainly an interesting device to play with.

The NudeAudio Move S Wired external speaker is a pretty straight forward device. Its 3.5mm cable is compatible with most mobile phones or tablets and is readily plug and play. It comes in two colors palletes - white / lime and gray / orange, more or less. SRP is around PHP1,295.00.

The kit contains everything you see in the image above - the speaker itself, the USB cord for charging, the quick start guide, the manual and some stickers. I really don't get the stickers - it seems like more and more mobile accessory brands are trying to turn us into free advertisers for some reason. I could probably use the bigger sticker on the right, but it ends up looking like a Band-Aid given the color scheme. The manuals are pretty light on product information - but I suppose there's really nothing much to say about this device.

The speaker generally fits in the palm of your hand, which does make it rather convenient. The unit is protected by a fairly thick silicon sleeve that has that unique texture that makes wanting to squeeze it almost instinctive. The last feature is the quirky string affixed to one corner of the unit. I'm not quite sure what this is for - but I'll explain my concerns in just a bit.

On the flip side you'll see that the cord is nicely secured in grooves build into the silicon case. It's a rather typical design that we've seen in a number of speaker units of this nature. The cord that you see exposed now is pretty much the maximum length of the speaker cord. It's a bit longer than what I've seen in typical "burger-style" speakers but is still relatively short.

And the cord length brings me back to the question of the string. With string / cord thingy implies that you could possible hang the device while in use - let's say on a nearby hook or perhaps somewhere on your car's dashboard. Maybe you even just want to hold it one finger or something. But with a cord that short, you're really not going to go anywhere. I can't try hanging the thing on my bag and keep my phone safe since the 3mm cord really doesn't give you many options. Instead you'll mostly have the speaker right next to the phone like so.

So really, what is the string for? So you'll stop holding the speaker with your dirty fingers?

In terms of output, things are a little weird. I tried my phone at half of its maximum audio volume and the speaker turned out to be softer than my HTC One's built-in external speakers. But if you push things to maximum, then you finally notice that the speaker's maximum output is far greater than any mobile device's native units. I'm not quite sure how the volume curve is for the thing but it seems like a weird jump to cramp into the last 25% of the devices volume range.

A standard charge is advertised to last about 8 hours and you will need to use the USB cable for charging. The power light will indicate when you're running low on use but I've yet to have a chance to stress test this thing with extended use.

The one unique feature of the NudeAudio speakers is something that they call TeamPlay. You can plug another speaker unit into the 3.5mm port built-into the device to boost your sound. But given this is a single speaker unit, it still means that you're compressing your original stereo sound into one output device, so you will lose the true stereo experience. At least it does not require an external power source to use, so it should be pretty handy.

There is a Bluetooth variant of the NudeAudio speaker that makes a lot more sense since that'll give you true mobility. This wire solution may be a lot easier to use (plug and play), it's really not all that versatile and you'll end up just having this beautifully designed speaker stuck on a desk right next to your phone. Given the price range, you will most likely find cheaper alternatives with similar volume output and limited cord length for even half the price.

Overall, it's a decent device and a natural variant expected of a speaker line. But if you really want to make the most of a speaker of this caliber (and find a purpose for the string thingy), then go for a variant that supports a wireless means of connection like Bluetooth. On its own, it's a rather limiting device and can only rate a 3 out of 5 for me.

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