Just don’t dunk it in your tea!
¤139 (about £107) FROM Sugr, sugr-cube.eu
Features Motion controls, AirPlay/Spotify Connect
This little portable speaker is really nicely made, and comes packed with some great features.
Its wood-finished shape mimics iOS app icons (and, for good measure, its own app matches the look of the speaker); it connects to Wi-Fi networks for wireless audio streaming; and it has cute gesture controls: when music’s playing, you can tap its top to pause or play, or tilt it 45° to skip tracks. It’s easy to set up via its accompanying iOS app, which also gives you access to a number of the streaming services it supports, including Pandora and internet radio station options. These are decent – the app works well enough (though we’re not sold on swiping to navigate through its services), but it won’t win any design awards.
But the key thing is that it supports AirPlay, so you can play pretty much anything to it. (It also supports Spotify Connect.) All this combines into a seemlingly great package, with one problem: the sound isn’t impressive. It’s good in the mid-range, especially for speech, so it works well for talk radio. But the bass is weak, and the treble is severely lacking in detail. You simply don’t get the most out of your music when listening on this – and that’s a problem when you’re spending over £100.
It’s small and pretty but just can’t match the sound quality you’d expect.