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Portable Bluetooth Speakers Put New Twist On The Features

4/07/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

NEW YORK — Portable Bluetooth speakers are going for big sound as spring approaches and consumers look to take their music outdoors. A number of manufacturers have recently welcomed new additions to their lines, many of which are designed to pull double duty as speakerphones.

Digital Treasures recently unveiled its Lyrix Duo, a Bluetooth speaker that features a removable wireless receiver so consumers can stream music from their Bluetooth-enabled device to an additional home stereo system by using the included aux cables. The receiver lifts in and out of the top of the Lyrix Duo, connecting via a MiniUSB port.

The 3-watt Lyrix Duo speaker has a battery life of four hours and comes with a suction cup, power button, volume controls and LED indicator light. Frequency response is listed at 20Hz to 20kHz. It uses the Bluetooth 2.1 profile.

Versions in blue or red are offered for a $49.99 suggested retail.

Enustech’s bCoda division recently began shipping its Coda One, a device that is meant to pull triple duty as a Bluetooth speaker, speakerphone and even a handset.

The Coda One, which carries a $99.99 suggested retail, can switch from handset to speaker mode and can pair with up to eight devices. It uses the Bluetooth 3.0 profile and is EDR compliant. Talk time is listed at 20 hours with standby time of 40 days.

The devices measures 5.8 inches long by 1.8 inches wide. Features include noise reduction, echo cancellation, dual microphones and volume-control buttons. It also has embedded magnets, allowing it to attach to a metal surface. A clip for use in the car is included.

Satechi’s BT Touch Speaker has a 2.5-watt dual-channel system and a built-in microphone, allowing the device to be used as a speakerphone. It uses the Bluetooth 3.0 profile.

Other features include a rechargeable lithium-ion battery; LED touch buttons for playback, volume and call controls; and a 3.5mm jack for use with non-Bluetooth devices.

It’s currently available for a $49.99 suggested retail.

Edifier began shipping the iF335BT Bric Connect, which has a built-in mic for speakerphone capabilities. An included remote can answer, decline and end calls; change tracks or inputs; and adjust volume.

The device has a Class D amplifier with two 70mm speaker drivers that produce 12 watts RMS, and a bass reflex port. Frequency response is listed at 40Hz to 20kHz.

The Bric Connect, which uses six AA batteries and can also operate via an AC adapter, measures 5.24 inches by 3.54 inches by 11.81 inches.

Two colors are offered — black or gloss white — for a $99.99 suggested retail.

Divoom’s OnBeat-X1 Bluetooth speaker is geared toward gamers and comes with suction cups that can double as a stand. The Vibration Bass feature is designed to shake and vibrate the device in response to game action.

Its lithium-ion battery, rechargeable by MicroUSB, provides up to eight hours of music time. The OnBeat-X1 also has a 3.5mm jack and comes with an audio cable.

It’s sold in black or white for $39.90.

Scosche said it is readying its BoomBottle, a Bluetooth speaker designed to fit into most bicycle waterbottle cages. The company first previewed the device during International CES in January, and a spokesman for the company said it’s scheduled to ship by the end of this month.

The BoomBottle measures 8.13 inches long with a 2.85-inch diameter, and uses the Bluetooth 4.0 profile. Features include two 3-watt 40mm drivers, shock-absorbing construction, IPX4 splash-proof rating, built-in mic, track controls and an aux input. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to 10 hours of playtime, according to the company.

It will carry a $149 suggested retail.

Finally, Jawbone announced it had updated the software for its Big Jambox Bluetooth speaker. Available as a free download from the company’s MyTalk platform, the 2.0 version is said to increase the speaker’s battery life by two hours (when streaming from an iOS 6.1 device).

It also enables the user to control the volume from the speaker or from the paired mobile device, and now features a Silent mode to disable all non-music device sounds.