on September 22, 2014
This is a great speaker. I am fussy when it comes to sound quality and this speaker delivers great sound. Much better than you would expect from a speaker this size. It is well designed, attractive, well built, and high quality. I like the way the stand folds around the unit to make it compact and protects while traveling.It doesn't take much space and is easy to pack away in my travel bag.
on July 23, 2014
Purchased this amazing product and are very happy with it. We have used it at the cottage when... at the beach, on the dock/deck, in the boat and it has been awesome. We like it for many reasons...awesome sound, great battery life, portable, easy to use, great design/colours, and also love that is has a radio. I would highly recommend this product for purchase you will "Love" it - we do!!
Firstly, I’d never heard of Bayan Audio before I was asked to review this speaker, and I'm delighted I did. It's really impressive.
I’d already upgraded to Spotify Premium to get the 320 kbps quality, and it really shows on this device. Delivered in a beautifully designed custom made thick-card box to protect it during transit, it's great to see the wonderful attention to detail. Even the standard 3.5mm AUX cables is a top quality thick black cable with a velcro strap to keep it tidy.
The whole experience just says "quality" with remarkable attention to detail.
What is it and what's it like?
The Soundbook X3 a top-end bluetooth wireless speaker with an impressive sound-stage. At this price range it's one of the best speakers available, and has just leapt into first position, as the best I've tested to date.
Firstly, the build quality is excellent. Weighing in a reassuringly heaving 1.4Kg (about one and a half a bags of sugar) it has a reassuring heft, and appears to have been carved out of solid (cold to the touch) block of aluminium. As you can see from the photos it’s an unusual design based loosely around a book, and the front cover acts to both protect the front speakers and automatically switch on the device. Made from “a hard wearing ballistic nylon” material, (I do wonder whether it’d stop a bullet), you open it out and fold it under where it acts as a stand.
These nice design touches don’t stop there. Pair it with your smartphone using bluetooth (and NFC if your phone supports it), and a subtle orange LED displays briefly displays the word BLUE to indicate it’s in “bluetooth mode” when switched on, Across the top it has four subtly indented rubber buttons for volume, power and to scan for radio frequency on the built in FM radio. It also has a sequence of tiny white LEDs to indicate the volume. The designers clearly spent a great deal of time and effort agonising over the design of this product, and it shows.
Let me point out of few of the small but beautiful design features:-
* On the front cover (which also includes an integral arial for the FM radio), there’s a small leather “Bayan Audio” label - sewn into the cover like a clothes label on the designer tee-shirt.
* The solid heavy aluminium block to gives a feeling of stability, quality and a reduces acoustic energy loss
* The subtle fingertip shaped indented rubber buttons, so you can “feel” the buttons even with the lights turned down low
* The “smart cover” which automatically switches the speaker on when you open it up to act as a stand, and off when you close it providing both protection and function
* You can plug in a USB cable and charge your smartphone - great for an emergency (although admittedly a bit of a gimmick)
* On the rear, when you plug in the power cord, a tiny green light comes on to indicate it’s powered on
* The LED display indicates FULL when it’s fully charged up, LOW when your battery is getting a bit low and CALL when making a conference call (you can use it to answer the phone).
All this adds up to a device that’s had a great deal of attention paid to it.
And that’s before you switch it on.
What's the sound quality like?
Firstly, I'm no audiophile, so these are the opinion of a "layman" and I'll avoid any reference to frequency modulation, bright mid-range or harsh treble, but this really is an outstanding device.
I've listened to a series of test tracks including everything from the deep mournful voice of Nina Simone singing “Feeling Good”, to the raw energy and jangling guitars of The Rolling Stones. Pleased to say it handled everything I threw at it with ease. I think it really surprised me when listening to a track by “Elbow", and I heard the children playing in the background for the first time. Amazing.
For me, where it really came into its own was listening to “The Seldom Seen Kid” by Elbow. Not a track, the entire album. Listening to it again was like listening to it for the first time. I could hear detail I’d not noticed before. Lovely. Just lovely.
In short, this would be a great speaker to kick out a great soundscape for a party, but will equally work well providing the sound-track for a dinner party.
What's Good about it?
* Beautifully designed with great attention to detail
* Beautiful clear sound, impressive separation and almost no distortion, even when played at high volume
* Acts as a bluetooth “wireless” or wired speaker, FM radio and conference call centre if paired to your mobile
* Absolutely stunning build quality, and lovingly presented in the box. It’s a pleasure to open.
What you should be aware of?
Something I have noticed with these really top end speakers, is they need “running in”, and I think this may need to as well. When I first switched it on I was shocked that it didn’t sound anywhere near as good as I’d expected. To be honest I was really disappointed at first, but an hour or so later I noticed the sound was much warmer, and now you’d have to prise this out of my dead fingers. I love it.
Other than that it’s wonderful.
I've owned and tested a huge number of bluetooth speakers ranging from £20 to £260, and can say (with some confidence) this is one of the best I've heard, and certainly one of the best in its price bracket.
Don't faff about - just buy it!
Reminder: As I'd said at the start, I was given this speaker for an independent review. Having said that, it's a pleasure to test a device this well made.
on September 25, 2014
I was at a construction site where another contractor had this speaker. To say the very least, I was so impressed that I purchased one that same night.
The speaker has a vibrant range of highs and lows. The speaker's base is incredible and vocals are impeccably clear. The Bayan sound book allows me to experience the music as opposed to just listening to noise from my previous "disposable" speaker.
I was also very impressed with the Bluetooth range at some spots I would be 50-60ft away and it was still very clear.
The battery life is great and it's a great companion beside my pool, on the boat, and in my living room.
The overall sound is better than all the "premium" portable audio devices I looked at the big box stores.
You will be impressed with the sound from such a small speaker. It's also a lot nicer to carry around than the giant job site radios.
on December 21, 2014
Friends suggested this speaker, but it still surpassed my expectations. Impressive unit. Beautifully crafted, clean lines, elegant and understated. Opened the box and had it paired to two devices and playing tunes in under 5 minutes. Really simple and intuitive interface. Cranked it up and was really impressed - sound quality is astounding for such a small unit. Even the packaging was top notch. Love it!