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Your Tunes Never Looked So Good

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by Lori Cunningham

 

Editors Note:  Continuing on our theme of Unleashing Your Tunes, today we’ll review the Acoustics Research Wireless Portable Speaker, bringing you bigger sound than the more personal speaker, the Phlips SoundShooter.  Next week, we explore the Boston Acoustics T-Vee 10 Soundbar on our sister site, TheWellConnectedHome.com.

AR Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Skinit (8)

 

After attending the Consumer Electronics Show, I received a surprise package from Acoustics Research (AR).  They sent a cool white wireless speaker with a handle.  The AR Wireless Portable Speaker (AWSBTSK) utilizes Bluetooth to sync with your smartphone or tablet.
What’s cool about this speaker is that it comes all in white, but you also receive an up to $35 credit for Skin-it.com to adorn your speaker with whatever colors/pictures strike your fancy.  You can wrap Hello Kitty, USC, Angel’s, Snoopy, a solid pink color…you name it, they have a little bit of everything.  In  fact, they probably have over 1,000 designs.

I went searching for the perfect design, but frankly, there’s too many choices and it became overwhelming.  I finally decided I would upload a family picture of ourselves, that would look cute.  But my husband felt that it would date the wireless speaker.  I was fine with that until I envisioned taking it to the beach and my kids being embarrassed by it.  Back to the drawing board!

I love the simplicity of the speaker.  Once your phone is synced via Bluetooth, the sync stays in your phone or tablet’s memory, making it easy to play music anytime your smartphone and the AR speaker are in the same room.

My kids and I had a lot of fun playing clips of music from my vast collection.  My daughter, a One Direction fan, starting enjoying the Backstreet Boys.  I told her they were one of the first “boy bands.”  This is a great way to introduce your kids to your favorite sounds in a fun way.  To make her spelling pretest more fun, I played her a clip of a different song for every word she had.  It took longer, but it was fun.

 

 

FeaturesAR Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - Skinit (5)

  • listen to music from your smartphone, tablet, mp3 player, and more
  • customizable skins – choose from thousands of prints or use your own picture (a $35 value)
  • uses Bluetooth wireless or built-in 3.5mm cable
  • versatile – use indoors or out with weather proof and UV resistant exterior
  • built-in handle to carry speaker
  • utilizes a 2 inch tweeter and 3 inch woofer
  • can operate via plug or 6 AA batteries (for up to 14 hrs. on battery use)
  • contains hidden storage for keys, phone, etc.

 

Pros

  • Great sound and it can play loud too!
  • love the handle for easy portability
  • truly portable with battery use option
  • love the idea of making it your own through customizing the speaker itself with a design
  • can walk about to 20 feet away with your phone playing music and it still works
  • its great to use around the pool
  • can control the speaker’s volume through your Bluetooth enabled device

Cons

  • too many choices from Skin-it to decide how to customize the speaker!
  • the buttons to turn up the volume, turn it off, and put it in Bluetooth pairing mode are hard to read/differentiate
  • the Skin-it sticker covers the back of the speaker, not the front where the sound comes out

AR Bluetooth Wireless Speaker - pool (1)

The AR Speaker sells for $99.99 through BestBuy.com with free shipping.

 

A Mom’s Perspective

There are many Bluetooth speaker choices out there.  What I like about the AR Speaker, is that is big enough for big sound, yet very portable.  The handle on it makes it great to take to a picnic, for a day on the beach, take outside to enjoy by the pool, to enhance a tailgate party, or simply letting your child borrow it to listen to his/her tunes in his/her room.

I really like the sound this speaker has and how easy it is to link up your smartphone to the player and control it remotely.  It’s a great speaker, loud enough to fill a couple of rooms as well as fill up your backyard with sound.  It’s a keeper.

Just yesterday I ran into a dilemma where after two long colds, I lost my voice.  Most of the time I had to whisper, it was so bad.  Two cups of hot tea had me talking like Mickey Mouse, but at least I was talking.  Unfortunately, I had to give a speech.  I thought to my self, there must be an app for this, so I searched Google Play on my Galaxy III and found a microphone app.  I downloaded it and then checked to see if I could speak into the microphone app on my phone, would it carry over to the AR Bluetooth Speaker?  I was so excited to see that it would.  So I carried the AR Speaker with me so that my voice could be heard louder.  Granted, it didn’t sound pretty, but I was audible.  Yet, another great use for the AR Speaker.

So you’re probably wondering which Skin-it I chose, right?  To be honest with you, had I not felt the need to tell you, I’d probably have a white speaker for a long time.  So thank you for helping me make a decision.  I choose “A Starry Night” byVincent van Gogh.  My husband and I took the kids to see it at  Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  It’s really a timeless piece.  So it might not be the right attire for the beach, but it will certainly get noticed!

 

 

 

 

*  I was sent an AR Wireless Speaker as a thank you for attending the AR Press Conference during CES.  All opinions are my own.



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