Portable speakers have been all the rave throughout 2013, and before we turn out the lights on the year we have one final portable speaker review for you. I received the iLuv Syren portable Bluetooth speaker along with my set of ReF headphones, which I reviewed earlier in the week.
The Syren is branded as portable, and to say so is an understatement. Weighing in at only 10.6 ounces, and with no dimension greater than five inches, makes the Syren extremely easy to carry around no matter where you may go. But if you happen to use your Syren in one place – like your desk, for example – the rubber grip ring on the bottom will keep your speaker nice and snug.
There are only three buttons on the front of the Syren speaker – Volume up, Pause/Play/Speakerphone, and Volume down. This makes the Bluetooth connection very important, since all of your music playlists must be controlled by the music playing device. Thankfully for the Syren, the Bluetooth connection is easy to establish and sustainable to around 40 feet, within the acceptable range for Bluetooth devices.
One of the coolest features of the Syren is speakerphone feature. I tested this feature with my roommate and it worked excellently. The speaker picked up my voice with no problems and came through on my roommate’s phone very clear. It only took one ring to my cell phone before the speaker notified me that I had a call, and once the call was over my music continued playing within just two seconds.
With portable Bluetooth speakers in the price range of the Syren, you aren’t expecting too much in the way of sound, and that is the case for the Syren. The volume is excellent, but the sound is pretty muddled. Which is unfortunate, because good sound is possible in a entry-level priced portable speaker (like the Chill Pill Audio set that we reviewed three years ago). The On/Off button is also a bit too loose, which opens up the possibility of being accidentally turned on and draining battery.
However, despite its flaws, the Syren does things that the Chill Pill Audio cannot do. The Syren is wireless, Bluetooth-enabled, and can act as a speakerphone. The sound quality is not as good as the Chill Pill portable speakers, but its other functions make a product that is much more versatile for consumers.
iLuv Syren portable Bluetooth speaker – $39.77