Audio

Enjoy reggae with mini speakers

The Marley Get Together Mini Bluetooth speakers are designed for fuss-free set-up.
The Marley Get Together Mini Bluetooth speakers are designed for fuss-free set-up.PHOTO: THE HOUSE OF MARLEY

Nothing dull about the wood-and-hemp Marley Get Together

The Marley Get Together Mini Bluetooth speakers are the latest toys from The House of Marley - an audio firm based in the United States with licensing rights to the late reggae music icon Bob Marley - to hit Singapore.

The speakers exude the reggae vibe that is most commonly associated with the singer - by having lots of natural material like wood and hemp.

Indeed, the Get Together Mini is made of a natural bamboo front, with a fabric made out of hemp, cotton and recycled plastic wrapped along its sides and top.

These stand out in a portable Bluetooth speaker market that's increasingly all about bright, neon summer colours, or dark, simple minimalism. The Get Together Mini speakers are fun in their own way, and wouldn't look out of place in a bedroom or at the beach.

The smooth summer vibe carries over to the speakers' sound signature. They produce a warm, bass-rich tone with lots of body and rumble which is appropriate for what the speakers are marketed towards.

Music is channelled through two 25mm tweeters and two 63mm woofers on the front, while a passive radiator sits at the back in the guise of a flat bamboo panel.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $328

    DIMENSIONS: 7.62 x 30 x 9.4cm

    DRIVERS: Two 25mm tweeters; two 63mm woofers

    WEIGHT: 1.52kg

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

I thought it fitting to run Bob Marley's iconic song No Woman No Cry through the Get Together Mini and I wasn't disappointed. Sure, the bassy rumble might turn purists off, but Marley's vocals came through smoothly and clearly, with no muddiness elsewhere in the mix.

There is distortion and audible loss in clarity when the speakers are cranked up to near 80 per cent of the maximum volume. Thankfully, they are powerful enough to fill a room at lower volumes, although there might be some sacrifices to be made while outdoors.

These are mass-market speakers that are designed for fuss-free set-up, which may explain why their features seem to be kept to a minimum.

The speakers connect wirelessly only through Bluetooth - no Wi-Fi connection. Or you can plug your music player using a cable into the 3.5mm auxiliary input.

Even Bluetooth support is somewhat limited - there's no AptX support for high-resolution audio. And the oddest omission is the lack of a pause button on the speaker, even though there are volume buttons.

Pairing is dead simple and quick: Press the Bluetooth button on the speakers, turn on Bluetooth on your device and both of them will link up within seconds.

There is a separate USB port that lets you charge and power your music device, drawing upon the battery of the speakers so that it functions like a giant, noise-making powerbank.

At $328, the Get Together Mini will give some buyers pause, especially since other portable speakers are cheaper. They are also not as portable as other speakers, being slightly heavier and bigger, which will require a more spacious bag to slip them into.

•Verdict: These are fun speakers that produce good, loud and bassy sound that's fit for a home party or to blast tunes by the beach.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2017, with the headline 'Enjoy reggae with mini speakers'. Print Edition | Subscribe