Sony's new line of portable Bluetooth speakers, the SRS-HG1 h.ear go wireless speakers, pack a powerful audio punch within their svelte frames.
The speakers pair very quickly via Bluetooth to smartphones or iPods. Those with NFC-enabled devices can connect by just tapping their device on the top of the speaker.
It can also serve as a speaker for a guest room, as it can connect to a Wi-Fi network that you can use to transmit your computer's music library through.
The h.ear go is also compatible with the Google Chromecast and Spotify, allowing you to stream music from these sources from your computer or smartphone.
The sound quality is impressive for a speaker its size. The twin speaker setup means that music is robust and booming, especially indoors. At near maximum level, it can easily serve as the default speaker for a small outdoor party.
Hit the Extra Bass button, and your tunes will go up a notch. I actually prefer to leave this bass feature up for all my songs as it adds a lot more body and oomph without distorting the music.
SPEAKERS: Two full-range 35mm diameter speakers
BATTERY LIFE: 4/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
It works extremely well with upbeat music, such as dance, electronic or rock music, as the small size of the speaker belies the rumbling bass it can project.
These speakers are also capable of wirelessly pushing through what Sony calls Hi-Res Audio, which are high-frequency music files with better audio quality than that of CDs.
The colours it comes in are as loud as its music volume, which are bright neon tones of blue, orange and lime green. If you prefer a more muted option, go for the bourdeaux pink or the matte black.
The rechargeable battery is good for up to 12 hours, although it can dip if the speaker is used constantly at near maximum volume with the extra bass turned on.
The construction of the h.ear go is simple but sturdy, being a rectangular slab about the length of a Toblerone chocolate bar. It's small and light enough to slip into a handbag or messenger bag for a picnic or other outdoor excursions.
Indeed, I have heard from bird photography enthusiasts that the speaker is portable and loud enough to be used as a lure. Bird calls and whistles, streamed from the devices to the speaker, can attract birds to come nearer.
When paired with a smartphone, the speaker can also make and receive voice calls.
However, the mic on the speaker tends to let in lots of ambient noise, which can make for an unpleasant conversation for the other party.
- Verdict: These portable Bluetooth speakers are versatile and deliver powerful audio despite their relatively small size.