WE LIVE in a world where wires are becoming a bit of a taboo.
Wireless charging of our hand-held devices is the next technology that’s likely to emerge but, for now, designers are finding more and more ways of transmitting sound from a playing device - such as your mobile phone or MP3 player - to a speaker.
It’s the natural progression from the good old iPod dock and it’ll no doubt begin to kill it off.
Bayan Audio is the latest company to throw its hat into this new ring with its rather stylish Soundbook.
The new emerging flock of wireless stereo speakers vary wildly in their size, capability and, ultimately, overall efficiency but the elegant Soundbook gets off to a good start.
There’s a lot of factors on its side, too. It’s not large by any means but it packs in a lot of technology and functionality.
For starters, taken straight out of the box, it’s immediately ready to connect up to your device using Bluetooth, NFC, or (perish the thought) a wire.
You’d be forgiven for shrugging your shoulders at the thought of NFC (Near Field Communication) but actually we all know it rather well.
Have you ever used one of those new fangled card machines with which you simply flash your debit card over some sensors and it makes a payment? Me neither actually, but they exist and if your card has a picture of some fins on it then it’s NFC compatible.
Other areas you might see NFC in common use is on public transport - it’s being quite widely used as a contactless payment system on buses these days.
And if your passport has an odd-looking chip in it then that’s NFC compatible too.
Anyway, enough of the introductions. It applies to the Soundbook because NFC will be the next big thing to hit the mobile phone industry. There’s already a few out there with the technology built in and it’s a quick way of connecting the device to your phone’s Bluetooth system.
With the Soundbook, you simply tap your phone against a logo on the base of the device and it connects in seconds. Clever.
Sadly, the NFC chip is located on the cover of the book which, by the time you come to play music through it, will have been flipped under to act as its stand.
As clever a piece of design as this is, it actually means the only way of standing the Soundbook up is by sitting it on the NFC sensor. So you need to lift it up to connect it. Surely it would have been easier to place the sensor somewhere on the front.
Never mind. Once you do get it connected and playing the sound it emits is absolutely lovely. Very rich and deep and, while it’s not loud, it’s as good as many of the premium iPod docks on the market.
It also has an FM Radio built in and, in keeping with the wireless technology, the unit is rechargable so there’s no need to have it next to a socket.
Battery life lasts around 10 hours so you’ll need to charge it at some point but, fortunately, it runs off a standard micro-USB socket which is usually the same as your mobile phone. The lead is supplied.
A nice little trump card for many wireless speakers, the Soundbook included, is that it can be used as a speaker for your mobile phone. This opens up the possibility to hold conference calls with people sat round the same table.
It’s available in two color options - silver and turquoise or a slightly more manly charcoal and burnt orange - but either colour scheme should fit in to most environments.
So, if you’ve just bought an iPod dock then you’ve missed a trick. You’ve missed out on the future. The MP3 is dead, live music streaming is alive and kicking and it’s now possible to walk around your house, office or garden with your mobile phone pumping out your Spotify playlist through your new wireless speaker. Even if it’s still in your pocket.
If this kind of technology tickles your fancy, take a look at the Sounbook.
* Up to 10 hours streaming wireless music on a single charge
* Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology for maximum compatibility
* Advanced audio compression technology for more detailed sound via aptX
* Integrated FM radio with ‘invisible’ aerial
* Built in Microphone for hands-free conference calling
* Auto connect / pairing with Smartphones or Tablets with NFC
* Solid aluminium casing with flip-back case and stand
* TDMA noise rejection eliminates interference from other electrical equipment around you so you can continue to enjoy your music
* Priced at £149.99 including VAT.