Pros: Good sound quality; Jack socket input; Works for both calls and music
Cons: A little expensive; Can't use Bluetooth for calls when using jack input
Bottomline: Good speakers for listening to music on the move with a mobile
Vista compatibility: Yes
Manufacturer: Altec Lansing
The recent crop of mobile phones have come close to rendering portable music players obsolete, now that they have decent quality and storage.
However, there is a problem when attempting to play music back on a mobile phone with anything other than the supplied headphones: the built-in speakers do not usually do justice to good music and few phones have a standard jack socket for plugging in external speakers.
The Inmotion Soundblade is a clever alternative that can connect to phones that use a technology called Music Enabled Stereo Bluetooth (also known as A2DP). The Soundblade can also work as a speakerphone, automatically pausing the audio on the phone to allow the user to take a call.
Sound quality was pretty good and a vast improvement on the speakers found in our test phones. The pause button and track and volume controls were much more convenient than trying to use a phone keyboard, although the ease of sending the music to the Soundblade is down to the individual phone. We had no problems once the phone was connected – the Soundblade was shown as an output.
If all else fails, there is a 3.5mm jack plug at the back for using other sound sources. Sadly, when this is used the speakers cannot be used over Bluetooth. That means the Soundblade cannot be used as a speakerphone for an older Bluetooth phone with, say, a music player plugged in as well.
The Soundblade is powered from six AA batteries for use while on the move or from the supplied power supply when near a socket. A stand is also built into the back of the speaker and it comes with a protective carry bag.
At £90 the Soundblade is not cheap but it is versatile, not least because it is quite capable of being used plugged into a desktop computer when not one the move.