Let me start by saying how much I enjoy reviewing all of these Blackberry gadgets and accessories available in the BBGeeks store. Once a month I get to pick an item that I think would be a great purchase for BlackBerry owners everywhere and get my thoughts out about it. I try and pick devices that will enhance your productivity, provide additional functionality to your device, or give you a little added protection from wear and tear. This time out I decided to go with something extravagant for the review process and decided on the BlueAnt M1 Bluetooth Stereo Speakers.
Introducing the BlueAnt M1 Stereo Bluetooth Speaker System
I love the sound quality of my BlackBerry Bold but sometimes you just want to have a bit more power in your tunes. This is exactly what I was thinking when I chose the M1 speakers. I was looking for a wireless solution that I could transport anywhere I went with my BlackBerry – and it had to thump! The M1 Bluetooth speakers delivered in spades and I would highly suggest them to anyone looking for a similar solution. The BlueAnt M1 Bluetooth speaker system is comprised of one single speaker tube with volume controls, track skip options and a Bluetooth pairing button/power switch located on the front. Also featured on the front panel of the M1 is a bass booster that allows you to pump up the bass in a tinny MP3 if necessary. I like to keep the bass switched on as the type of music I listen to is quite bass heavy for the most part. Another cool thing about the BlueAnt M1 speakers is that they come with a slick looking neoprene case that wraps snugly around the entire unit, offering protection from the elements if being used outside. The case has small vent holes to protect the speakers when in use and also features an elastic strap on one end to facilitate hanging if necessary. You will also find a nice velcro tab on the back of the case that provides access to the power supply in the event that you need to plug the speakers in at any point in time while maintaining protection from dust, dirt and rain etc.
So what are the specs?
The BlueAnt M1 bluetooth Speaker system is comprised of two 28 Watt RMS speakers and an internal Subwoofer(which they claim makes it one of the most powerful portable Bluetooth speaker systems in the world). Running on a Bluetooth 2.0 specification, the M1 speakers are compatible with a large number of PDAs, smart phones, laptops etc. As long as the device supports the Bluetooth A2DP protocol it can be used to control the M1. The M1 speakers will also operate on the SBC Stereo streaming and AVRCP Audio/VideoRemote Control Profiles. In addition to the Bluetooth connectivity, the M1 also allows for a traditional 3.5mm jack connection. This opens up the possible list of connections to devices that do not support Bluetooth but still feature media players. Essentially, in one way or another you can hook up almost any type of media player to these speakers and enjoy some great M1 sound. The operating range of the M1 speakers is listed at 10 meters and does not require line of sight in order to pair with your Bluetooth device. I was controlling the M1 from every room in my house and from what I can tell, at some points I was further than 10 meters from the M1. This was very impressive. Rest assured, these speakers will work flawlessly no matter where you are in the house. The M1 Bluetooth speakers operate on the 2.4 GHZ frequency and boast a playing time of between 3 and 10 hours depending on the volume at which they are played. During my tests I got somewhere around 7 hours of play time off a full charge which is right in line with their projections. In addition to the wireless functionality of this Bluetooth speaker set, you also have the option of plugging it in while in use to extend your play time. The speakers will charge while plugged in and take an estimated 3 hours to reach full capacity.
My Impressions of the BlueAnt M1 Bluetooth Stereo speakers
These are a must have accessory for anyone who owns a BlackBerry and enjoys a little bit of camping. The speakers are also a great fit for anyone who lives in a small apartment or house that does not need a booming stereo system but could use some quality sound in and around the home. I found the speakers themselves to be well designed in a single unit which feels sturdy yet light weight at the same time. The M1 speakers can be easily transported and the neoprene case is a great bonus as far as protection goes. Pairing my BlackBerry to the M1 was a snap. All it required was the pressing of the pairing button on the front of the M1 and choosing the device from the discovered devices list in my BlackBerry Bluetooth settings. One item of note is that you will be prompted by default on your BlackBerry to enter a code before pairing with the M1s. There is no mention of a required code in the M1 instruction manual so this may throw you for a loop. I simply entered 0000 as my pairing code and the two devices were connected immediately. The pairing code is used on some devices to ensure that the right two are connected but they were not required this time. When connected I had control of the tracks playing and volume levels on the BlackBerry. The M1 was set to a maximum preferred volume by turning the knob and the BlackBerry controlled the volume within that range. It may be important to note that not all devices will have the ability to adjust the volume remotely when paired with the M1 speakers. Tests with a roommates iPhone had no volume control at all. The sound quality of the M1 speakers is top notch for a 28 watt system and I had no issues with distortion until I got far into the higher volume levels. This is not something I would consider to be a drawback since it is rare that you will be blasting them at full volume anyways. The bass boost did a nice job pumping out my hip hop and punk rock favorites but left the music feeling a bit weak when turned off for comparison. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by the BlueAnt M1 Bluetooth Speakers and I would reccommend them to anyone looking for a portable / wireless solution for their music needs.
Where Can I Get Them?
The BlueAnt M1 Bluetooth Stereo Speakers can be purchased for $159.99 (reduced from $199.99) from the BBGeeks Store. NOTE: There is another set of Bluetooth speakers available from our store for a slightly cheaper price and I will be reviewing those next. Once the two sets of speakers have been reviewed I will do a head to head post to determine which one offers the best performance and value for the BlackBerry owner looking for some serious sound! Until then I hope you have enjoyed this review.