We have a new speaker here provided by MakeTheOne.com that does more than just provide wireless sound, but it does it without the need of WiFi, Bluetooth or any other propietary method. How does it it happen? Is it voodoo? It could be–or, it pulls it off by what they refer to as “close-contact wireless”, aka induction.
The Bento Oaxis is actually quite interesting as you don’t believe it at first. On the first try, we looked for Bluetooth connections in the background, but there was nothing. Just to confirm this black induction-magic, we disabled all wireless activity on the phone and tried again, just to find that it still amplified the music playing simply by placing the phone flat on the top surface. Not bad.
That is exactly what it is supposed to do. The ability to place any phone, radio or other object on the top that produces sound, to have it immediately amplified without the need of any wireless connections. Referring to it as a speaker obviously means that there are small speakers inside. So this isn’t a simple trick of using reflection to make your sound seem a little louder. The sound really is being amplified.
We did find that we got different volumes with different devices placed on top of it, some of which wasn’t really that loud at all, so the close-contact mode would be best for environments where you wouldn’t be looking to make much noise. Unless of course your device is one of those that somehow triggers the most out of this little guy (we had the best of luck with a Nokia Lumia 920 and a Samsung Galaxy S6). It provides is a slight to sometimes very bright amplification of the sound playing on or near the top surface. Of course, there is little to no low-end (bass) while using this mode, but it’s still a fun feature.
We had all sorts of fun testing it out using the strangest of things, including speaking or singing close to the line/mark on the surface. Even our voices were being amplified–albeit, we could barely tell without placing our hands on the speaker grille underneath and feeling for the vibration (powered devices seem to work best).
Ad – Buy the Bento Oaxis on Amazon
The speaker features a 3.5mm line-in (mini) jack on the back where you could also plug in any device supporting such connection, allowing for a much louder amplification. This makes a big difference as you will most likely get a lot more use doing it this way. The close-contact amplification is fascinating, but the level of volume or bass we got didn’t always fulfill the needs outside of a small desk in a quiet environment. Once you plug in the cable, you get the typical volume of a speaker its size.
It also features a micro-USB port on the back for charging it using a computer or mobile recharging device. It doesn’t come with a wall adapter, so unless you have one from another device kicking around, you won’t be charging it that way.
The speaker itself has a very artsy design to it, meaning it won’t look tacky sitting anywhere. It has a neutral build quality making it feel like a solid product, but nothing over the top (nor does it feel like it is going to fall apart). On the rear side, you have four rubber feet to help prevent movement during vibrations or scratching of the surface it is sitting on.
Inside the box you find the micro-USB to USB cable, a 3.5mm line-in cable, instructions and the speaker. The speaker itself can be found on MakeTheOne.com.
Also, scroll down a little further to find out how you can win one of your own!
We had a lot of fun goofing around with this and wired volume is pretty good. It would be nice if it *also* supported Bluetooth just to give it that extra wireless kick (and volume). It would also make it universally useful for all situations (or maybe even a built-in Qi charging source for the device laying on top). We found in most situations we diverted to using the line-in cable to get better volume and range. The lack of a wall adapter is unfortunate but common (something we seem to be pointing out more often). Nothing is more useful than a wall adapter though since a USB port isn’t always available while on the “bounce”. Also volume for the “close-contact” mode could be higher for some devices. We couldn’t determine if this was a draw-back of the device (something that could be improved on), or if simply some devices make it difficult for it to pick up on it. The limitation of bass in this mode is unfortunate, leading to super bright audio (but very loud) in cases where it obtained max volume. We decided to give it a 6/10 score. A fun device that can really sound like you put your phone next to a megaphone…or sometimes just a soft increase in volume. Line-in makes a big difference, but hopefully the next generation model can add a little something (like Bluetooth) to really make it pop within it’s price range.
MakeTheOne has also provided one for us to give away, so what do you think? Do you want to get your hands on one of these? Enter via the following form:
|Cone Material||Paper, Aluminum|
|Output Channel||Stereo 2.0|
|Output Power (Max)||3W x 2|
|Total Continuous Power (RMS) @ 10% THD @ 1KHz||2W x 2|
|Signal to Noise Ratio @ 1KHz Input||>75dB|
|Audio||3.5mm audio jack|
|Power||Micro USB Port|
|Battery Type||Built-in Li-ion(1000mAh)|
|Battery Cycle Life||300 cycles|
|Playback Time||up to 6 hours|
|Charging Power||5V, 500mA|
|Charging Time||3 hours|
|In the Package||1xSpeaker, 1x Micro USB Cable, 1x Line-in Cable, 1x User Manual|
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
- Final Score