Provides: 2.0 stereo iPod dock and Bluetooth streaming speakers
Minimum Requirements: iPod/iPhone with 30-pin Dock connector, Audio device with Bluetooth streaming or 1/8″ audio output
Appletell recently covered Edifier’s launch of its new Bluetooth-enabled iPod speaker docks, and the company was kind enough to send the Edifier Bric BT our way for review (along with a few of their other products). The Bric BT, aka the iF330BT is the Bluetooth-capable portable enhancement of the original Bric iPod dock, featuring the addition of Bluetooth streaming and dual bass reflex ports for added punch on the low end.
The key to any small speaker setup is getting a good balance of volume without introducing distortion, and Edifier has developed a compromise that offers both decent and undistorted sound. The Bric BT offers distortion-free sound across all types of music even up to its highest volumes; the tradeoff is the fact that the max volume will not rattle any walls or shake the windows. Sound reproduction favors accuracy over enhancement, so if you need a wub-wub machine for punched-up techno basslines, the Bric is not your best choice. If you want to hear your music as it was recorded or need a good general purpose speaker for a variety of music types, the Bric performs admirably.
To iPhone 5 or not iPhone 5
In the could-be-a-negative column, the Bric BT uses Apple’s legacy 30-pin Dock connector for your iPod/iPhone, meaning current-gen iPod and iPhone 5 users will be unable to dock their devices. One of Apple’s biggest strategy plays with the new Lightning connector hinges on the fact that so many audio and video applications support streaming, either via Bluetooth or AirPlay, that the physical connectors on a device are not really as big an issue anymore. The BT in the Bric BT’s name stands for BlueTooth, meaning this plucky little speaker will gladly connect to any of Apple’s current iPods (except the Shuffle, though there is an audio-in port and cable included in the box).
Other features of the Bric BT include:
- Full iPod control with the remote, including menu, up/down, and select (though of course if you are close enough to be able to read your iPod/iPhone’s screen, there is little reason to use a remote).
- A drawstring carrying bag, which is needed because of the…
- Integrated remote holder, which does not actually hold the remote in place. There is a slot for the remote on the underside of the Bric, but pick it up and the remote slides right back out—there is no clip/holding mechanism. Luckily the carrying bag fits snugly enough to prevent this, so bag it up before you hit the road.
- Lightweight at roughly 3 lbs, around 3.75 with six AA batteries. These offer enough juice to get you through at least a workday of just Bluetooth streaming, though if you dock and charge your iPhone the Bric’s battery does drain faster. Unlike most other Bluetooth streaming iPod speakers, the Bric features a traditional battery compartment, rather than an internal rechargeable battery. This can be a great feature when the batteries drain, as you can just pop new ones in, but you do have to flip the speaker upside down to get to the battery compartment (which can send the remote flying if you had it in the holder!).
If you are not going portable there is an included power adaptor that allows you to use the Bric just like a traditional speaker dock, and the Bric’s small size makes it perfect for tight spots where you want to add a sound system without taking up lots of space. It even comes with a two year warranty (it feels like no company does that anymore!), so if anything goes wrong you can get some help. The iPod Dock hides away nicely and snaps conveniently into place via a built-in magnet on the front; I suspect that over time most Bric owners will find themselves keeping that Dock closed and using the BT part of the Bric exclusively. During testing, the full 30 foot range of Bluetooth was easily achieved, and there were never any dropped audio streams or interference.
All together the Bric BT is a competent portable Bluetooth speaker, especially considering it is priced under the majority of its competition and includes an iPod dock, which most other speakers do not.
Check out Bric’s online store for full details.
Buy the Bric Portable Bluetooth iF330BT