You know what my New Year’s resolution was this year? I’m done with crappy audio. I know resolutions are generally about bettering one’s self. But honestly, I listen to too many excellent bands to shove them through Apple’s earbuds, the iPad’s speakers, or even the sound system in the car I took over from my wife when she decided it would be better to trade in my vehicle for the Mazda 5 because we’d get more money for it.
The only reason I agreed? Because my car’s amp had died, and the only thing worse than crappy audio is no audio.
This resolution will be difficult to maintain because we review a lot of speakers and headphones here at the Technology Tell Apple Channel, and some of them are bound to underperform. But that’s not the case with the Infinity One Premium Portable Bluetooth Speaker.
Straight off the bat, however, I’m going to question Harman’s use of the term “portable.” Yes, it’s small and wireless, but its ceramic shell is heavier and more susceptible to scratches than I usually like to see in portable speakers. I was fine moving it about the house, and it has become my go-to speaker in the car when I can keep it secure, but this isn’t the type of unit you’ll want to take with you on a extreme road trip (or a normal road trip with extreme people). For that, I suggest one of those speakers that feature designs by extreme artists.
Everything else about the Infinity One, however, is fantastic. Bluetooth connectivity is a breeze…just hit the obviously marked Bluetooth button, find the device on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, then select it. Done. If you don’t have a Bluetooth (or NFC) device, you can always go with the 1/8″ auxiliary input included in the hideaway area in the back, where you’ll also find the DC power, mini-USB and USB ports. It’s worth noting that the Infinity One can actually charge your device, too; its 5V2.1A output takes less than 2 hours to charge a fully depleted smartphone.
As for sound, the four 1.75″ active drivers and the passive radiators at each end combine for a big, powerful (but not muddy or overbearing) sound that does a great job of filling up a room or vehicle.
They performed their best when sitting on a bookshelf, but as I mentioned earlier, I was happy with them in the back seat of my car, too, during my work commute. And depending upon how you use them, you may be happy to hear that Harman even included a microphone for making and receiving calls.
Of course, I expect great sound from a $250+ speaker system. What I don’t always expect is good Bluetooth. The Infinity One, however, was able to maintain its connection as I moved it throughout the house, leaving put the iPhone or Mac connection. Only at extreme ends of the house did the connection start to break, and it even did well between floors provided I was right above or below the signal.
Harman even got the little things right. The top control/connection buttons light up in a way that’s easily seen but not distracting in dark environments, the thick rubber feet keep the speaker in place and prevent vibration, and the open ends with the Infinity logo kick with your music, which inexplicably entertains me to this day.
The only thing keeping the Infinity One from an A rating is the price. It helps that this has been knocked down from $299 to $249 since we first received our review unit, but even at that price you can get a bookshelf system with better sound and more features. You’ll lose the portability, but as I mentioned earlier, the Infinity One isn’t much more than a room-to-room speaker to begin with.
Still, in my year of quality audio, I couldn’t have asked for a much better start.
Provides: Portable Bluetooth audio, mobile device charging and phone call capabilities
Developer: Infinity by Harman
Minimum Requirements: Bluetooth audio source or 1/8″ audio output