Emerging audio company Matrix has released a trendy pair of battery-powered mini speakers. These colorful spheres offer a punchy sound in a cute and convenient design. Roughly the size and weight of a plum, the One and NRG models are very portable and certainly not lacking in volume or clarity. They will easily turn your smartphone or wireless device into a party starter, a relaxing day in your backyard or nearly anything in between.
Offering a rich mid-frequency range, their sound also incorporates crystal highs and a quite impressive low-end. Equipped with Matrix’s patented Xcavated Bass Amplifier, a twist of their top half and an accordion-like body elevates, adding some real bass tones; something that some mini-speakers fail to deliver. All audio types sent from my smartphone– mp3s, YouTube videos, GPS directions and phone calls, all sounded very clear as every tone was accounted for.
The wireless One model is flashy but delightfully simple. After an effortless Bluetooth sync to my phone, tunes were blasting in no time. With the volume at about 50 percent, the speaker sound is rich and amply loud. Its neat blood-red diaphragm sports a 45 mm driver that pushes serious air at 3.5 watts of power. We’re talking about a big sound from such a little gadget.
The wireless function is seamless from across the room with no lag time and if you receive a call while rocking out, its integrated microphone makes conversing easy and fun.
On the One’s casing is its power switch, a mini USB port used to recharge an internal battery and a nifty jog dial which will advance through your tracklist or pickup / hang up your phone calls. Devices without Bluetooth capabilities can also enjoy vivid sounds via a direct-in option by means of a 3.5 mm stereo connection through the USB port. Ultimately, this speaker is appealing to the eye and its function certainly holds up well, too.
With a bit less power and lacking the wireless feature, the NRG model is a universal portable speaker, employing its 3.5 mm stereo output that discretely wraps up underneath the device. It packs a 40 mm driver at 3 watts and the same bass boost technology. This speaker is appropriate for nearly every audio device available and even my single triple-A battery driven mp3 player pushes a robust sound.
At moderate to high volume levels, the patented Matrix sound again offers distinct clarity. Maxed-out, though, this little guy tends to seem a bit overwhelmed. As it dances in place, sometimes adding rumbling bass crackles, you’ll find that there is a definite ‘sweet spot’ at roughly 75 percent volume to avoid the added noise distortion.
Available in seven hot colors, the NRG is a good choice for all users and $29.99 is most definitely a nice price. Possibly its coolest feature is the ability to daisy-chain additional NRG devices through its 3.5 mm output jack. Link up with a few friends and together you can have an impromptu dance party just about anywhere.
Ultimately, Matrix audio is on to something. These speakers have a creative style and will do the job proficiently, even compared toe-to-toe with bulkier models. Both the One and the NRG will play for about 14 hours on a full charge and they are easily transported in their nylon mesh wrist bag.
Simple, stylish, compact and cost-friendly, I look forward to future Matrix sound products. Wherever you go, bring these gizmos along and expect oomph and originality.