There’s something to be said for being able to take a party where ever you go–particularly with summer coming on in earnest–and parties tend to need certain basic things. Music is one of these. A killer light show, meanwhile, is less useful but still welcome. 808 sent out an NRGGLO speaker for us to review, and though it’s a simple device, it will have a surprisingly large number of use cases to throw in.
The 808 NRGGLO speaker possesses roughly the same dimensions as a can of Red Bull, with a speaker grate on top, and directly beneath that, a ring of blue lights. Near the bottom of the speaker is a power button–which also serves as a button to engage the Bluetooth pairing system–and a button marked “glow.” This is the button where things really get interesting.
Two ports, meanwhile, include a microUSB port designed to serve as a charging mechanism, and a 3.5 headphone jack that allows users to plug in most anything that couldn’t already be served with the Bluetooth function.
There’s very little to say about performance on this. The speaker is sound–no pun intended–and the fidelity doesn’t have any issues. I’ve heard better speakers, yes, but few of them have been able to fit into the same rough dimensions as a can of Red Bull. The “glow” button, meanwhile, is the real powerhouse of the operation. It offers several different configurations, and the one in which the flash rate changes with the drum beat of the song seems to sync up nicely. That one’s known as “Party Mode”, but it’s not alone. Breath Mode makes the light both grow and diminish like breathing, and Chase Mode makes the light run around the rim of the speaker itself. Finally, there are both Solid Mode and Dimmed Solid Mode, which operate about how you’d expect.
It’s hard not to love this thing. I tried the flash modes with a variety of different songs, running the gamut from Sade to The Offspring to Dragonforce. The slower, rhythmic jazz beats generated the proper tempo of flashes in response, and the device didn’t have a problem keeping up with the ultra-high beats per minute rates that Dragonforce generated. It was fun listening to the startup and shutdown sounds the device made when the power switch was held to shut it on and off; it doesn’t add much to the functionality, but it’s fun. That counts for a lot more than some might think.
First, it’s worth noting that there are a lot–and I mean a LOT–of flashing lights involved in this thing. It delivers an excellent experience in both light and sound. Sure, it would have been nicer to see more lights in more places here. More colors, even the ability to select other colors would have been welcome. Still though, the basic operation here is good enough. Word of warning, though; the flashes can be extremely rapid, so it’s worth taking note if there’s any history of seizures in the family. Those interested, meanwhile, can pick this up for $49.98 at three different stores at last report on Google, so finding one of these shouldn’t be tough.