News about Sony’s latest mobile devices (Xperia Z and Zperia Tablet Z) may be our primary focus right now, but we can’t forget about the vast number of multimedia devices the Japanese company has always been known for.
Devices such as the one we will now review, the SRS-BTM8, a portable wireless speaker featuring Bluetooth technology and NFC, powerful enough to let you enjoy your music everywhere. Want to know it better? Then without further ado, here is our review.
The SRS-BTM8’s design is very unique, thanks to its carry handle. This makes it possible for the user to carry around the unit with ease, which weighs about 1 kilogram. As you can appreciate, the unit we have here is black, -although a white one is also available- and its design is very simple and discrete, with the aforementioned handle being the most notable characteristic. Its size: 245 x 185 x 88 mm.
The frontal zone has a grill panel, which protects two 2-watt speakers. The handle (which we will review in detail in a little while) has a nice glossy texture, while the back sports a matte one. The latter houses Sony’s logo and two outputs: the audio (3.5 mm) and charger ones, in case you don’t want to make use of its wireless capabilities.
The lower part allows us to access the battery compartment. That’s right; this model does not work with a rechargeable battery, but with four AA batteries.
About the buttons on the upper part: at the left we have the power on/off button, a Bluetooth connectivity one, and the play/pause button, as well as a battery level indicator. At the right, we have the volume and call controls, since we can plug our phone to the speaker and use the former as a hands-free device thanks to its microphone.
At the very middle of the handle we can see the NFC logo, which is also the point we need to get close to Bluetooth devices to link the speaker. In the upper right corner of the grill, there’s a blue-colored led which gives us information about the connection status –it will blink intermittently when not connected.
Specs and Performance
Like we said, Sony’s SRS- BTM8 features two 50-mm speakers with Bass Reflex system. This means this model offers great sound quality for both low and high-pitched sounds, achieving a more powerful sound and better-sounding bass while playing. Higher volumes, as well, mean no distortion to the sound.
Still, we need to remember this model offers only 4 watts (2 x 2 W) of power, so don’t expect Hi-Fi quality. And though it lacks independent speakers, its volume and quality are more than enough to enjoy your music on the go.
The speaker offers two interesting wireless capabilities: its Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity and NFC support. The latter allows the user to connect the speaker to other devices much faster (it takes about one second). Also, there’s the model’s microphone, which can work as a hand-free device, allowing us to make calls without touching our phone, and even control more features via voice-controlled commands.
Maybe you’ve already noticed (or maybe not) this device lacks two very important features: the next/previous track buttons. Sadly, this can only be done directly with our phone. Without a doubt, the simple addition of these two buttons in the handle would’ve made the SRS-BTM8 a much more complete device.
Sony’s SRS-BTM8 is obviously not the first choice that comes to mind if you’re looking for a complete audio system for your home. However, it is a truly interesting alternative, if you like to enjoy your music wherever you go and you’re a fan of speakers. This device offers a good balance between high and low-pitched sounds and bass, features NFC connectivity and can be used as a hands-free microphone for your mobile phone. Also, its handle makes carrying it around easier and very comfortable.
The cons: Its size might make its transportation a bit difficult when you don’t want to carry it by the handle. It would also have been nice a flashier, more eye-catching design, something colorful or with a feature to improve its looks. In this regard, the Nokia Play 360º, which we could get our hands on last year, is better-looking. The next/previous song buttons, however, is the feature we miss the most here.
Sony’s SRS- BTM8 is now available in stores –including the Sony Online Store- for around 135 USD, tax included.