Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: AmazonBasics 3.5mm Aux Portable Speaker
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VINE VOICEon September 15, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is indeed a basic speaker "system" (I'm not sure how much of a system one thing with a plug-in can be, but I'll play along). The battery life has been good and it offers significantly better volume than my previous MP3 speakers. It's sleek enough, but not especially light--the trade-off for improved volume and bass resolution, I suppose. There is a slight crackle when I adjust the volume, but when you know it's coming, and if you don't do a lot of volume-adjusting, it's not a big deal. I'm pleased with the Portable Stereo System, which I've now used extensively at the beach and to share songs and other files with my girlfriend (who got tired of putting on the headphones, and besides--it's more fun to share the experience!).

But...it does split the difference between a system large enough to have power and good sound and one portable enough to slip into a backpack or purse or something. It's either the best of both worlds or the worst, depending which way you perceive the compromise as having gone.
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on November 30, 2011
I saw this speaker on a lightning deal for $12.99 and thought I would give it a try on an impulse purchase. In my office, just about everyone has some sort of small speaker system that connects to their mobile devices and all of these units are not very impressive. This Amazon Basics unit is small enough at less than 10 inches long and only a couple of inches tall and deep, so it is small enough to take around with you or toss in your bag. It is also very light. For a unit so small, the sound is decent. Of course there will be a lack of bass, but I would expect there to be with a unit like this.
I don't care about a dock and prefer that the unit does not have one, so plus 1 there. The 3.5 mm audio jack cord is short, but I prefer this too, as it makes for easy cord management. The USB cord will power the speaker with AC, so long as you have a USB/AC adapter, and since I already own so many mobile devices, I have a few extra USB/AC adapters that I can use for this speaker. The bottom line is that for $12.99 this unit is a steal and at less than $20 normally, it is still the best product in it's very specific class of non blue tooth, compact, battery/USB powered speakers for mobile devices having a 3.5 mm audio jack as its primary and only audio input method. This serves a very specific use case and as long as users understand this and set expectations accordingly, they will be pleased with this product.
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on November 25, 2011
Two of the laptop computers in this household have very poor speakers (even for laptops). I have a tiny iHome speaker which is great for traveling but I wanted something a bit larger with more volume also. The main use is when I go over to my in-laws and set-up Skype video-chats. Given their hearing a speaker with a bit of oomph (that's a technical audio engineering term) is needed.

This product serves my needs well. It is convenient and helpful to be able power the speaker by either batteries (4 AAs) or via the USB port. The audio cable is self-storing in a grove in the battery compartment. Volume is more than sufficient and the audio is clear.

This is NOT a audiophile's speaker nor is it marketed as such.

Negatives:

1) The audio cable is permanently attached to the speaker. When it fails, the speaker will be useless.
2) Audio is not transmitted via USB, only power so if using this means of providing DC to the speaker, you have two wires running between it and the computer.
3) The audio cable is very short.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My daughter's expensive earbuds to her iPod started to fray, and she also noted her ears bothered her after their use, even though she kept the sound low in her quiet room. So I went looking for an alternative for her and found this small portable stereo. Granted, at just a bit over 11 ounces without the 4 AA batteries in it, and measuring just under 10"x3", she's unlikely to go running with it. But its USB power cable goes directly into the computer or other USB-using device, or you can plug the cable into an A/C converting plug. I don't think we'll be using batteries in it, but it's a nice option.

It has a beautiful look; a long, sleek shiny black case with silver edges forming an elongated ellipse. Elegant for a dresser or bookcase, lean enough to fit next to the computer on her desk. The plug for the mp3 player stores neatly inside the case when not in use. There are only two buttons discreetly inset on top, on/off and volume. So you think, ugh, what kind of sound will this have since it's so simplistic that I can't adjust it?

Well, the sound was the best surprise in this little bundle, as it was crisp, clear, and full. Granted, such a small unit hasn't the reverb space for major sub-woofers, so if you love really heavy bass you'll be disappointed.
I tried it out on a variety of songs: a jazzy piece "Marisi" by Cantoma, "Pirates of the Caribbean" medley by the Prague Philharmonic, "Price Tag" Jessie J., "Boom Boom Guetta" The Black Eyed Peas, "Shiny Happy People" R.E.M., and the live version of "Copperline" James Taylor. I love high-end percussion, and the warm timbre of great vocalists, so I was totally thrilled with the performance. I realized that there's a lot more fun to be had listening to techno when the deep bass isn't there to fuzz out your brain.

The booklet that accompanies the unit didn't list specs, just basic diagrams on features and a rudimentary troubleshooting, mostly involving distortion. I tried the unit at various sound levels and didn't notice distortion to the highest level with which I was comfortable. But the highest level was more than I wanted to hang out in, so perhaps over time and a lot of use something might wiggle loose.

Since my daughter mostly likes to use her iPod while gaming on the computer or checking her facebook, this is going to be a fantastic alternative to those pesky earbuds! And with the smooth clarity it gives, she can enjoy it at a reasonable volume, knowing that the bass won't make plates jump off the shelf in the next room.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 3, 2012
When playing background music, I'm not fussy about sound quality, but the built-in speakers on a Kindle or an MP3 player leave a lot to be desired. I don't like wearing earplugs, so this portable device is the perfect solution.

The stereo speakers deliver decent, full sound, and are in a 2-1/2" by 10" case that is easy to pick up and carry around the house. The speaker cable (which can be stored inside the device) simply plugs into the earphone outlet of any player. Unfortunately, the speaker cable extends only 13" from the device, so it's a little short if you want to hold a Kindle in your hands while listening. However, it's fine if you want to set your Kindle on a tabletop while listening, and it doesn't get tangled up if you're using the stereo system with a small MP3 player.

When I tested this portable stereo system with an audio book on a Kindle Keyboard, the sound quality was improved, but the maximum volume was quite a bit lower than the volume delivered by the built-in Keyboard speakers. When I tested the device with a Kindle Fire, both sound quality and maximum volume were better than the sound from the built-in Fire speakers. When I tested the device with a Philips GoGear Ariaz MP3 Player, the sound quality could be adjusted to a rich, full sound by using the player's sound settings, and the maximum volume was much higher than that of the player's built-in speakers. Obviously, the sound delivered by this portable stereo system will vary depending on what you plug it into.

The speakers are powered by four AA batteries (not included), or you can use the included USB cable to plug the device into another powered device, such as a computer. The AmazonBasics device has an external on/off switch and volume control. For less than $20, this portable stereo sound system device delivers all the sound that I need for everyday listening, and it makes me very happy!
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on September 30, 2011
as described; remember this is only $20 and is not meant to be fancy. 1st one had to be sent back due to not being able to work on batteries; many others have made mention of this issue. Requested a replacement due to this issue; got it the next day and it works fine. Overall pleased with item very pleased with how Amazon handled this
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on January 3, 2012
I was immediately disappointed by the lack of volume the Amazon Basics Portable Stereo offered. It is adequate only in very quiet environments, perhaps like an office where the merest hint of music more reminds you of your favorite music rather than playing it. I was also disappointed by the audio cable which is a mere foot long. It is not long enough to comfortably permit the handling of an iPod or Kindle or other portable device while connected. Amazon really should have just put a female audio jack on the amplifier and allowed their customers to select the length of cable appropriate to their needs. As far as its audio is concerned, the sound it provides is very crisp and clear, and more suitable for voice, such as audio books or pre-Fire Kindle's text to speech. I rate it as O.K. because of its styling and size, and the remarkable clarity of its output. It's really too bad the unit's volume is so low. I found its performance to be the same when used with an iPod, Android phone, Android tablet, an MP3 player and a laptop, the great clarity and low volume consistent in all cases.
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on January 25, 2012
Excellent product for the price. Works great for it's small size and portability. Bass is limited due to the small speaker size, but the performance improves for my iPhone and iPad, especially adding much needed volumne.

An unexpected bonus was adding it as a tweeter to a computer that has a 2.1 powered speaker set. This added high and upper mid tones, with the main speakers providing bass and separation.

Amazon puts it's name on the product and this is reflected in the quality construction and performance. Highly recommended.
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on December 22, 2011
Of course you can't compare this to your Home Theater System
or even your plug-in computer speakers!

But for the price it is worth it!
It's got richer bass and crisper sound than all of my portable devices.
You can boost the volume beyond what your cell phone can handle.

CONS: It rolls on its back easily, and feels clunky,
the wire is too short, and it feels like extra baggage

PROS: Sleek design, Low cost, portable, conversation starter
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on February 6, 2012
Purchased for use on my desk at work. Plays extremely well. Details of items were not clear to me. Please be aware the pictured USB plug is for power, not as an alternative connection. The audio source is a 3.5mm jack only. If you dont want to use batteries you need to plug this into a powered USB hub or your PC.
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