55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2012
I have to say I have tried over a hundred speakers .. both Bluetooth and Airplay .. and to be quick here is a summary :
1- I have the Philips Air Play Speakers .. totally un-reliable connection , connection drops every 5-10 minutes and very
difficult to restore it back .. you often would have to delete the wifi settings on the speakers and re-configure it
again in order to work properly .
2- Tried many bluetooth Speakers , this is by far the best , because :
a- Excellent Base
b- Excellent Sound in all directions ( In my opinion better than Jawbone )
c- Bluetooth Connection very reliable
d- NFC Connection ( not that apple users can make use of )
e- external 3.5" cable connection ( not all speakers have this )
f- ability to synchronize 2 speakers together for even better coverage ( not available in Jawbone or other speakers )
g- Very long battery life .. more than 20 hours on medium volume
h- can control the volume from both , the speaker and the phone
i- ability to connect to 2 bluetooth devices and move between them at the touch of a button ..
In my opinion , this speaker is a winner .
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
Added 9/11/13. Wonder if anyone can help solve this. Googling, this is apparently not an isolated problem. Pairs well with Ipad 3. But when paired with the Samsung Note 2 phone, it clearly indicates paired on screen and the confirmation beep through the speaker. However, no audio comes through the speaker. I've tested many permutations and speakers but no avail including checking the Media Audio box - and unchecking it.
Picked up a PAIR of these up on a sale for about half price. My review is for the PAIR and not individual unit. After a few days, I was pretty sure that I would be giving it a 4 star. However, upon further listening and considering the whole package, its a five star.
Key. I listen with these perched at ear level on a small oak rolltop desk. I turn them on the side so the single drive faces my direction rather than upward. This gives noticeably better highs and better imaging. I've been a fan of single full range drivers for imaging. This sytem works pointing up as designed but the sound is more diffused and less direct. Still, very pleasant in either orientation.
For $300 a pair, I expected much higher volume/power and perhaps a deeper base. HOWEVER, after a lot of listening, realize that it is musical and has virtually none of that hollow 'honk' that I've encountered in other bluetooth units such as the Bose Soundlink (also in the $300 range) or even smaller units such as Jambox. I believe the 'honk' comes from pushing the driver beyond what their physics allow.
I have the Bose Companion 20 for the desktop. It has deeper bass, more articulate highs. But it also has DSP processing that makes the soundfield/stage appear wider. This leads to listening fatigue after an hour or so. It's the only Bose I've ever liked - doesn't have the traditional Bose tubbiness that I dislike, and yet has potent bass for a 2.0 system. The Bose really has a fantastic single driver speaker.
Over time, I realized that I like these Nokia 360 as much as the Bose. Objectively on paper, the Bose provides a bit more more detail so if I was mixing, the Bose would have it. The Bose can also get louder. (Though neither is a monitor.)
However, the Nokia has a very pleasant quality and they designers has the right mix of frequency response. It is balanced. I get the sense that the designers did not try to over reach the driver's capability. I can listen for hours without fatigue and get a real sense of musicality. I listen to everything from classical to vocals to jazz but not hard rock/metal/rap/trance. In short, I like these as much as the Bose Companion 20 for daily listening - if not actually more. I do listen to it more than the Bose.
It does sound a bit better using wired cable rather than on bluetooth but that is to be expected.
So this is high praise. Still, for $300, I would give it only 4 stars for the audio as I expect a $300 system to be capable of very high volume. (The Bose is $250.) Granted that expectation is for non-portable systems so I may not be fair in expectations.
2. DESIGN & FLEXIBILITY
However, what clearly puts this over the top to 5 stars is its design and flexibilty.
a. Size. Two of these speakers combined are about 1.2 times the size of ONE single Bose Companion 20 speakers so it is easier to travel with.
It has very good bluetooth range and the sound quality is fine.
c. Bluetooth Stereo.
This is a significant advantage. The speaker pairs up for stereo without any wires between them.
d. Battery operated with excellent battery life and replaceable battery.
Couple a-d above, I find this to be a fantastic travel speakers or casual home use for moving around the house. I can simply move two small cubes, place them anywhere in the room (corners for bass reinforcement), and have music streaming. Can't be any simpler. Zero wires, stereo, flexible placement, good battery life. AND the battery is replaceable at a low cost using standard cell phone battery if they ever wear out. At moderate volume, I've gone about 10 hours without it draining fully so the battery life is fine.
An example of flexibility: I'm listening at my desk. Then have to move to a different room to do extended printing. I just pick up my laptop, take both speakers in one hand, and the music continues unabated. In the other room, I want room filling sound so I simply place the speaker 10 feet from me and 10 feet from each other for stereo room filling sound which has a different feel than speakers 3 feet from me at my desk. Its more expansive. It's hard to explain but the flexibility really is a pleasure.
3. Construction Quality.
Finally, it is quite lightweight at about 1 lbs each. I thought it was plastic except that the body is cold to the touch. Reading, I found out that the exterior is mostly aluminum. This is a surprise. It is very rigid and seem to be a quality piece which I expect to last a long time.
In all, a very smart design, musical audio, and incredibly flexible. It also comes with two travel pouches that is form fitting The speaker works while still in the pouches if you need to place it on 'unfriendly' surfaces that can scratch the speakers.
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
If you purchased the new Lumia 900, then this is a must! Actually, this is a great wireless speaker for any Buletooth device. Connecting to your devices is simple and easy, the design and quality of construction rivals anything Apple produces, and most importantly, the sound quality is superb. The speaker projects the sound upward and easily is able to fill a room. Surprisingly, the bass is also very good. I own the new iPad, a Lumia 900, and an HP laptop. You start to really apperciate the sound that comes out the Nokia Play 360 once you connect it to your device and hear the sound transition from the device to the speaker.
Another great feature is the ability to pair two devices to the speaker, and easily transition back-and-forth to both devices. The battery life is also very impressive. I'm not sure if it will last the full 21 hours as advertised, but I do know that it easily lasted 8-10 hours yesterday on only a couple of hours charge. The portability of the speaker is also a plus. It's lightweight, and it comes with a well designed neoprene carrying case. Another feature that it has is the ability to sync with a second speaker for wireless stereo sound! I haven't tried this feature out yet as I do not have two, but I will be picking up a second after this post.
The only critisism that I have, and this is really a non issue, was that the bottom blue rubber base had a powdery grim on it. This was easily cleaned off, and must have been residules of the manufacturing process. Really a non-issue. This speaker really is beautiful!
Lastly, and surprisingly, yesterday when I was using the speaker with my cell phone and recieved a text message. My phone, through the Nokia Play anounced that I had a new text message, read it to me, allowed me to respond back verbally, and sent the text off, all without a need to push a button. That might not of surprised you, but it was the first time it happened to me, and I didn't even know that was possible!
I like this speaker! Hope you will as well. Nokia's design and quality seem to be returning back to their high, high standards!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2012
Came today! I am, actually, an audiophile and have been for years. One of those crazy people who spend ridiculous money on this stuff. Will say, the travel speaker market has been so utterly crappy that when a small form factor that at least doesn't make your ears bleed comes along, you take notice. There are many things to love about this speaker.
1) It's not as small as the Jawbone, but there is a minimum amount of acoustic space necessary to create credible bass.
2) Great design decision to use the cubic inches for bass, instead of trying to squeeze stereo sound into a package that is so small there is utterly NO meaningful separation (I'm looking at you Jawbone, Bose, Phillips, anyone who brags about a "stereo" device no wider than 3/4 the width of your listening space is blowing marketing smoke.)
3) Here's the killer feature: you buy 2, you can get true stereo separation in whatever hotel room you stay in, without having to check an extra bag.
4) The treble is pretty darn nice too. Smooth. These were definitely designed by a sis/bro who gets our priorities.
No, it won't replace your Martin-Logan electrostatics, Klipsch horns, LCD-3s,HD-800's, Krell, Marrantz, Amps, etc. But all the right compromises, and none of the wrong ones were made in design of this fantastic travel speaker.
PS: I had no prob pairing it with my iPhone 4, MacBookPro 2010, or MacBookAir 2011. Couldn't get it hooked up to my Sammy GalTab 7 Plus, but not done trying. Don't know if mine already had the firmware update. But I suspect the Mac issues might be limited to certain chipsets used in certain production runs.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2013
A friend purchased the Bose Soundlink 2 last month, on my recommendation. Excellent sound as expected and blew away the Big Jambox. This was before I researched this last gen Nokia. The overall sound and features of a pair of these Play 360's is better than the Bose, making them the best out there. The 360's almost match the Bose in sound quality, volume, portability and weight. Where the Nokia's bests Bose is in price, replacable batteries and most importantly with the speaker separation, the stereo effect is better than any other bluetooth/portable speakers out there.
Sep. 12, 2013 update. All the above is still accurate and now I can confirm 20+ hours on the battery life at medium volume.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2013
This speaker is built solidly and has a nice rugged feel to it, and the sound quality is fantastic. I would never expect a home theater system sound coming out of this speaker, but still, the quality is impressive. The highs are a little lacking but the mids and lows are surprisingly good. On the other hand, the volume is not optimal. While it has the capability of getting loud enough to drown out one person speaking, but it will not overpower a room of people like some other larger, more powerful systems. That being said, the quality is pretty amazing. There is not heavy bass (obviously) but it is very noticeable, and the port on the side of the device moves a good amount of air. The main advantage this speaker has is its portability. If you are looking for a speaker with great sound and portability, this is the one for you, as long as you don't want your music loud enough to overpower a room full of people.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
I have a Samsung GS2 and I can easily pair the speaker with my Galaxy S2 but the NFC is a little off with non Nokia phones. For example if I place my phone on top of the speaker the speaker will turn on and my phones Bluetooth will turn on but then I have to pick up the phone go into settings and choose what device I want to pair too. You would think that the NFC would turn on the speaker and link it to the phone and start streaming the device audio automatically, I think that's the way it works with a Nokia device. Other then that annoying issue the speaker sounds great. The wireless connection is very strong. The battery lasts a looooooong time. They look good and are well designed and sturdy. Would make a great computer or portable speaker as well. If you are undecided between logitech, jambox, or something similar your best bet is the 360. If you are expecting a home theater surround sound Dolby 5.1 eight speaker set up sound....your expectations are too high. It's just an awesome portable speaker The best you can get for the money period
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2013
I recently purchased a pair of these speakers when they were on sale. I currently own a Big Jambox as well as a few entry-level "audiophile" headphones, if you will. I do admit, I'm a bit of a gadget freak when it comes to these things. With that said though, these speakers do sound great, at least to my ears.
Obviously a pair of these would easily outshine the (small) Jambox so a comparison to the Big Jambox would be more likely. The Big Jambox protrudes sound directly forward. There is a sweet spot where the sound is best and if you step out of it, then the sound obviously diminishes. For the Play 360's, since the sound protrudes upward, this creates a larger spot in that most angles of the room hear the same sound. Bass is better in the Jambox while the Play 360's focus more on the mid to upper mids. I feel that the Jambox pushes a more aggressive sound, which obviously works better for parties and social events.
As far as connection, the Bluetooth can get a bit spotty sometimes, but 95% of the time, it's fine. When listening to Pandora, it randomly gives out for a second or two but then again, that could be my internet connection. Also, as others have noted, the sound does distort at times. One of my speakers started distorting when I paired them for the first time but after a reset, it works fine and I haven't heard any distortion since. I'll follow up if this matter arises again. There is no speakerphone on this. I watched a video from the designer stating that they wanted to focus on doing one thing well and that was creating a speaker. Also, one thing to be aware is that you can only connect one device to the speakers at one time and the speakers do not auto connect once you turn them on. This was a slight disappointing as the Jambox not only allowed multi-connecting to different devices, but would also automatically connect once a previously connected device was in range.
Construction-wise, these things are made of solid aluminum so they feel solid yet light at the same time. They also come with travel pouches w/carabiners attached for easy traveling. I won't comment on the NFC part as I use an iPhone so my options are limited to Bluetooth.
Where these things distinguish themselves is the stereo effect. The only other speakers I know that do this are the Philips Shoqbox, but those speakers have smaller drivers and were generally reviewed less favorably. By pairing these up and spacing them appropriately, you get a very nice surround effect. Granted, it's not surround sound quality, but definitely better than anything I've heard so far insomuch as Bluetooth speakers go.
In conclusion, even just one of these speakers sound amazing, taking into account their size and weight. Bass obviously lacks, but they move a fair amount of air for their size. I wouldn't really consider these speakers you would bring to parties. They're more subtle - think creating ambience and mood or just an intimate group of friends. Plus, their design is just way more subdued and subtle than most bluetooth speakers.
Given the plethora of choices for wireless speakers out there (e.g. Jambox, Philips Shoqbox, Bose Soundlink, etc.), I feel that these have solidified their position amongst the better ones. The stereo feature alone is worth it in my opinion, plus you get a really long battery life (15+ hours), a removable battery, and NFC capabilities.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2012
The Nokia Play 360 is a great portable speaker. The sound quality is really impressive. No, it is not comparable to audiophile studio speakers, but it is great for playing music off your phone or iPod. I've listened to it side-by-side with other comparable speakers and this is definitely higher quality sound than the Jambox or Satechi. That improved sound does come in a slightly bigger package, but it is still quite compact. If space and size are at a premium, you might want to compare sizes... If you're looking for a convenient speaker with great sound quality to use at the beach/pool/parties or in your office/workshop, this is a great choice.
The bluetooth connection is a great feature and makes it easy for multiple people to help contribute their music. The included 3.5mm male-to-male plug makes it easy to connect a device that does not have bluetooth. The battery life is also great. One full charge lasted me 4 days playing for 6-8 hours each day at about 80% volume.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
I got a pair of these when they are on sale on Amazon and I have to say I love them! I use the pair as main speakers for my laptop when docked at desk. When I need music outside, I unplug one of these and pair it with my NFC-enabled Nexus 7 tablet or Galaxy Nexus phone. The pairing is as simple as a tap of the mobile device on the speaker. The speaker charges off standard micro-USB, so you can simply use your phone charger on it (unless of course you use an iPhone - sorry).
The sound is amazing. It's loud - I usually play at about half way up the volume bar and the sound fills the room. The quality meets a more expensive 2+1 system that I have, except in the deep bass range.
There is however a serious problem. The bluetooth connection interferes with my laptop's Wifi, so the speakers stutter every so often when laptop wifi is on, to the point that they are unusable. I switched to the 3.5mm connector and everything is fine (wireless connection between the pair of speakers doesn't seem to be affected). I haven't noticed the same problem when connecting to my phone and tablet, so this is still manageable.