Just how many different technologies can get involved with making vibrations in the air? Quite a few, according to Sony. The SRS-BTV5 is an unusual little product and one easily missed, but well worth giving a bit of attention.
In a nutshell–or should I say, eggshell–what we have here is a wireless speaker intended to give your mobile device a bit more aural oomph. How much more? Surprisingly, a lot more.
Don’t be deceived by the device’s lack of a companion and assume it pumps out mono sound. As it turns out, the spherical shape that makes the BTV5 so interesting and attractive isn’t just for looks. It is this design coupled with some technical Sony wizardry that enables the speaker to have rich audio in full 360 degrees. Basses are respectably bassy on the one end and on the other end the device handled large choirs like a champ. Audio never noticeably clipped in testing, even with volume at 100% on both source and speaker. Speaking of which, this little guy is loud. Loud enough to facilitate a house party? Not single-handedly, no. But plenty loud enough to be comfortably heard on low to medium volume, and borderline painful on full load from a couple feet away.
Now as was already mentioned, this is a wireless Bluetooth speaker and as such Sony intended it to be a companion for smartphones and tablets, for which it works admirably. It’s especially handy for NFC-equipped devices, as the BTV5 has NFC capabilities of its own that make pairing a breeze. Just tap your phone or tablet to the top of the speaker, wait a couple seconds, and voila: you’re all set to start streaming music. But never fear if your MP3 player lacks Bluetooth connectivity, as a standard 3.5mm audio-in port is available right next to the micro USB port that’s used for charging. Sony even conveniently included a mic on the speaker as well, making it a terrific option for hands-free calling or chatting over speakerphone when you’ve got a few people on your end all wanting to talk and listen together. Sound quality of the mic was strictly average–no better or worse than bluetooth headsets–but it works, and is a nice inclusion. But wait, there’s more! Each speaker even comes with a handy little mesh bag to make storing and transporting the device simple and convenient.
Really the only problem with the SRS-BTV5 is…you have to read the instructions. Minimalism often comes at a cost, and in this case that cost is a straightforward power/NFC power/Bluetooth pairing switch. All three functions are rolled into one switch, and it’s not likely you’ll figure it out right away on your own. Thankfully the instructions are straightforward and the problem isn’t really all that complicated to deal with–you’ll just have to swallow your pride and actually read them for a change.
All in all, I’m very impressed with Sony’s offering to the wireless speaker market. It wasn’t a product I expected I’d even care much about, much less be impressed by, but in the end both were the case. The SRS-BTV5 is a solid product in an attractive package with a surprising amount of features given its target functionality. I’d even go so far as to say it deserves a catchier name.
The $60 price tag is a little on the premium side, but if you can spare the cash this tiny speaker brings a pretty big offering to the table. As an added bonus, there are three color options available: black, white, and pink. Interested parties are encouraged to take their pick at the link below!