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on 24 March 2014
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. While not born there, it was the city where my love for all different types of music developed, even in the face of such horrible radio stations (the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame is a joke, but I digress). Back then I was proud of my tabletop stereo with the wired speakers as I rotated through my 3!! CD changer and grooved out. Now music lovers have the option of listening to music through Bluetooth wireless speakers, enabling us to play the sound wherever we like! Truly, technology is a marvel. And, of course, that is where the OXA NFC Bluetooth Natural [Wood] Wireless Speaker comes in.

Functionality

The OXA NFC Bluetooth Natural Wood Wireless Speaker (henceforth referred to as the OXA NFC to save my hands from wearing out by just typing the product name) is a cube roughly the size of a large alarm clock; the nifty part is that you can use this speaker as an alarm by syncing it with a device that has one programmed. This, however, is but one function of this product.

At it's heart, the OXA NFC is designed to play sound. Since it is a Bluetooth-enabled product that also happens to include a microphone built in to the top of the unit, there is a great deal of flexibility in how you choose to use this device. If you want it to act as a speakerphone for your cell phone/tablet, you can do that. Want to listen to music saved to a micro-SD memory card? No problem. Heck, it can even support devices that do not have Bluetooth capability by using either a USB or 3.5mm Aux Line-In (the cable is even included in the box).

What if you don't have a music device? Never despair: if your pet iguana ate your iPod, this device can even function as an FM radio to help you get through the day(s) until you can get a replacement (or until the iguana gives it back to you, if you know what I mean)!

Use/Performance

When you first turn on the OXA NFC, it will automatically enter Bluetooth sync mode; during this time you can have your iPod (or other device) detect the speaker in order to link. Once you have set up a connection to the speaker, the next time that you use it in Bluetooth mode it will connect to the same iPod within the first few seconds after the speaker is turned on, automatically.

When using the OXA NFC, the screen on the front of the device will say "Blue" and a voice will advise you when the speaker is connected to your device; command buttons will then appear at the bottom of the screen (it is a touch screen), allowing you to adjust the volume, choose a song, play/pause, and choose the operation mode. With the Bluetooth mode being the first mode, the second is the FM radio, third is Line-In, and finally back to the same voice announcing that you are in Bluetooth mode.

Pros:
1) Syncing this speaker to your desired Bluetooth-enabled device is a breeze. No fussing around and holding down buttons for a set period of time; the OXA NFC takes care of that for you.
2) The sound quality of this unit is amazing; especially considering how lightweight it is!
3) The "Mode" button responds quickly and cycles between modes with no issue.
4) If you have an audio device plugged into the OXA NFC before you turn it on (i.e. - auxiliary cables and/or the micro-SD card reader), when you do use it, the speaker will detect that device and enter the appropriate mode.
5) The volume level is independent of the music device synced to the speaker. While the volume will go up if you raise it through the device, the speaker will respond. However; you can then use the command buttons on the face of the speaker and bump it up/down as desired.

Cons:
1) While you can change the song playing on your iPod/music player through the control buttons on the touch screen, there seems to be a bit of a lag when doing so. In the long run it is much faster to change songs using your iPod, rather than the speaker.
2) The battery takes about four hours to fully charge, and then only lasts roughly 1-1½ hours before you need to charge it again.
3) While the speaker is of good quality in the design, dropping the OXA NFC would most likely prove disastrous, especially on a hard surface.
4) While you can go into FM radio mode wirelessly, you will drain the battery VERY quickly. You must have it plugged in to get the best results.
5) The OXA NFC works well as a speakerphone, but the microphone has a tendency to pick up smaller background noises.
6) The display screen will always list the mode that the speaker is in, which is great, but I really wish that it would show either the current song title/artist information, or even more basic, a clock, as the default.

Overall

While I think that the sound quality and the bevy of features that are available with the OXA NFC Bluetooth Natural Wood Speaker are great, with the short battery life it is a stretch to justify the cost. Sure, you can keep it plugged in, but that rather defeats the purpose of having a Bluetooth speaker in the first place. If OXA can improve the rechargeable battery's life so that you can use the unit wirelessly for longer than an hour, then I could see paying $40 for this item. Otherwise I would hold off and/or invest in one of the smaller Bluetooth speakers that OXA offers (I have one and LOVE it).

**Disclaimer: This speaker was sent to me by the manufacturer at no cost to review. While I do not feel that this influenced me in any capacity, I am legally obligated to disclose this fact so that you can come to your own conclusions about the merit of this analysis.**
11 Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
.On first arriving I was surprised at just how small the OXA NFC Bluetooth Natural Wood Speaker is.
It does have a reassuringly heavy feel to it.
This suggests that this is a quality item and not a flimsy, tinny affair.

Mine came in a smart apple green. It looks neat and great for a bookshelf, it's about as wide as a CD case.
The black of the speakers and front contrast really well with the apple green.
So in the looks department this is a winner.

The good thing is that the box comes in a variety of colours so it will fit in with any decor- tartan lovers excepted.

Now my first instinct was to pass it to my 17 yo music and gadget adept son.

After a lengthy tryout his verdict this is a really neat piece of kit.

He played his I pod wirelessly through it then tried out his android phone likewise.

The sound although not excessively loud was good.
The two speakers provided a neat sound.
he has his on a shelf in front of his desk at face height.
So the size and power are just right.
He gave this a two thumbs up.

This is great for a bedroom but not so good for a concert hall or a large room if you are yards away.
But then this device is not designed for that is it?

The battery life is about 1 and a half hours to two at a push.
It does take 4 hours to charge up however.
If you use the radio leave the jack plug in. This acts as an ariel. leave it connected to a power source like your computer with USB port and and stops it running down too quickly.

All the controls are in the top of the device.
What make me smile was the woman's voice saying 'Bluetooth' when that was selected.
She has a wonderful Chinese English accent.
Quite sweet.

The radio was a great bonus.
It has a really clear bright display.

The stations are not stored and you have to scroll through to get your station.

It's a bit fiddly to tune in but hey we all love to play with tech.
The display is bold and bright.

All in all a def. winner a nice piece of kit.

I was provided with mine for review from the company.
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on 12 March 2014
I really like this unassuming yet nicely designed cube speaker. The front panel is a touchscreen where you can adjust the volume, navigate the music and switch modes from Bluetooth, FM radio and auxiliary. You can also play using a TF memory card (microSD card) if you have a your music selection. The USB slot works similarly for a memory stick or a USB dongle with MP3s. Both TF card and USB dongle will play your music right away once you stick it there - no matter in which mode you are in.

The audio coming from the left and right speakers is pleasant; it is smooth and clean. It won't be heart pounding even if you crank the volume up all the way to the max (32). But it is not a speaker that I am expecting to mimic a boombox. It looks more like an digital alarm clock. Honestly, it would be nice if it has a clock function because it just the perfect form. The red numbers and letters are not very bright and is actually soothing in my bedroom.

The only thing odd is that the connectors are located on top so you would be running your cables on top instead of hidden at the back. But it is that makes it very convenient. Everything is easily accessible - your TF card, USB dongle, aux and microUSB cable. Maybe it is for good reason as it uses the same microUSB cable for FM radio antenna.

I don't have any NFC devices so, I won't be touching that feature, but it is nice to know that it can.

A sample of this product was sent to me for review purposes.
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VINE VOICEon 13 June 2014
I was really pleased to receive this speaker. It's definitely attractive, and it comes in a range of cool colours. I picked apple green, which is bright and cheerful without being lurid. The dull matt 'painted wood' finish makes it look chilled and retro.

The speaker comes with a USB charger and an audio out-out line which is a really nice inclusion and lets you connect an external audio device to the speaker like an Ipod. The speaker is fairly easy to get going - Bluetooth connection is very simple and it took a matter of seconds to pair with my phone. However the robot-voice announcing that Bluetooth is activated is annoying and unnecessary!

Controlling the speaker is done by tapping lit-up icons on the front of the speaker. It's reasonably easy to do, though the way they flash on and off constantly is not great. Also, the front display is used very oddly - instead of something useful like a clock, the display continuously states either Blue (for bluetooth) or Line (for external audio line). This is unattractive, needless and a waste of battery power.

The sound is clear and full - it's really pretty impressive for a speaker in this price range! The volume is reasonable, though if you're wanting something that will damage your eardrums, this probably isn't it. With both the speaker and the external audio device turned to full volume, the speaker can fill a large room, but it's not really suitable for a party where there's a lot of other background noise.

There is a problem with the speaker concerning battery life and charging. The battery life is not very long, around a couple of hours, which is odd for a Bluetooth speaker that despite its fairly large size seems to be intended to be portable. I actually would not mind the poor battery life if I could plug the back of the speaker into a wall socket (using a separately-purchased USB plug), as I'd just use it as a permanent speaker somewhere. However, the charging lead plugs into the top of the speaker at the front, rather than plugging in at the rear, and therefore it doesn't look great when plugged into a socket.

However, despite the battery life and charging issues, this is a low-priced speaker with good sound quality and an attractive finish. This item was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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on 5 September 2014
The OXA Mini Portable speaker is compared with the already great sounding small cubes slightly larger, but then also equipped with a better battery, a radio and a well-read display. Here, however, is also my biggest gripe. The illumination of the display is not uniform.

Buttons are displayed on the operation below the display, so that the already good look even highlighting something. A change of operating mode (bluetooth, radio ...) English is spoken.
Radio reception is mediocre, what should be mainly due to the hidden antenna in the housing. So I get in the house is free from noise not anywhere my home station, which would be no problem with rod / wire antennas. The sound is consistently good.

A Bluetooth connection works fine and is also announced.
Other input options are by Micro-SD card, USB or jack connectors. Loading the speaker via a Micro-USB connector.

Included is also a remote control. About this I can also say my coupled via Bluetooth mobile phone that I want to go back to the next song, or a song.

Also, included is a stereo jack cable to eg to connect the computer, a USB to mini-USB to charge the device, the battery itself and a replacement cover for the battery. The battery is very reminiscent of a cell phone battery. One charge lasts for 40-60 min.

Conclusion:
Despite the good overall impression I draw from a star for the unevenly illuminated display and short battery life.
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on 11 March 2014
First, I almost knocked this a star because the directions are horrendous. However, once I played with it for a little while, I figured it out.

My first mistake -- I had the battery inside upside down. So, duh, it wouldn't charge. It would play plugged in but what good was that? Once the battery was in right side up, it played find. My second learning opportunity, was how to program the FM stations. It took a little work. But I figured out that the M light scans and programs for you. Very cool to have a Bluetooth speaker that not only plays from my iPad, iPod and phone but also directly from a memory card or good old fashioned over the air radio.

The speaker talks to you when you turn it on "Bluetooth Mode". Then "Bluetooth Connected". Clever for a nimrod like me.

This plays seamlessly with all of my Bluetooth devices. It looks cool on my nightstand and now that I know how to use everything, I am very pleased. It has very clear sound that is loud enough. I won't be throwing a block party kegger with this speaker, but for my bedroom it is loud and clear enough to annoy the neighbors if I choose.

This seems like a very well made, interesting Bluetooth speaker.
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on 12 March 2014
Cube shaped, sleek multifunction speaker that is available in many colours.

Pros:
- Elegant design. Sturdy and compact.
Good sound.
Several choices of music source - Bluetooth; FM; MicroSD card; USB memory stick; plug-in Auxiliary.
Bluetooth pairing is easy.
NFC (Near Field Communication) capability.
Bright crisp screen with vivid Red touch controls, intuitive use.
Two speakers, one on each side+ small Bass.
Replaceable battery.

Cons - Maximum Volume U 32, barely above normal speech.
Poor reception as phone speaker.
Bass function less than expected.
FM requires an efficient antenna.
Too bulky as a travel speaker (4.25” x 4.25” x4.5”), 1lb .
Battery lasts 65 minutes but takes 4 hours to charge.
Confusing inadequate instruction manual, badly translated from Chinese.

Value priced wireless Bluetooth speaker that would complement any decor in a home or office.

A complimentary sample was provided for review.
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on 6 April 2014
I was given this to review and fortunately the products I have received from OXA are good ones because I would feel bad if I had to give them bad reviews. However if the product was not worth it, they would get a bad review.

The reason I gave this 4 stars is because I have actually tested a couple of bluetooth speakers and this one has more features than any of the others.

The reason it does not get 5? A horrible manual and the battery life could be better.

As usual with OXA products the manuals are not good. However they have directed me to their site where you can download pdf versions that are well written and you can actually understand what you need to do. Fortunately I do not need the manuals for these electronic products, but your average user does and a well written manual is important. OXA has assured me that these pdf versions will soon replace the old manuals. If you are unlucky and receive and old manual, just kook for their website.

I tested all the features of this speaker and they all worked fine. However I did not get a notice for low battery in either bluetooth mode or mp3 mode when the unit shut off on me.

In bluetooth mode I got about 2.5 hours. In fm, then mp3 mode I got 4.5 hours. I did not test duration of line in and tf card, just verified that they worked for me. For those that had issues with the TF card, I suspect the format of the card was the culprit. The battery life for bluetooth mode is not that great but fortunately it charges via micro usb and I have a couple of portable battery packs ( and OXA offers several of them on their site as well). If you plan to use this for picnic or other outings, I suggest you have a battery backup with you.

The sound quality was on par with other speakers in the same price range. It only got distorted from a few mp3s I had and when set to max level. On Bluetooth and with music from the play store, sound was always perfect.

In FM mode i actually got quite a few stations and in order to have clear reception it states to keep the usb cable connected (as it uses that as the antenna). You do not ave to have it plugged into anything, just connected to the speaker. But I live in an area with very good reception for radio so I can see how the experience on this will differ based on your coverage area.

Overall I really enjoyed testing this product and would recommend it for the price.
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on 31 March 2014
The OXA Bluetooth speaker is not just a Bluetooth speaker. It's also an FM radio, and it has inputs for a TF card and flash drive and auxiliary cable. The speaker speaks to us in a pleasant female voice with an Asian accent. Controls are on the face of the unit, basically a touch screen with LED display. From the looks of it, I think it would make a nice clock. Alas, it does not display the time.

Bluetooth was easy to set up with my iPhone 4S. It always reconnects automatically. The range is not the best of my Bluetooth devices but still very good. I can go down a long hallway and still get reception. Documentation says it can get up to 20 meters. I'd say that's about right.

Phone calls are poor. I can hear the caller, but the voice is soft. The caller can hear me, buy my voice is muddled.

TF card and flash drive work well with this speaker. The display will tell me what track I'm on but nothing else. The only way to pick and choose music is to skip forward and back.

The radio will scan all the stations until his has a list of live channels in the area. After I do it once, I don't have to do it again. Reception is very good. I don't get a lot of static.

One thing I would like to see is a larger power button. We get a small one I have to look to find. Other than that, this little speaker puts out a lot of sound. While it may not have the richness of higher end systems, it can fill a room. That, along with its versatility, is enough to satisfy the average listener.

This product was provided for review by OXA.
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This OXA NFC Bluetooth Speaker which was sent to me for review represents a fusion of current technologies including Bluetooth and NFC but draws on the traditional concept of "wood speaker cabinets sound better" for its output. My initial reaction was that it reminded me of one of those Sony Digicube Clock radios in both terms of size and look save the contemporary colour (mine is green). It fits into a niche - it certainly isn't portable as such, but is compact and has a small, square footprint - I'd say it was an ideal desktop device.

In the box you get the unit, a USB to Micro-USB charging lead, audio lead, spare battery cover and instructions. Don't be put off by the screen which has a protective film on it, and, which until you realise it's a protective film, looks as though you've got one with a scratched screen. Once the film is removed the device looks nicely made and well finished. It is powered by a Nokia type mobile phone battery which is easily removable via a slot at the rear.

The on/off switch is quite small but positive and on switching on you get a synthesised voice announcement of "Bluetooth Mode" - the voice is clear if a little officious! You actually have a choice of several inputs; Bluetooth streaming; NFC; Micro SD card, USB stick via the built in reader and socket; conventional audio jack and a built in FM radio. All these inputs worked well for me and Bluetooth pairing was easy, although, as I'm in a fringe area for FM, an external aerial would have been helpful.

The touchscreen display works very well although, in practice, if you are streaming you will probably be controlling the music via your host device such as a phone or MP3 player. The display is a bright red LED one with no obvious dimmer and it shows the track number and time elapsed. The whole point of this unit being made in wood is the sound quality, and, yes, it is very good indeed for the size and cost. There isn't any tone control on the unit but the sound is clear, there's good bass with clear vocals up to quite a high volume level adequate for an average room.

I got about 4-5 hours playing out of this device from a single charge at quite a high volume - if you were going to use it a lot you might want to buy another battery so you have one in the unit and one on charge. I find the idea of a mobile phone battery a strange choice as a power source when, arguably, the makers could have installed a heavier duty set of rechargeable cells (even AA) at less cost but there may be some technical reason for this.

This is an unusual device - it's up to date in its technologies but looks rather 80's, however, I really like it because it sounds so good for its size plus, it really looks different whilst being easy to use. Recommended.
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