Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Great Sound, Awful Battery Life
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.
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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.**