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Customer Review

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive testing reveals a winner...., 3 Jun. 2013
By 
This review is from: TDK T78920 A33 Wireless Weatherproof Bluetooth Speaker (Electronics)
If you are reading this it is likely that you have stumbled on this speaker and need a set of views on the product to compare it to the other devices that are available in the marketplace, all of which seemingly benefit from larger amounts of marketing than TDK.I have a real love of Bluetooth Speakers, as it seems a really good use of the technology and although it is not perfect for the audiophile, it is perfect for most listeners.My view is that most people are not audiophiles, but most do have the ability to recognise better sound - and it is on that basis that this review is based.
My reference points for this review are having owned all of the following products, numbers in brackets are the number I have had : Bose Soundlink V1 (2) & V2 (1), Jawbone Jambox (5), Jawbone BIG Jambox (2), Soundmatters Foxl v2.2 (Black and Platinum editions), Soundmatters Foxl v2.0, Philips SB7300, Monster Clarity Micro HD, Original Moster Clarity mini.

The reason I have had so many is that I keep on looking for more, by that I mean that I have become frustrated with devices over time, but recognise their individual strengths. To cut to the chase the A33 is the best sounding speaker I have tested, I suspect it is the size of the primary drivers, the fact that there is a separate active subwoofer, so that the centre speaker is able to handy the low registers without overpowering the mids and highs of the outer two, and a couple of passive radiators to make up for the small size and enable more air to be moved around. This device can get suitably loud, remains composed without too much distortion , and sounds very balanced, so as good as the Bose V2, which seems to be most peoples reference point. Perfect on Heavy tracks or subtle classical, and no background static. Good range for Bluetooth before it stutters

So which devices do I own today that will not be moved on?, the Foxl 2.2s and the A33. The Foxls for travel as I still think that the A33 is not something that you would travel with, better to move it about the house, and take something smaller with you. The A33 is a real bargain, and everyone that hears it is pretty amazed that it sounds so good, and that they have never heard of TDK producing speakers.

My likes:

Sound balance and power
Stability - it has to be volume way up to move
Weight : feels a quality device
Finish - very good for plastics but not too premium that it feels you need to be protective of it.
Features - good range of features, and all accesible from the attractive top panel, easy to clean
Good indicators for volume, mode etc. I like the use of LEDs, icons are large enough to see clearly which seems rare these days on consumer electronics
Regular shape - like a smooth housebrick, so it just makes it easy to place in most environments
The foot on the front to angle up the speaker - really does make a difference if the A33 is place on the back of a side unit against a wall, opening up the sound stage
Battery life - real world good - I charge mine once every three weeks or so using on odd days and more at weekends - it seems to retain charge well if left.
Minimal beeps and 'announcements' it is more discreet than turning on a Jambox ( albeit that these now have a silent mode) I have grown to really dislike gimmicks on speakers

My dislikes:

The Silver/gold disk on the front - just would look nicer without it.
The rubber cover - I wish this could be on the back as when it is plugged in it just looks a bit ugly whilst charging
The edges would feel nicer in black metal rather than plastic, but this is just being picky
The angle foot prop could probably do with a centre attachment along it length
The interior switch - confused me to start with as to why it was there, but good to be able to turn it totally off if needed when travelling.
Would like to be able to skip tracks on the speaker

People will moan that it cannot be charged over standard USB, but it is a small price to pay for an exceptional sounding device.
Why is it better than the others? - these are my top issues about the other speakers I have owned, but this is purely my view.

Philips SB7300 - Very mid range bias, irrelevant ( for most) motion control
Bose V1 - Muddy Bass dominates
Bose V2 - Nice sound but feels a bit too over-engineered, and price hard to justify vs others
Monster Clarity HD - I did like this, design is superb and love Aptx ability - but a little thin on bass, and irrelevant voice control and announcement drive you mad after a while
Jambox - nice Live audio but overall volumes way too low for other than smaller rooms, and very fragile ( USB port issues, Headphone socket issues) a real dust and cheese grater skin magnet!
Big Jambox - Live audio not the same as the smaller Jambox ( be warned), fragile enclosure, after a while the design element fades.

I recommend this speaker highly.Its a hidden gem, which deserves a bigger marketing budget.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Sep 2013 11:09:43 BDT
Juan Luis says:
Hello Audio, have you had the chance to compare this one to the Minx Go?

Posted on 20 Jul 2014 16:56:58 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 23 Jul 2014 20:50:28 BDT]
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