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Getting small: Tiny microphones, PCs and speakers

Keith Shaw | May 14, 2014
This week's column was totally unintentional - at first it was just three separate roundups of some of the latest devices I've found interesting. But after I completed the reviews, I realized a common thread between all of them - these devices are really small (in fact, the M39p even has "Tiny" as part of its name). While some things in the world are getting larger (displays, smartphones, TVs, etc.), there's still room in the world for smaller gadgets that provide big performance.

Why it's cool: The small size and spherical design make it stylish and portable — I could see people using this speaker more for audio on their phones and tablets as opposed to a laptop or desktop computer. The ease of use in connecting to devices and the 360-degree audio also make it more useful in quick setup and party situations (for example, place the speaker on a kitchen counter or a conference room to let everyone sitting around the table/counter hear).

Some caveats: Because of its size, the speaker isn't as powerful as other wireless systems, and it was unclear whether connecting two of them via the daisy-chain cable would produce stereo sound or just boost the audio (we only had one unit to test). In addition, at $90 (I did see this available for $70 via Amazon Prime, however), the price is a bit higher than similar style speakers (for example, a portable Bluetooth speaker from iHome sells for about $25 on Amazon).

Grade: 3.5 stars


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