What’s a party without music?
Speaker manufacturers around the world understand the issue of a lack of adequate portable speaker power and are continuously releasing better and better portable speakers. Now, as humans we automatically assume that bigger is better when it comes to our devices, so we are going to channel some Confucius and say “Big speaker does not mean big quality”. Alternatively, “Size of speaker does not reflect on size of sound”.
Do you see where we are going with this….?
Soen uses the following proprietary technologies to help miniaturise the best-in-class sound so that it can be packed into a compact and beautiful design.
1) Cutting edge acoustic Transducers custom designed for space constrained devices (built on SOEN Smart Suspension and SOEN FluxForce Motor technologies)
2) SOEN Momentum Port technology that delivers an incredible bass performance from compact acoustic chambers.
3) Soen uses an intelligent approach to complete system integration to ensure that performance is not prohibitive to design. The company used their technologies to empower design and ensure the best customer experience.
What Soen has done with TRANSIT has thus far been a phenomenal success in our assessment of the unit. Read on to get the goods and decide if TRANSIT is the portable speaker you need for your listening pleasure.
Note: This article was contributed by Benny Sabghir, currently serving in the IDF.
This is what struck us about TRANSIT the first time we laid our eyes on it – it is small. Now while we knew the products dimensions, and having seen pictures of the product itself, we likened it size-wise to the Nexus 7. Why? It seemed about the same size in the images.
But we were incorrect.
What also struck us was just how upscale the whole shebang was. Soen has clearly worked hard to ensure that the whole package feels as premium as possible. Everything about it from the feel of the box to the instruction booklet feels as if it were made using the highest grade material possible.
And at $250, why should it not use the best possible material? Brushed metal finishes and TPU rubberized armor insure the speakers fit in well against the backdrop of home, office, and the rough usage scenarios of military life.
The unit weighs a little over a pound (0.5Kg) and we found that when added to the usual mix of devices in our backpacks (notebook, camera, Camel Back hydration system) it did not leave much of a foot print. Furthermore, we found the unit incredibly easy to master; granted, this could be due to our veteran knowledge of Bluetooth devices. The speakers use a Bluetooth V2.1 + EDR module. However the system proved incredibly easy to pair with every device we paired it against and it had no problem automatically reconnecting to our devices after being disconnected. As an added bonus the unit in the box comes fully charged just in case it arrives at your doorsteps moments before your long anticipated beach day.
The unit also comes with a 36-inch 3.5mm aux cable, 36 inch USB-to-micro USB charging cable, and an AC USB wall adapter with side-folding charging pins.
Simply fantastic. The quality of the audio these speakers produce is simply stunning. Now granted the bass didn’t quiet have as much kick as we would have appreciated, but remember that currently available speaker technology does have physical limits. To Soens credit those limits were pressed as far as their current components allow. This has a lot to do with the talented staff at Soen Audio and their respective years of R&D at major speaker manufacturers.
Tunes like Daft Punks “Get Lucky” and Combichrists “Sent to Destroy” (two complete opposite ends of the music spectrum) were absolutely pleasurable to listen to even while at full blast. Music from all major genres were pumped out of the speaker and each time we listened we were able to marvel at the intricate details of the sound.
The speakers work best in closed environments. Small rooms and vehicles proved to be the best acoustic chambers for the unit. While using the unit in a more open environment the sound quality is much harder to perceive; then again this has a lot to do with the acoustic properties of an open environment.
The battery life felt rather abysmal, however. Perhaps a future iteration of the unit will be able to provide better battery life. The truth of the matter is that it lived up to Soens claims. We got just over 4 hours of run time on Bluetooth at maximum volume and roughly 8 hours while wired. Now that might not appear impressive but keep in mind this is a non user removable battery that promises to have a long life. The battery is rated to hold at least 80% of its power through 300 or so charge cycles successfully before the battery starts to lose charge.
The speakers were incredibly useful in a variety of scenarios many users will most likely never experience, such as being used in lieu of a radio in a hummer and while running with a combat vest on.
However we discovered that in many instances involving smaller confined areas, the speakers were powerful enough to satisfy our craving for music – and even bother some of our higher command while in the process. The included MagPro cover did a nice job at covering the units grill, but its main function is to keep the units power switch from being flipped on during travel. Additionally, while the power switch has a built in LED indicator that blinks red, blue, purple, and green to indicate different activities taking place (red indicates the battery is dying) its only truly useful if users are looking at it. We ran into a number of situations where we only discovered the battery to be dying when the unit abruptly shut down. In this instance the unit should relay an activity indicator noise much like it does when its powered on or pairing over Bluetooth. Users who pair the speakers with an iPhone, iPad or other Apple device will see a small battery indicator show up on the top right of their screen. It is a decently useful feature and such a pity Android users are afforded no such option. The unit also has the nifty ability to act as a speakerphone while being used over Bluetooth, a feature that worked smoothly enough for us to conduct many important calls to order in pizza and the like.
These are an absolutely fantastic pair of speakers. Yes, they are a bit pricey, however all things considered we would argue that the price is easily justified by what’s inside the box. Is there room for improvement? Certainly! However TRANSIT functions fantastically in its current form; and we can in good faith give it our approval. It’s
$249 available at both Apple and Amazon.com Update: The price is now $199, which makes these already fantastic speakers even more affordable!
About Benny Sabghir: Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Benny enjoys all aspects of consumer electronics - especially writing about it. He also enjoys hitting the gym, running and discussing the history of his three favorite wars - The American Revolution, The Six-Day War, and the Star Wars Trilogy. Currently in Jerusalem, Israel. Follow him on twitter @Sabghir_Benny Find him on Google+ View author profile.