In this era of portability and miniaturization, speaker companies continue to try to find ways to shrink their product while delivering appropriate audio. Tego Audio weighs in with the Nova, a portable speaker with a rounded triangle shape which only about two inches across and stands barely an inch tall by default. When in use its top can be popped open to add another inch and a half, expanding the sound. But can such a tiny speaker deliver audio that anyone would want to hear?
The Nova tries to make its case by offering both a bluetooth wireless option and a short line-in cable which can be stored entirely within the base of the device. We had no trouble pairing up the speaker with various devices, which enabled the buttons for play/pause, next and previous track. When tested in line-in mode, none of those buttons worked, but we were able to use the buttons to control the volume. A built in micro-USB port allows the battery to be recharged via the included cable. In short, everything about the Nova works as expected.
So what about that sound quality? We found that the Nova is at least a upgrade over the speakers built into any smartphone or tablet, which fits in with its ultra-small size and easy portability. However the Nova it doesn’t sound as good as the speakers built into the current MacBook Pro model we tested it with, meaning that it serves little purpose in that regard unless your laptop has exceptionally weak speakers. But as a speaker for mobile devices it’s a nice value play, particularly with its modest $49 price tag.