Review: dreamGEAR i.Sound Twist and bluSound Bluetooth Speakers
December 18, 2012 by Beatweek
Small portable bluetooth wireless speakers are increasingly common on the market, so the two entries from dreamGEAR attempt to put a twist on things – one of them literally. The i.Sound Twist is a ten inch speaker which, while a rectangular unit on its ends, has a ninety degree shift in its center which gives the illusion that someone literally took the speaker and rotated it in their hands. The i.Sound bluSound is a smaller unit which has the look of a traditional portable speaker dock but turns out to be compatible with a wide variety of devices.
The Twist features a pair of front tweeters and a rear firing subwoofer, with all three speakers interestingly on the right side of the unit. On board buttons allow for control of volume and playback, as well as taking phone calls, while your iPhone or other device is paired up with it. It comes in a choice of black red, graphite, or acrylic white.
BluSound has a similar array of buttons across the top of the unit, but what differentiates it is the small slide-out stand on the front of the unit. It’s not a charging dock, but it allows you to set a device like an iPhone or other smartphone on the front of the unit while its music is wirelessly streaming to the pair of front facing speakers. Because there’s no charging going on, the stand on BluSound will work with any kind of smartphone, regardless of charging port, including the new iPhone 5. There’s a USB port on the back for if you do want to run a cable around and charge your device.
Unfortunately, neither device stands out in the audio department. Twist sounds solid at low volumes, but if you turn it loud enough to use it from more than a few feet away, the bass gets a bit thuddy and the treble a bit tinny. bluSound, being smaller and having no subwoofer, sounds a bit tinny at any volume. That’s not to say that either unit sounds bad for its size; mediocre might be the most apt description.
That said, the Twist does look uniquely cool, and bluSound is highly portable and versatile. It comes down to how you’re prioritizing styling vs functionality vs audio quality.
Price: $79 and $89 • dreamgear.net