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Review: Kong Portable Bluetooth Speaker

July 23, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Summer time is here, and that – hopefully – means a lot of time spent outside around the grill with a nice cold beer. Of course, there’s often one thing missing with that image and that’s music. Obviously if you’re going to be entertaining quite a large number of guests, you’ll need something bigger but, if there’s only a handful of you and want to listen to some music on the quick then the Kong Bluetooth speaker is a good choice to go with. For one, it’s pretty small, and yet still packs a punch, it’s rechargeable and you can plug devices straight into it without having to mess around with the Bluetooth. Here’s a full look at the device:

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The whole thing is built incredibly well, it’s also quite heavy which makes this more of a bag type thing than a pocketable affair. That said, it’s very sturdy and the metal build should help it withstand most knocks and drops. The speaker also has a built-in microphone as well, so you can just go ahead and answer phone calls hands-free. It’s a nice addition but, it doesn’t really work all that well in practice.

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Where the Kong Speaker does excel itself however, is in its audio-quality. What my ears hear will be different to what your ears hear of course but, to me the speaker sounded pretty good. Especially when you take into account how small it really is. Thanks to a built-in amp, there’s some good bass response and the mid-range was alive and well, so too was the high-end – giving your favorite tracks justice, compared to your smartphone’s speaker. At higher volumes, things did get a little distorted but, these volumes were generally too loud to hear other people speak over, which is not what I think this little guy is about. The Kong is more about a quick and easy way to listen to some music without the hassle and fuss, rather than a full-on party provider.

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Pairing with your smartphone – or tablet – is super-easy. It’s listed as “BT Speaker” in the settings and it connects quickly. The range is only around 10 meters but, that’s not too much of a problem. The battery is rechargeable and will last for around 4 hours on a charge, there’s a USB charging cable and a 3.5mm line-in provided in the box.

Overall, I was very impressed with this little speaker, it might not be able to pump out high volumes but for a group of people outside around the table or indoors away from the PC or TV this is a great option. It was certainly a lot of fun to have when enduring the heatwave Britain has been going through and it’s something I’ll continue to use for a long time. To get your hands on your own model, just head on over to GearZap, which sells some great tablet accessories as well.