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Is There a Good Bluetooth Speaker?

I spent much of an afternoon struggling to find a good Bluetooth speaker. Some of this time was spent at a Walmart. They had a large selection of them, laid out with nice looking displays. And yet, I was shocked and confused by the experience.

Few of the displays and boxes would even bother to tell me if the speaker could be charged through a USB cable. It is so convenient to do so when you are in a 12 Volt-DC vehicle, such as an RV. From any auto parts store, you can buy outlets that put out USB signals. Thus you don't have to run an inverter followed by a "power brick" that converts the AC voltage back to DC! 

At first I was the only customer in this aisle. I pushed the button to sample 'music' through the speakers. The music made my skin crawl. Then a couple knuckle-dragging primates came and started testing speakers. Soon they had a sound-volume war going on. Clearly they liked the Bluetooth speakers and the music.

Once the knuckle-draggers left, I tested the Bluetooth speakers more carefully, only to find the sound quality less than mediocre. What a disappointment! I though this was an exciting, high-tech approach to music. Wrong.

Bluetooth technology is narrow bandwidth, so the sound fidelity is poor unless you are primarily concerned with (low frequency) bass -- and that is all the knuckle-draggers care about. Look at the advertisements screaming about the product's blasting, lethal, seismically-active, quadruple bass. Pound, pound, thumpah, THUMPAH...

Several of the speakers were cylindrical in shape. But on the end caps you could see a vibrating cup. You could actually see it move, and it would have been fun to shoot a video of it. This was the thing that putting out all that base. (deliberate pun.)

These customers aren't planning to listen to, say, Sarah Brightman's magnificent soprano voice.

If the description above didn't convince you of the type of customers who fit with Bluetooth speakers, consider what the display said about one of the speakers, "Mount on your off-road vehicle for music during every adventure." Oh goodie...

So I gave up the idea of Bluetooth speakers, and decided to buy a new analog 3.5 mm cable to connect my excellent Creative Labs computer speakers to the laptop or smartphone. To heck with the wireless transmission of music.


(One must sometimes unplug your music source from your 12 Volt-DC system when the (pulse width modulated) solar charger is working, because it produces 'hum'.)