I was invited to a PR event and given this speaker free of charge, however all views and opinions here are my own.
I don’t accept many invites to PR events as inevitably they are in London and need me to take time off work. But when an invite appears in your inbox inviting you to spend an evening with some fellow dads who blog, playing with gadgets, eating pizza and drinking beer it’s hard to say no. So it was almost a month ago now that I found myself jumping on a train at 5pm and heading into the big smoke where we were treated to an evening of playing with wireless speakers and headphones from those nice people at JBL (who incidentally you shouldn’t confuse with JML, very different companies, only a fool would make that mistake).
This also means that this review post is a little overdue, but I wanted to have some time to really test out this product before writing my post. It’s all very easy to see a new gadget and get all geeky and excited that it uses some new technology or is lighter/smaller/faster without really knowing if you’ll use it. After all what’s the point on spending money on something that becomes an expensive plastic paperweight?
In principle the JBL Soundfly is a nice bit of kit, it’s a speaker that plugs into your wall socket and via the magic of Bluetooth will play music wirelessly from any Bluetooth device. It also sounds great as was demoed at the event where 10 dads tried out their best and worst music choices to see how it fared. To my simple ears it sounded great and Daddacool who claims to be a officianardo of audio devices concurred.
So that’s a tick in the box for the technical attributes, but what about at home? Well I got home and showed off my shiny new toy to the lady of the manor and she did her usual roll of the eyes and polite nodding as I extolled the benefits. ‘of course babe, sounds great babe, now can I go back to watching 24 hours in A&E?’
But then I come home from work a few days later and the Nashville soundtrack is blaring away in the kitchen (which is a great soundtrack from a show that I may watch occasionally, after Die Hard’s finished or course). I look round and there plugged into the wall is my new speaker and a wry grin from the lady of the manor tells me that she may actually quite like my new gadget and that me being a blogger isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Since then we’ve used it quite a bit. We both have iPhones with music on, sure we have an iPod with 3 years worth of music to listen to on it, but it’s getting old and we always have our phones with us. So now actually if we don’t want to listen to the radio the Soundfly is plugged in and we put the music on. I’ve also started listening to podcasts this way a lot, I used to listen to them on my commute but now that’s a lot shorter I’ve lost my opportunity. It’s really not fun walking around the house with earphones in but now that I have the Soundfly I can turn it on and listen to them again while I’m making sourdough or writing blogs.
The range is surprisingly good in that you can get a good 15m away through a few walls before you lose signal to the speaker. My only grip is that due to the shape it covers 2 sockets, so if like us you have lots of double sockets the second one isn’t usable. They also do a air play version for a few pounds extra, great if you already use air play in your house but potentially not quite as simple and straightforward as Bluetooth.