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id America TouchTone Bluetooth speaker review: one for the masses

|July 3 2014 |accessories, Reviews, Mobile Accessories, Bluetooth

“TouchTone from id America is a perfect solution for those seeking powerful sound in small form factor and comes at an interesting price “

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When it comes to the most popular smartphone accessories these days, the humble Bluetooth speaker is definitely among the top three for anyone with even a slight inclination to music listening. Moreover, looking at the devices that are available nowadays, they can definitely be regarded as the perfect accessory owing to their performance and compact dimensions.

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id America, a recent entrant in the audio accessory market in India, has launched a similar product, called the TouchTone Bluetooth speaker for music enthusiasts in India. Apart from being able to play music streamed via Bluetooth, the device also doubles up as a speakerphone, and features a built-in mic. It also sports a line-in port to connected wired audio sources. While the brand might be new for India, it's a renowned brand in America, offering a range of innovative products. We got a chance to review this new sound system, so let's find out more about the id America TouchTone Bluetooth speaker system.

The first thing you will notice is the fist-sized speaker system packed neatly inside a cardboard box along with all the accessories and a carry bag tucked underneath the moulded plastic casing that holds the speaker in place.

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Not bigger than an average mini Bluetooth speaker system, the TouchTone has been made available in a variety of colour options to suit the user’s needs and lifestyle. The colour treatment that has been given to the speaker is an overall one, meaning that everything right from the speaker grille to the buttons feature the same colour tone.

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The build quality of the TouchTone Bluetooth speaker is good and the device feels sturdy enough to handle even rough handling with ease. The speaker features a matte rubberised finish that prevents the device from getting affected by minor scratches and additionally aids in better grip. The speaker grille has perforations much smaller than what most other speakers carry, offering better resistance to dust and other debris that can easily clog these orifices. Additionally, these smaller perforations offer better structural stability to the speaker and make the grille sturdy.

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At the bottom of the TouchTone Bluetooth speaker, there's a silicone base, which keeps the device glued to any surface it's kept on. However, the weight to power ratio of the speaker is not well-balanced, as at higher sound levels the speaker tends to go on a stroll.

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The keys and controls have been placed conveniently at the top of the device and comprise of four capacitive touch based keys, for seek forward or backwards, play/pause and mode. The volume control has been provided dead at the centre in form of a circle, and users can control the volume by gently moving their finger on the circle in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction to increase and decrease volume respectively. The keys are very sensitive and respond to even the slightest of the touches, resulting in the corresponding action.

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The mode key can be used to toggle between the various modes, i.e. Bluetooth or line-in. Additionally, the users can also keep the mode key pressed to turn on the automatic call answer mode, which allows the speaker to answer incoming calls automatically – a very useful inclusion especially for drivers. The TouchTone speaker is based on Bluetooth version 3.0, which, although not the latest, offers compatibility for both newer as well as older devices too.

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The TouchTone houses two 1-inch driver units, which are the ultimate powerhouse for this speaker system. Both these driver units are powered by a digital amplifier offering 2Watts RMS of power per channel, bringing the total to 4Watts of power for sound output. In terms of specs, 2Watt might not sound much, but for a portable device producing this, this is a good thing.

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The addition of twin drivers offers true stereo sound experience to the users, and it also employs acoustic resonance to increase the sound output considerably. Acoustic resonance refers to a system of amplifying sound by resonating sound inside a small chamber. With TouchTone, the manufacturer has employed this system and additionally offered a passive radiator at the bottom of the device. This acts as a secondary source of sound while generating sound by feeding on the resonance created by the main driver units, thereby amplifying sound, and offering better lower frequencies.

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Overall, the sound quality offered by TouchTone is impressive and as opposed to several other Bluetooth speaker systems available in the market today from various brands, it impresses overall with the quality and soul it offers in sound playback. As a common problem with most mini speaker systems at lower volume levels, the bass is negligible but as the sound level climbs up the bass and mid-ranged sounds become powerful, but not so much so as to overpower the other sound frequencies. The passive radiator and acoustic resonance design has been used to the hilt and offer a balanced yet powerful sound which users can easily make use of for a small party as well.

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In terms of battery backup, the TouchTone Bluetooth speaker comes with a 1,000mAh rechargeable battery, which offered a backup of close to four and a half hours in our battery drain test where we played a music track in a loop, while keeping the sound output of the speakers close to 50-55 percent. Considering the sound quality, the four plus hours battery backup is impressive.

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Priced at Rs 5,500, the TouchTone Bluetooth speaker is definitely an accessory worth considering if you love to listen to music and are looking for a powerful yet mobile solution. Sweetening the deal further, id America is offering the TouchTone speaker for a special price of Rs 4,300 through various online stores for a limited time.

Price: Rs 5,500

Editors rating: 8 / 10

Pros

  • Powerful sound
  • Good battery life
  • Utility rich
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Power to sound output ratio is wrong



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