Kit review: Lava BrightSounds speaker and lamp
I know all about Bluetooth and I am still slightly wowed by the wonder of how gadgets can connect with each other. But until the Lava BrightSounds speaker and lamp arrived I had never managed to find a speaker that would offer a good quality of sound. So I have mostly ignored this new technology for listening to music.
Perhaps I wasn’t willing to spend lots of money on finding the perfect thing or maybe I still wished my iPhone would slot neatly into the expensive “docking” speaker I had bought some eight years ago. (How can pricey gadgets become defunct so quickly?)
Then again, I usually listen to music on my own these days, plugged into my headphones. Except, of course, this is very antisocial and not at all conducive to a party.
I confess I was sceptical when Lava said they had a great new speaker and lamp combo to send me that would be perfect for any planned camping trips. I didn’t think it would be very good, especially as it costs less than £40.
In fact, Robert Dyas is selling it at £29.
But, it seems, Bluetooth technology and speaker quality has greatly advanced. For the Lava BrightSounds gadget with reasonably powerful 4W speaker and additional ambient lamp is really very good.
It’s a tall square gadget, about 9cm x 9cm x 19cm. More than two-thirds of the height is a lamp. It’s not a mega bright lamp but enough to show you where your nearby can of beer is positioned. The lamp has a dimmer facility.
The Bluetooth connectivity allows you to sync smartphones and tablets (both android and iOS) so that music can be played through the speaker. If you can’t get the Bluetooth function to work there’s also a 3.5mm Aux In connector.
After a bit of faffing I got the Bluetooth connection to work perfectly with both my iPhone and iPad. A tip is that if you are trying to Bluetooth connect a gadget for the first time, switch off the Bluetooth on other nearby gadgets because the Lava gadget remembers any that it has been connected to before. This flummoxed me for a while when I couldn’t get the iPad to sync.
In addition to listening to music through the speaker, your phone calls can interrupt the music so you can speak hands-free. I am not entirely sure why this might be useful but it is as an interesting addition, perhaps if you want to have a group chat with someone while partying?!
It could be useful as well if you are listening to music in your office and want silence when the phone rings.
Anyway, back to the most useful part of the BrightSounds, the music. The speaker is surprisingly good. I racked up the volume and it was still good quality to my ears. We are not talking about the highest quality of speaker output here but something that sounds pretty good for a camping or party situation.
I also like the design of the Lava BrightSounds. It looks clean and modern and, usefully, it’s water-repellent so won’t be ruined if there was a spot of rain.
You can run it directly from mains power or via the built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which offers up to nine hours of music playback and light.
I can see this being a well-used gadget this summer on my campervanning trips, as well as at any barbecues.