Q: I want to get a big Bluetooth speaker. What do you think is the loudest one?
A: I have not tested enough of them to know what the loudest Bluetooth single-piece speaker is, and frankly I would choose one for sound quality, not loudness. If you are looking for an absolutely great-sounding, premium Bluetooth speaker that will fill a decent-sized room with wonderful sound, I recently tried one that stole my heart.
The Bluetone 100 comes from British manufacturer Cambridge Audio (www.cambridge audio.com), a company I have praised recently for its excellent electronics. The Bluetone 100 is several times larger than the typical small Bluetooth speaker and has analog inputs as well as an adjustable bass control. What really makes it stand out is its sound. It is warm, clear, detailed and lively, with solid bass and low distortion throughout. I played some mariachi music from my iPhone, and I felt as though the band was in the room. The Bluetone 100 is $299 and worth every cent.
Every once in a while I come across a product so great that I have to alert the world, even if I don't have a question about it. I recently tried a carry-on bag that is a traveler's dream come true, especially if you travel with lots of electronics as I do.
I take several international trips and many domestic trips every year. For years I have used the Hartmann Walnut Tweed luggage, which I loved for its durability and classic American style. I have many pieces of Hartmann luggage, including some vintage bags and suitcases that were made in its Tennessee factory and some more modern pieces that were made in China. But the Chinese-made luggage has not held up nearly as well, especially my carry-on bag, even though it still carries a premium price. So, I looked for a new carry-on that is electronics-friendly, too.
The ecbc Pegasus is a rolling bag that converts to a backpack. The backpack straps are well-hidden and completely enclosed so they never get in the way or come loose when you are using it as a rolling bag. The bag is heavy-duty and flawlessly stitched together. The material and component parts, including the self-repairing YKK zippers, all feel top-notch.
The ecbc is a great bag, but what makes it really special is the FastPass system. The front opens up and there are TSA-friendly dividers for your laptop, tablet, phone and accessories. Just open the bag and put it on the X-ray conveyor belt. There's no more unpacking into plastic trays and then repacking. And speaking of convenience, it even includes a built-in charger so you can charge your gear while it is packed away.
The ecbc Pegasus sells for $399 and is available in five colors. I got mine in blue. It does not match my Walnut Tweed luggage, but over time I can see myself replacing my old luggage with ecbc gear as it wears out. See the Pegasus and other ecbc bags at ww.ec-bc.com.
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.