HIS Wavemaster MOBI Portable Speaker Review



Product: HIS Wavemaster MOBI Portable Speaker
Company: HIS
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: January 27th, 2013

HIS Wavemaster MOBI Portable Speaker Review

An interesting device accompanied a box of fun from China - HIS sent me a Wavemaster MOBI Portable Speaker to play with while I test some graphics cards. This is a lithium ion rechargeable battery powered portable speaker for MP3 players, phones and notebook computers.

Mobi speaker
Mobi speaker

The Wavemaster MOBI comes in a sturdy plastic box, cunningly packaged to make it an experience to open. Whether that experience is good or bad depends on your sense of occasion, or it you just want to get to the thing. The acrylic box is sturdy enough you'll consider keeping it to house the speaker in it when not in use or travelling, or perhaps for storing skittles. Included inside with the speaker is the USB recharging cord and a cloth travel bag.

The speaker connects via short 3.5m jack ended cord, which nearly tucks into the bottom of the speaker. The bottom of the speaker extends and retracts at a finger press for no immediately obvious reason, but I guess it is fun for setting it down and it automagically smoothly popping up. If you're impressed by that sort of thing.

The speaker is for use with unamplified sources, activated through a simple but fiddly on/off switch integrated into the side of the retracting bottom. An LED is built into the base, which glows the predicable piercing blue when powered on. When charging, the base glows red, and when in use and charging you get a soft purplely color, and a bit of electrical noise in your audio. It can fill a small room with music easily, making impromptu movie watching or music listening on the go possible and simple.

Mobi speaker
Mobi speaker

I used the Wavemaster MOBI with my HTC Thunderbolt phone and Dell Studio 1747 laptop. The speaker was a large improvement over the phone, although the short cord meant I couldn't use the phone's kickstand in the portrait configuration. With the laptop it was a little louder than the built-in 2.1 speaker system with fuller and brighter sound. Obviously the monaural design reduces the sound stage, but it addressed one of my pet peeves with the laptop; the speaker placement which is exactly where my wrists rest while typing. This causes issues of inbalanced sound, blocking highs and muting mids as my arms move around, which can be quite annoying in a long session, especially one handed. Because my hand is on a mouse and the other is on WASD, get your minds back on gaming please.

Mobi speaker
Mobi speaker

The battery life is excellent, far exceeding the claimed 8 hours on the box and even the 10 hours on the website. In general I saw 12-14 hours before it powered off, and it would last 4 hours on a 30 min charge easily. The problem with the device isn't the speaker, the sound or the battery, it's the connectivity. For $30USD this really needs to be Bluetooth, I just can't find a use for it wired myself; I want to set it on my desk and stream to it from my laptop or desktop or tablet or phone, and especially on the hand held devices be able use the device - even just to change tracks etc. - naturally, without worrying about the speaker swinging in the air. On that basis I award 3 stars, and recommend you look at Bluetooth enabled portable speakers first.