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Successor to the ‘Disco’

AN obvious advantage of a Bluetooth speaker is that you can altogether dispose of wires, cables and other connectors that mysteriously form impossible knots in your storage space. Able to function as you hit the media play button from any Bluetooth-compatible device, a Bluetooth speaker truly redefines the word “portable.”

That’s why this kind of speaker is becoming a favorite in the market—and any versions have already been released from numerous brands. One of the standout brands is France-based SuperTooth. This company has been growing its market in Europe and is now seeking to expand its international presence in more than 50 countries, including the Philippines.

With its impressive line of speaker models, it’s easy for the market to have high expectations over SuperTooth’s products. Although the first Disco portable speaker from SuperTooth received many underwhelming reviews,the brand has returned this year with a significantly re-thought version that doesn’t look or work like its predecessor. With its highly improved features—and with a reasonable price to boot—the Disco 2 is SuperTooth’s promise to rehabilitate the disappointing first variant.

Design-wise, the Disco 2 is comparatively trendier than the first version, which looked like a typical stereo speaker in the market resembling a simple black brick. For what it’s worth, the previous model had a carrying case. Other than that, it had no distinct feature that would make it superior than other brands. SuperTooth perhaps also realized the tedious design of Disco, which is why it remodeled the Disco 2 with a tower-like design shaped into a rounded rectangle that somewhat tapers in the middle. It measures roughly 7.2x4.3x2.8 inches at its top part. Overall build quality is fairly sturdy, making it convenient to carry anywhere. It also doesn’t feel like it will fall apart in your hands. 

With its imaginative appearance, one would have to take a closer look to figure out what it really is. This makes the Disco 2 a good addition to any interior space. Its interesting design will even make you want to show it off to friends. It comes in six colors—black, red, sky blue, pink, silver and yellow-green. The color comes from the wraparound fabric speaker grilles alongside a plastic base.

It has illuminated control buttons for power, volume, track forward/backward and play/pause on the top. To conserve power, the buttons are only lit up a few seconds more after they are pressed. The power and audio input ports, as well as a Bluetooth status indicator, are all found on the rear.

Supertooth claims that the Disco 2 has a range of 10 meters to receive Bluetooth transmissions. But in most times, it actually achieved a longer range than what is originally advertised. As for the speaker’s built-in battery, which takes about two hours to completely be charged, it lasts about  three to four hours in high-volume playback or 10 hours at medium volume.

The speaker’s volume capacity is very superior, considering its compact size. It is capable of filling a small room on its own and its fine volume levels and enough battery life also makes it a  versatile speaker to bring outdoors. Music sounds both reasonably detail-rich and full-bodied, with a bit more treble. While there’s a little bass distortion when it reaches the volume level peak, it’s not too bad, given its cheaper asking price compared to other brands.

A distinguished feature of the Disco 2 is its inclusion of a Bluetooth 4 chip. This enables the speaker to instantaneously pair up with, for example, an iPhone 4S or third-generation iPad. It is amusing how the speaker does not show any signs of delay when paired up, even after just waking up from a power-conserving state. And unlike most Bluetooth 4 devices, the Disco 2 remains compatible with Bluetooth 2-ready iOS hardware, which still makes it able to pair up even with earlier models of iPod touch, iPhones and iPads. The speaker can be paired with just about any A2DP Bluetooth-supported devices or with an audio plug. It can also pair up with multiple devices, though not simultaneously.

The only setback in this new edition is that its monaural design consequently does not enable stereo separation. The unit has dropped from Disco’s 28-watt output to only 16 watts, with two speakers on the front and a bass radiator on the back.

In spite of these limitations, the Disco 2 is much better than the first iteration. SuperTooth is indeed successful in its effort to produce a Bluetooth speaker that is pleasing to the discriminating set, functions easily with a paired device when you get the hang of how the speaker works, and does not compromise the volume quality despite its compact form.

o know more about the Disco 2 and other speaker devices from SuperTooth, visit the official SuperTooth Philippines web site at www.supertooth.com.ph.

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