CyFi Bluetooth bike speaker hits the streets

CNET editor Jasmine France mounts the CyFi Bluetooth iPod speaker to a bicycle handlebar and takes it for a test drive.

CBS Interactive/Corinne Schulze

Sometimes, working with a very specific type of tech product for so long will make one doubt whether anything truly unusual is ever going to flutter in through the mail slot. I was in just such a slump when I came across the CyFi Wireless Speaker while researching fitness-friendly tech. This unique, bicycle-mounting gadget seemed like just the ticket for active types who shun the gym in favor of hitting the streets on two wheels.

Far be it for me to look down my nose on anything that encourages cyclists to shun dangerous earbuds in favor of a safer way to enjoy tunes on the go, but the CyFi is not exactly the perfect solution. Don't get me wrong: it has plenty of things going for it, not the least of which is its weather- and shock-resistant design. Plus, the Bluetooth functionality and included iPod adapter are great for eliminating cord clutter.

However, the sound quality is decent but not great, and turning it up loud enough to hear over the sound of traffic was slightly embarrassing (I'm not much for foisting my musical tastes on others, though). I also discovered during testing that the mounts have a tendency to fall apart, as the washer from the screw handle permanently fell out during one adjustment. Despite these complaints, I still think the CyFi is a sweet idea, just one that could perhaps use a bit of fine tuning. It was certainly one of the more fun products to play around with, and the price of $160 for the iPod version is not too ridiculous, given the features. The gallery below includes some more information on the results of my testing.

 

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