Samsung BS300 Bluetooth Speaker review: Samsung BS300 Bluetooth Speaker

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Samsung BS300 features an ultracompact design with Bluetooth connectivity and built-in music playback controls.

The Bad The Samsung BS300 is relatively pricey and doesn't offer supreme audio quality (especially bass-wise).

The Bottom Line The Samsung BS300 Bluetooth Speaker offers clear audio playback and a convenient, compact design that will appeal to wire-haters and frequent-fliers alike--just don't expect a lot of boom.

7.5 Overall

Portable speakers are a dime a dozen, but those with integrated Bluetooth capability are not quite as plentiful. However, wireless speakers certainly have their place--especially if they're as usefully compact as the Samsung BS300. This $129 speaker is about the size of a Motorola Slvr cell phone but packs in stereo sound and Bluetooth connectivity. Sure, it sounds about as tinny as you would expect from a unit of this size, but if convenience reigns supreme, it could fit the bill.

At just 3.7 inches by 1.8 inches by 0.5 inch, the Samsung BS300 is even smaller than the Samsung P2 MP3 player, a device with which it pairs excellently. The unit features dual speakers on its face, as well as a mic (for taking voice calls), a call button, and two LED status indicators (for charging and operation). Just below the speakers, there are even two air holes to aide the "low end"--really a lost cause in speakers this size. The top edge of the BS300 is lined with various tactile controls: power and play/pause buttons; track shuttle keys; a volume toggle; and a DNSe sound effect button for putting the speaker into 3D Sound, Bass Boost, or dual modes. Other physical characteristics include an auxiliary line-input on the right spine (cable included) and a DC power port and lanyard loop on the left edge.

Connecting the BS300 with an audio source is a simple matter outlined clearly in the manual. For our purposes, we used the P2 for testing--the two devices are quite made for one another. They even both include miniature stands for holding them up at useful angles. As far as sound quality is concerned, well, with speakers of this size, you're not really paying for booming audio--you're paying for small size and convenience. That said, the Bluetooth audio quality is fairly good. Tunes come through clear, with no dropout problems within range. High-end detail is decent, and mids sound fairly good, though there is a slight tinny quality. If you're looking for a thumping low-end, look elsewhere--though at least the BS300s don't have a problem with distortion.

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