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Tivoli Audio's PAL radio has been out for several years and while it's pretty pricey, it remains one of our favorite portable speakers. ("PAL" was allegedly an acronym for "Portable Audio Laboratory.")
Over time Tivoli has done little to change the
As far as I can tell, the 1.92-pound PAL BT is virtually identical to the standard PAL, both of which come in multiple color options. The one difference is that the knob that allows you to toggle among "off," "AM," and "FM" settings adds a fourth "BT" option -- that stands for Bluetooth, of course. Note that the AM and FM bands remain totally analog; Tivoli has not added support for digital HD Radio.
Once you turn the knob to BT, the unit goes into pairing mode and becomes discoverable from Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. You can then wirelessly stream music -- or any audio -- to the PAL BT from up to 30 feet away. And depending on your environment, that range may extend to 40 to 50 feet.
While there's no "aux" switch on the knob, plugging in a standard 3.5mm cable to the rear input overrides the radio or Bluetooth signal so long as it's connected.
The PAL was always impressive because it played louder and offered more detailed sound than its 6.25 x 3.69 x 3.88 (HWD) dimensions would indicate. As Steve Guttenberg wrote in his
He noted the unit's strong battery life (it's rated at 16 hours) and a couple of other nice features. Then, in the conclusion of his review, Guttenberg told CNET readers that, "for just $130, the PAL makes a great traveling companion."