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First Look: Geneva Sound System Model XS
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First Look: Geneva Sound System Model XS

2:39 /

While it's pretty pricey, the Geneva Sound System Model XS has a great design and is one of the better ultracompact Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Hi. I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm here with the Geneva Sound System XS. That XS stands for Extra Small. This company is a Swiss company. It usually makes actually really big speakers, but this is a small bluetooth speaker and it looks a lot like those old school travel alarm clocks. It folds up into it's own case and it's really kind of nifty design. You can take this with you, put it on your bag, it's protected. It also has a built in FM radio and a telescoping antenna. It's a little weird that it sticks out the side, but it is cool that it does have an antenna and you can get better reception with that antenna. Couple of other features, there is an audio input, so you can use devices that don't have bluetooth with it. That cable is included however. Like other portable bluetooth speakers, this one has built in rechargeable battery. It's a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, gives you about 5 hours worth of battery life. That's not great, but it's not bad either and you can always leave the speaker plugged in as well. One thing that it doesn't have is speaker phone capabilities. There's no built in mike here like the Jawbone JAMBOX has. This is slightly bigger than the Jawbone JAMBOX . It weighs 1.1 lbs, but is very (poor?) and it does sound better than the JAMBOX. This one has a little bit more detail to it. It's a little warmer sounding and it handles bass better. It also plays very loud for its size. Take all that with a grain of salt, of course. The smaller speakers don't have a lot in the way of (stereo?) separation and they don't sound fantastic. But the idea here is that they do sound big for their size. You can stream audio from you iPod, your iPhone, your Android smartphone and it sounds a lot, lot better than those internal speakers on those devices. One of the small drawbacks worth pointing out is that it doesn't charge via USB. It comes with its own AC adapter. It would be nice it had a USB charger, so you could carry only one cable with your cellphone charger, but it does come with that AC adapter. The other bigger downside is its price. It is a $250 device. This is from a Swiss company. It is a high quality well-made product, but that $250 price will scare off some people, but if you don't mind paying that much for a cool small bluetooth speaker, this one is definitely worth checking out. I'm David Carnoy and that's the Geneva Sound System XS.

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