First Look: The Oontz: A bargain Bluetooth speaker
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First Look: The Oontz: A bargain Bluetooth speaker

2:31 /

Cambridge Soundworks offers two versions of the Oontz, its mini wireless Bluetooth speaker. Both the $40 and $50 models deliver good bang for the buck.

Hi, I'm David Carnoy, executive editor for CNET.com. And I'm here with the Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ line of Bluetooth speaker. That's right. OontZ, that's a weird-sounding name. But there are two of them. There is the OontZ Angle that looks a little bit like a pyramid. And then, there's the standard OontZ, which is actually the higher-end model, and that does sound a little bit better. It's a little bit bigger speaker. It offers a little bit more bass. The nice thing about this speaker is that they are well-priced. The OontZ Angle is $39.99 and the regular OontZ is $49.99. And they do sell like more expensive models. The regular OontZ was actually $69.99 originally, but the price has since come down so it is a better value. Comparatively speaking, there are a lot of other mini wireless Bluetooth speakers very similar to these speakers. These do sound a little bit better for the money. You'll find speakers that cost $79 or $89. They are very similar to this. But these do offer a little bit better clarity. As I said, the step-up OontZ has a little bit better bass. One other bonus feature you'll find in both speakers is speaker phone capability, so you can use this as a speaker phone for your cell phone. Your music will cut out when a call comes in, and there's a call answer/end button. There are sort of control buttons built in to the unit itself. You do get a few more controls on the step-up OontZ. There are transport controls on that as well as volume controls. There's also an auxiliary input if you have a non-Bluetooth device. What I will say about both these speakers is they do have a customized generic feel to them. What I mean is that there are some elements to them that are a little bit inexpensive. For instance, around back, there's a mini USB port instead of the more standard micro USB port-- that's a little bit disappointing. The other small designed element that may irk some people is the blue light on the front. It's a little bit bright. It didn't bother me so much, but it did bother another editor here at CNET. And unfortunately, that blue light can't be dimmed or turned off altogether. But all in all, for the money, both these speakers sound relatively good. They also offer very good battery life. Both of them are rated above 10 hours. You can actually do much better than that if you play these at moderate volumes. And their designs are also attractive. They come in multiple color options. So, the OontZ, funny name, but all in all, a good value. I'm David Carnoy, and that's the Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Bluetooth speaker line. Thanks for watching.

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