These days most mobile phones can send music wirelessly over Bluetooth, and so can computers, as long as they have a dongle attached -- or Bluetooth built in. That's a whole mountain of devices that could benefit from having a pair of Bluetooth speakers. Parrot's latest effort in this arena is the DS1120, speakers which aim to provide a voice for your wireless audio device.
In the box you get a Bluetooth dongle, a pair of speakers, two power adaptors and a brief manual, which isn't necessary -- setting up the speakers is dead simple. Just plug them in, press the Bluetooth logo button and grab your device and pair it. That's really it. The speakers aren't connected to each other, but instead pair with each other automatically.
They look the part too. You can remove the speaker grilles if you so choose, exposing the naked cone beneath, and the mix of matte and gloss black finish of the units works really well too. The controls are touch-sensitive, and there was a moment of slight embarrassment when we were testing them when we accidentally turned them to full volume in the middle of the office. Not everyone, it turns out, likes trance at full whack. Who'd have thought it?
All-in-all, we think these little speakers are an attractive, useful package. You even get a line-in at the back of each speaker -- when you plug a device into one, the audio is shared with the other. Parrot really has covered all bases with this set.
Our in-office hands-on yielded some pretty good results. The sound quality is generally good, but distorts at high volume. We also noticed that on our desk, there were some times that the left speaker cut out at times. We only noticed this on our mobile phone Bluetooth connection though -- the PC link seemed less susceptible to cutting out. We're pretty sure that this is interference from something, and we'd need to test them further to evaluate them fully.
You can lay your hands on the DS1120 speakers for about £160, which is a fair chunk of your cash. -Ian Morris