There are many use cases for a small, portable Bluetooth speaker like the SuperTooth Disco, but its heavyweight stature and user-friendly music controls are ideal for small apartments, offices, or communal rooms like kitchens and dens. Like all Bluetooth-powered audio devices, the Disco unfortunately loses degrees of sound quality while transmitting the wireless signal, but SuperTooth also offers a hardwired solution in the back so you can play music through devices without Bluetooth connectivity. We've reviewed many Bluetooth speakers in the past, but the $150 Disco nudges its way into our favorites list for its sleek design, long battery life, and affordability.
Design and features
The SuperTooth Disco's rectangular shape reminds us of a larger version of the Soundmatters FoxLv2, a smaller Bluetooth speaker designed with the frequent traveler and audiophile in mind.
However, the SuperTooth is obviously much larger at a foot long and 3 inches wide, and although the protective neoprene carrying case seems to encourage users to take it outside, the speaker's hefty size and weight (approximately 2.5 pounds) make it more suitable as a stationary device to replace the cords and satellite speakers that quickly clutter precious desktop space.
The quadrilateral design of the Disco positions the speaker at a slightly upward angle, but the dual 8-watt speakers are hidden from sight by a tough mesh screen that wraps around the device for extra protection. There are also rubber fittings on both sides, as well as three rubber feet on the bottom that effectively prevent the speaker from slipping around on your desktop. The rubber feet especially come in handy when you toggle the bass booster, and it's another reason why the Disco is heavier than average.
Part of the appeal of Bluetooth speakers is how simple it is to connect to any device with an Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), which includes most modern smartphones and computers. We used an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2 for testing and established a connection within 30 seconds by simply holding down the power button to place the Disco in pairing mode.
A small blue light on the front of the Disco illuminates to confirm the connection. After the initial pairing is established, the device stores the partnership in its internal memory so it's easy to quickly transfer audio to the speaker. Once you secure a Bluetooth connection, you can adjust the volume and change tracks directly on your music player or you can use the small control dial around the perimeter of the volume knob.
On the other hand, if you want to play music out of a device that doesn't have Bluetooth, the SuperTooth Disco has a 3.5mm stereo input jack on the back and includes a male-to-male stereo cord for direct connectivity. Playing music through the wired connection also gives you better sound quality since the bandwidth limitation of Bluetooth causes audible degradation over the wireless connection.