While the MOTOROKR EQ5 is pitched by Motorola as a companion to the , there's no such limiting claims made about the EQ7. It's a wireless Bluetooth speaker system/speakerphone that you could use with any A2DP compliant Bluetooth device, or anything with a 3.5mm audio jack if you don't mind the look of cables.
For a Motorola device, the branding is actually surprisingly subtle, with just a tiny "M" logo — the one that looks rather like those pointy bras that Madonna favoured in the early 90's — sitting on the front panel. In branding terms, the JBL logo on the top of the speaker box is far more prominent, as they're the company behind the speakers within the EQ7's rather flat box. Front controls are small and functional, covering volume and track skipping, along with a call answering button. The power button, along with a single 3.5mm audio jack hides out the back.
The EQ7 features four top facing speakers, as well as a small woofer that feeds out from the rear. It supports Bluetooth audio from any A2DP device, as well as from any 3.5mm audio jack. While it comes with a power adapter, you can also take it fully portable with four AA batteries, which pop in the base of the unit, underneath a turning wheel that's highly reminiscent of a child's money bank.
You can't miss the EQ7 when you first power it up — not only does the power light come on and the Bluetooth indicator starts flashing, but you also get greeted with a very loud chirpy tone. It then enters Bluetooth pairing mode by default. For what it's worth — which isn't much — we were able to pair up an iPhone 3G with the EQ7, although its lack of A2DP support means you could only conceivably use it as a hands-free speakerphone kit. Instead, we paired it properly for audio with a .
Audio quality over Bluetooth was very good, and we were impressed by the range we could carry the phone over while still having music playing. When calls come in, the music dips away, and during our testing we had no problems at all with the speakerphone, which was crisp, loud and able to pick up our voice flawlessly even from across a room.
Being determined, we did get the iPhone 3G to connect up to the EQ7 for music playback, albeit via 3.5mm audio cable. Playback quality was very good indeed for the size and scope of the speakers. Given they're best suited to a small office environment, they offered more than enough oomph for most tastes.
So the EQ7s sound good, but there is a catch. It's got to be said — AU$249 is a lot to pay for a portable speaker, even if it does double up as a speakerphone. For some buyers that won't even be an issue, but it is worth bearing in mind that cheaper alternatives (including) can handle the audio aspect of EQ7.