Spracht is a small acoustic division of ODI that makes Bluetooth speakers and voice conference products for offices. The last Spracht device we reviewed was the Aura Mobile BT, which is a Bluetooth speakerphone designed to fit on a car's visor. Now the company has released the Spracht Aura Blu Note, a Bluetooth speaker with stereo Bluetooth compatibility made for listening to music. It looks great and has decent sound, though we did wish it wasn't so pricey at $129. For the money, we would've liked additional functionality like music player controls.
The Aura Blu Note is a beautiful futuristic piece of hardware with a chassis that curves slightly outward. It is silver all around, plus its front surface is dominated by a large speaker grille. In the middle of the speaker is a piece of black plastic that also houses a circular blue LED indicator. Measuring 7 inches long by 3 inches tall by 1.2 inches deep and weighing about 9.5 ounces, the Aura Blu Note is also surprisingly small and lightweight, truly earning its promise of portability.
The top of the Blu Note houses all of its controls. They consist of a Bass Boost button, a Stereo Widening button, a large volume rocker, the power toggle, and a PTT button that you can use to make or answer phone calls. Notably missing are any music player controls, which is a shame since the Blu Note is designed to stream music. On the back of the Blu Note are a 3.5-millimeter headset jack and a jack for the power cable. If you prefer not to use the power cable, you can also fill up the battery compartment in the back with four AA batteries, and yes, the batteries are included in the box. The 3.5-millimeter jack is good if you want to listen to music from a device that doesn't have stereo Bluetooth, like an iPod for example.
We paired the Aura Blu Note with the Samsung Trance, which has stereo Bluetooth. After we connected the two devices, the second we hit play in the Trance's music player, the Blu Note streamed its songs. Music quality was pretty good, and the stereo widening and bass boost do a good job in making the songs sound richer and fuller. The stereo widening creates a three-dimensional sound and the bass boost provides a deeper bass. However, it wasn't terribly remarkable, as songs still had a slightly hollow quality when compared with a full-fledged high-fidelity speaker. Still, for a portable speaker, the sound quality is quite good.
The Blu Note also has decent call quality. Callers could hear us loud and clear even though we were on speakerphone. You do need to speak relatively close to the speaker, though, about a couple feet or so. On our end, we could hear our callers clearly as well with hardly any static or background noise. When a call comes in you will hear a beep or tone, and if music is playing, the player will pause automatically. Aside from that, the Blu Note doesn't have a lot of phone features. It can answer, end, and reject calls, but that's about it.
You can store up to eight Bluetooth profiles, so you can pair it with multiple devices. It has an approximate battery life of up to 10 hours with four AA batteries.