Livespeakr, The Ultrafrugalportablespeaker

I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been back for almost a month now. So if you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything in here, well, I’ve been lazy. Plus, I have no clue of what to blog about, except for the amount of “batchoy” (noodle soup with lots of pork) that I ate and the quantities of Red Horse (extra strong lager, Philippine-brewed) I’ve chugged. But, as much as I want to write about my trip, I don’t want to bore you guys with that. Not right now, at least, because I still have a lot of drafts that I want to finish and post, like my Livespeakr review.

The Livespeakr in its portrait mode.

I’m the kind of “Balikbayan” (a Filipino returning to the Philippines) who doesn’t bring back gifts to friends or family. That’s because I’m frugal and I like to travel light. The only thing I like to bring and share with my friends is my pop-culture knowledge and expertise. You know, music, comics. etc. So I loaded my iPod Touch with 4,000 songs, a couple of Metalocalypse episodes and some motion comic issues to indoctrinate my friends with. The only problem is that I don’t want to share my in-earphones along with other nasty stuff that coats it. That’s when I started looking for speakers, cheap and portable ones.

I had a hard time finding the right speakers though. There were plenty of speakers, of course. But none was built by a reputable company, and none had the specifications that I wanted. So if the speaker wasn’t cheap, then it was too big. If it was cheap and small, then it had a crappy sound. I almost bought a Bose SoundDock Portable –-a speaker with a heavenly sound quality and a heavenly price ($400)– because I was simply running out of options. But the cheapskate in me intervened and so I bought Livespeakr instead.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from Livespeakr when I bought it. It was a blind buy. It just happened to be the cheapest, the smallest and the highest rated portable speaker on Amazon at that time. I just clicked “Add to Cart” and hoped: “It can’t be that bad, right?”. Turns out the thing isn’t bad after all. In fact, it’s awesome.

The design of Livespeakr is what makes it great. On storage mode, its size is only a little bit bigger than the iPod Touch and can fit nicely in bags or purses. But some of its parts can extend, like its stand and speakers. It’s cradle, which securely hugs my iPod Touch in place, can also be rotated into landscape mode. So if I want to watch a movie, all I need to do is extend its speakers, kick its stand, rotate the iPod into landscape mode and I have my own portable theater.

I’m also amazed by quality of sound it delivers. Sure, it’s not as good as the SoundDock by Bose (but it’s not as pricey either). There are no lows and bass that can be heard coming out from it, and the highs and mids are not that great either. But for a small device made by an unknown company, its performance outdid my expectations. We had a drinking session at home one time (about 10 people were there), and all I had for a sound system was an iPod Touch on a Livespeakr. Believe me when I say that we can still hear loud and undistorted music coming out from this small thing, amidst our drunkenness and rowdiness. The speaker was also playing for 12 straight hours before its built-in rechargeable battery died on us.

Livespeakr impressed me a lot. It’s cheap, portable, the sound quality is loud and decent, and it has a long battery life. But it’s not for everyone, especially audiophiles. Many of you might not like its lack of low-end and bass, or its flimsy and cheap plastic looks. But if you’re looking for a travel-friendly speaker system, then I highly recommend Livespeakr.

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