We recently acquired a new speaker in the office from Bem Wireless, the Bluetooth Speaker Wristband. I've always been a bit of a techie so naturally I was really excited to tare open one of these things and check it out.
The box includes the Speaker Wristband in black, micro USB cable for charging the unit and the user guide and a small slip of paper. While neither the manual nor the other paper, which is about the size of a three-by-five index card, are accessible outright, I created accessible versions for the A T Guys website. The manual is offered in multiple languages (English and French-Canadian). This gave me the perfect excuse to play around with it and explore it for myself blindly--pardon the pun.
The speaker is a little bigger than some of those talking watches. It fits on your wrist and has a clasp in order to fasten and secure it. I found that aspect a bit tricky at first, as the holes to fasten it aren't particularly large or pronounced so it takes a bit of tweaking and fiddling with it so it feels comfortable.
The speaker has three buttons on the front. From left to right, they are move back a track/decrease the volume, pause/resume a track and move forward a track/increase the volume.
Around the left side of the unit, keeping in mind the same orientation, there is the small power button. This also acts as the button to pair and connect the speaker to your phone or tablet, for example. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the speaker provides auditory announcements when it powers on, pairs, connects to a device and when it powers off. I am told there is a small LED light in the corner that flashes when it turns on and then remains constant while the unit is on.
Testing it Out
The speaker has some pretty impressive range. I was able to walk with the unit on my wrist while my iPhone stayed in the office. I got to about 40 feet away before it became an issue and it started cutting out.
The speaker also has a built-in microphone. This allows you to make calls and hear the person on the speaker. When I made a call to a family member, I ranged from being five to 10 feet away from my phone and they were able to hear me pretty clearly. It took a little figuring out how closely to talk at the speaker, but I'd say you're safe with six to eight inches away. You don't want to look like you're kissing the back of your hand. It was absolutely possible to hear them and the call was clear for both parties. The quality is more suited for voice calls and speech as opposed to music.
I also tested the speaker with BlindSquare, the ever-popular navigation app for the iPhone. I decided to head across the street to a juice bar. I found, that even with some traffic, you're able to hear the speaker without having to hold your wrist right up to your ear. The button to the very left will cause the app to speak your location, which is equivalent to shaking the phone when the app is in the foreground.
The Bluetooth Speaker Wristband from Bem Wireless is a neat little gadget that's worth adding to your collection of iPhone, Android or tablet accessories. It's perfect for listening to music while riding your bike, going for a walk or doing those household chores everyone loves doing. It's extremely portable, light and, according to a fellow coworker, doesn't look dorky or strange.
Click here to learn more about Bem Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Wristband and to purchase it from A T Guys for $39.99.Source: A T Guys
Seems like you'd add a fair amount of noise pollution if you used one of these for walking as opposed to, say, a pair of Aftershokz which would probably be less likely to annoy those around you. In an age where people seem to think their tiny iPhone is a boom box while blasting the most obnoxious music all over the place, I try for myself to cut down as much as possible on the amount of irritation I cause to those around me. It's one of the reasons I also have no interest in any talking watch, be it smart or otherwise.
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Kevin Andrews is in his final year of undergrad at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He is majoring in journalism with a concentration in public relations and a non-teaching minor. He's a huge techie and loves playing with new gadgets, even if they aren't his. When he isn't in the office, he loves traveling, music, spending time with family, hanging with friends and craft beer.