Review: SuperTooth Disco

Review: SuperTooth Disco

Finding a quality speaker that is wireless, portable, and can be operated without a wall plug can be a challenge. Fortunately, SuperTooth is on the case, producing their Disco bluetooth wireless stereo speaker that is sturdy, impressive, and can go anywhere.

The SuperTooth Disco is a rugged portable wireless speaker unit that is powered by a rechargeable battery. It’s robust enough to go camping, or to the beach, yet elegant enough to look great in an office. We tried one out, and here are some of the conclusions that we reached:

Overview

The SuperTooth Disco immediately struck me as being extremely sturdy and reliable, and practical use did not change my mind – the device is solid, both in feel and performance. I do have a few gripes, but largely, my experience was extremely positive.

Pros

  • I actually got the battery life that the packaging indicated I should get, with the speaker lasting 5-6 hours at a volume that I found comfortable.
  • Impressive range – I was able to go up to 175 feet without distortion.
  • Simple, sturdy, and durable design.
  • Attractive, elegantly designed, and stylish.
  • Controls are intuitive and work well.

Cons

  • Does not include a remote.
  • May be heavier than some would like, weighing in at nearly 2.5 pounds.

What’s In The Box

The SuperTooth Disco is expertly packaged, and comes with all of the necessary cables and power adapters you might need, plus, it comes in a sturdy travel case that protects the speaker when you are transporting it. Notably, it also comes with an audio patch cable, so you can use it with non-wireless devices immediately without having to buy a cable. It also comes with the usual collection of manuals, disclaimers, and warrantee. The Disco makes a great impression right out of the box.

When first removed from its packaging the speaker set is wrapped in a neoprene carry case which has a decent amount of padding at the front, save for a recess accommodating the volume knob. There is also a flap at the rear, secured with Velcro, which enables quick and easy access to the 3.5mm jack, for connecting a non-Bluetooth fitted MP3 player or similar, and the power input for charging the internal battery.

Physical Form

The device is an ideal size – basically about the size of a large sub sandwich. It’s both small and very powerful, but it is neither the smallest nor most robust product of its kind available. It does, however, provide an excellent balance for the relatively low cost.

It’s very solidly built, and has an appropriate amount of heft to it. It comes with an attractive and sturdy protective case, and really looks great – I loved how it looked on my shelf – the design decisions that SuperTooth made resulted in a device that looks pretty great no matter when you decide to place it.

It supports both wired and wireless devices, features tactile controls that are exactly what you expect, and can hold up to repeated use. Also factor in that the device works flawlessly with minimal setup straight out of the box, and you’ve got yourself quite a combo pack. It’s also portable enough to bring with you on outings, camping trips, and so forth.

Practical Use

The SuperTooth Disco was extremely easy to set up. After initially allowing it a full charge, I paired it with my iPhone 4 and my iPad – the process takes seconds, and is uncomplicated.

The tactile controls on the face of the device worked exactly as I expected them to, the range was very acceptable, working quite well, and with almost no distortion at a range of a little over 150 feet.

The bass on the device was especially good considering the speaker’s small size and lack of a woofer of any kind, capable of rattling windows and producing a rattling bass that I could actually feel.

Quality

The quality rivals that of similarly priced and sized wired speakers – I was actually quite impressed by how good the sound quality was, considering the small size of the speaker, as well as the fact that it was transmitting over Bluetooth, which is not always known for delivery the best sound quality.

It interfaced well with a number of smartphone that I tested it with, including the iPhone 4 and a Nexus S, and also with the iPad. The range was as good as expected, achieving a realistic real-world 150 foot range before significant distortion played in.

Conclusion

The SuperTooth Disco’s classic design, extremely sturdy construction, and high level or performance for the price left me extremely impressed, and considering it to be a fairly remarkable value for its class. While it’s not going to produce the high-level audio that a wired studio speaker can produce, I found that the sound quality met and even exceeded my expectations in every way. This speaker provides a serious bang for the buck.

Sounds over Bluetooth do not experience the distortion you’ll often get over a 3.5mm headphone jack wire here, and you’ll be happy with your ability to connect any device at any time.

Rating / Wrapping It Up

I was very impressed and the level of quality and performance that I witnessed from this small yet powerful wireless speaker, and could not have expected better performance from a device of its class. This stylish, high-quality device is a bargain for even the full retail price.

For its many merits, including above-average performance, portability, solid and sturdy build quality, and stylish design that is both elegant and rugged at the same time, I award the SuperTooth Disco a 4.5 out of 5, losing half of a point only because I was disappointed that it lacked a remote control of any kind (although you can use your bluetooth device to control some things, especially if using a smartphone or iPod Touch).

For more information, or to purchase the SuperTooth Disco (€119,00, approx $168 USD) , visit Supertooth’s website. Also, for the frugal among you, I can say that I was able to find it cheaper at a number of venues, so do shop around if you are seriously considering purchasing one of these.

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