LOGiiX Blue Piston Bluetooth Speaker Review @ ModSynergy.com
The last quarter of 2013 we had been focusing more on portable Bluetooth speaker systems, and for good reason; they are becoming ever increasingly popular with people who are interested in having a no wires solution. It's also funny how these Bluetooth speakers still haven't penetrated the market fully as some regular people I've spoken to do not realize what Bluetooth is and what Bluetooth speakers can do for them.
Bluetooth speakers are great gifts to give away, on birthdays, holidays such as Christmas. They come in many different sizes, shapes, colors, quality, price points, and with many different features and technologies embedded inside.
Part of the reason why these Bluetooth speaker solutions have been popular is because they offer wireless audio capability along with the practicality of portability allowing the ease of pick up and go. These portable Bluetooth speakers can be taken with you to the park, beach, or office, all without wires. Add into the mix that some Bluetooth speakers have integrated microphone capabilities, it offers that hands-free experience that is very attractive.
One main reason for this enormous growth in Bluetooth speaker solutions have been because of the high demand of Bluetooth enabled devices such as the Smartphone, Apple iPad, iPod, and more. The cell phone industry is a hot commodity, more so than ever with the booming popularity of Smartphone's in everyone's hand. The continued rise is expected to grow even further within the next couple of years and shows no signs of slowing down. The general public have no clue that their devices, Smartphone's for example, even have Bluetooth.
Just about all cell phones on the market today come with Bluetooth technology, even the cheapies have it. It's a wireless technology and feature we all love because it allows the convenience of hands-free calls for example, which has been an ongoing problem with distracted driving.
Bluetooth can and is also used for transmission and streaming of music wirelessly to a Bluetooth speaker, in the car, in the home, in the office, even in the showers, and this is becoming an ever increasing trend as you see all sorts of wireless Bluetooth enabled headphones on the market.
This is where Bluetooth accessory makers are clamoring for your hard earned money. The iPhone and iPod were the first ones to really push the idea of a speaker dock with great success. With these speaker docks you could finally enjoy music coming from the iPod because it's being outputted through a larger speaker designed for music. The drawbacks to these speaker docks are that they are simply stationary and not portable, and they required your iPod or iPhone to be plugged into the dock, basically preventing you from freely using your device to do other stuff at the same time as playing music from your device. In this regard, we now have Bluetooth solutions that aim at solving this issue.
LOGiiX is one of those newer mobile accessories makers based out of lovely Canada, that is on the hunt for your hard earned money. According to their website, LOGiiX makes well-crafted, carefully designed mobile accessories that are meant to perform, attract and impress.
Today I am given the opportunity to share with you my readers about one of their latest portable Bluetooth speaker solution, the Blue Piston.
"In a sea of computer and consumer electronic products, it’s tricky to find a line that guarantees quality and satisfaction without an excessive price tag.
LOGiiX Blue Piston Product Overview
"Looking for a powerful yet small Bluetooth speaker? Take your music anywhere with the Blue Piston Wireless Bluetooth Speaker from Logiix! This portable Bluetooth speaker has a brushed aluminum military grade shell and built-in low frequency resonance system for a clearer sound. Not only can you listen to your favorite music, but you can also answer phone calls and make voice commands hands free!"
LOGiiX Blue Piston Product Features
LOGiiX Blue Piston Product Specifications
The LOGiiX Blue Piston Bluetooth speaker comes encased in a small plastic cube. I love the choice of packaging for the Blue Piston because it showcases the little turquoise beauty in all its glory, it reminds me of how the GoPro is similarly packaged. A plastic tab is present on one end so that the Blue Piston Bluetooth speaker can be easily hung on store shelves. You can see at the very top a silicone strip that surrounds the top of the speaker, preventing the unit from shifting around during shipment.
That turquoise color is just so different than anything I've seen, it simply looks extraordinary and the brushed aluminum shell only enhances the look even further as it shimmers under different lighting. The Blue Piston logo is embossed on the aluminum shell.
The Blue Piston comes in a variety of colors including turquoise, black, red, purple, lime, and for a limited time, gold.
Let's quickly go over the plastic shell. On top of the shell we find that the Blue Piston won an award for iPhone Life Magazine iHUB in 2013. Around the package we find numerous symbols that advise of the LOGiiX Blue Piston's various features including speaker, voice, Bluetooth, and rechargeable battery capability. The Blue Piston is able to play music through Bluetooth functionality and or the good old 3.5mm audio cable variety.
The LOGiiX Blue Piston is strictly a portable Bluetooth speaker, it has no NFC functionality, no fancy aptX audio codec support, no wild features as some other solutions contain. It's main selling point is that it can play audio wirelessly through Bluetooth or wired connection through the 3.5mm AUX-IN jack that it contains, it also supports hands-free operation with the use of its integrated microphone. This means you can initiate a call and use the microphone (and speaker for increased call volume) within the Blue Piston instead of that on your Smartphone, and accept a phone call with a simple push of a button, even if your Smartphone is nowhere on you.
Open the plastic shell to reveal the contents of the Blue Piston, the following items being inside...
As I've already mentioned, the LOGiiX Blue Piston is quite the looker. It's simple yet elegant. The first time I lay eyes on the Blue Piston, I loved that turquoise color added to the brushed aluminum exterior shell.
The front of the speaker contains the Blue Piston logo symbol and name. Directly below the logo is a single multi-function phone symbol button, obviously signifying the call capabilities of this phone along with it acting as the pairing button.
When someone calls you, simply press this button once and the Blue Piston works in tandem with your Bluetooth enabled Smartphone to accept the phone call. You'll now be able to utilize the Blue Piston's speaker for increased call volume and integrated microphone to communicate with the person on the line.
Directly to the left and beside the phone call button is a small hole belonging to the microphone and is labeled as such. Another microphone hole is located on the right end, so either direction that the Blue Piston is used, the person on the other line will hear you.
On my digital scale the Blue Piston weighs only 172 grams or 0.379 lbs, making it lightweight and easy to carry with you anywhere you go.
The top of the Blue Piston contains a strong black metal grille that protects the internal speaker drive and also adds to the flair of the speaker by embossing the logo within the speaker grille.
Coming to the back of the Blue Piston we find a few more connections available. First thing we have is a basic ON/OFF slider power switch, a micro USB port used for charging the unit, a 3.5mm AUX-IN jack, and a single multi-color LED activity light indicates if the speaker is on (aside from the audible tone), and if the speaker is in pairing mode.
The bottom of the Blue Piston contains a plastic cover that you must remove to have the non-slip rubber pad exposed. This helps prevent the speaker from being a hockey puck and falling off tables, sliding around, vibrating against tables. It does a great job.
LOGiiX does provide some basic information on the performance of the built-in battery. It doesn't mention the capacity or chemistry of the battery, however, my best guess would be its most likely a small Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Polymer battery.
LOGiiX states that you can get 8 hours of play time playing music and 4 hours of talk time using the speaker + microphone combination. In my real world testing, I've gone without having to recharge the Blue Piston for a couple of weeks. Not sure if they are rating this at full 100% volume, however, I've gotten really good battery life.
Streaming Music Through Bluetooth...Some Background Info
First of all let me start off by saying that streaming music wirelessly through Bluetooth is very convenient. However, music that is streamed wirelessly always ends up compressed to a certain extent. This is more true if you have a FLAC music collection on your device, it's almost pointless in a sense as to expect the true FLAC bit-rate to be broadcasted in its entirety...it's not happening. Therefore as to talk about sound quality through Bluetooth, that's a hard thing to point into words because at the end of the day sound will be degraded to an extent over Bluetooth. I'm not sure how hardcore Audiophiles can cope with this as they are meticulously obsessed with sound quality!
This is almost (but not quite) the same thing if you've ever used an FM transmitter, where signals can leak from one frequency to the next affecting the sound quality. However, the biggest difference is that Bluetooth is digital while FM is analog, Bluetooth by nature of being digital can transmit more data. Unlike leaking frequencies in FM transmissions affecting sound quality, none of that happens (very rare) with Bluetooth because of something called SSFH or Spread-Spectrum Frequency Hopping. SSFH makes it very rare for any two Bluetooth devices to be transmitting on the same frequency channel at the same time and they are ever changing.
Don't get me wrong, music can sound excellent via Bluetooth, it's significantly and vastly improved over an FM transmitter solution in every regard. Though all I'm saying is that it depends on so many variables, for example your Bluetooth device. Cheap Smartphone's broadcasting music over Bluetooth versus good Smartphone's make a difference to the sound quality, loudness and clarity, believe it or not. I've personally experienced this using a cheap Chinese Smartphone versus a decent Samsung Galaxy Smartphone, there was a clear and noticeable difference and it was not placebo effect.
Factors such as the quality of the Bluetooth speaker and its transmitter/receiver components, other Bluetooth devices transmitting nearby that may be interfering, distances between the two BT devices, signal-to-noise ratio, these all affect the sound quality.
How to pair Smartphone with LOGiiX Blue Piston
Pairing to the LOGiiX Blue Piston with your Smartphone is very simple. With my Android Smartphone I was able to pair with my Bluetooth Smartphone in under 15 seconds, obviously your results will vary depending on the device used.
With Bluetooth already enabled on your device, turn on the LOGiiX Blue Piston and wait until it gives an audible tone notifying you that its turned on. It automatically goes on pairing mode if it hasn't already connected to a Bluetooth device. Now you simply search for BT devices on your Smartphone, the Blue Piston being found as Logiix Blue Piston. Press OK and the unit is now paired and the process is complete. In the event that you are asked for a PIN, it is simply 0000.
You only need to pair the first time. After that, the speaker will automatically connect each time your Smartphone's Bluetooth is enabled.
In the event that you need to manually enter Bluetooth pairing mode, simply hold the Call button for 5-10 seconds until you here an audible tone and the LED blinks between blue and red.
Using the LOGiiX Blue Piston
Simply switch the power ON/OFF switch to the ON position. When the LOGiiX Blue Piston is turned on, an introductory tone is heard to let you know the unit is turned on and that BT is activated and actively searching for nearby devices. Once paired, the speaker sounds off another audible tone.
If you want to connect the Blue Piston to a non-Bluetooth enabled device, simply connect the included 3.5mm audio cable to the device and the other end to the Blue Piston's AUX-IN jack.
The Blue Piston compared to the other Bluetooth speakers I've already reviewed, does not contains buttons or controls that allow it to change its volume, change the music tracks, pause or play from the speaker unit, everything must be done through the Smartphone. This can be considered a disadvantage against other Bluetooth speakers. The only thing you can do from the Blue Piston unit is accept a phone call.
How does it sound?
To be honest I wasn't expecting much from such a small speaker considering its small size and lack of real technical information regarding the internals of the Blue Piston on the LOGiiX website. Add the fact that I've never experienced this brand before, I was going into this review with an unbiased viewpoint. It looks fantastic visually, but I was not convinced how dynamic the sound would fair coming out of something that looks this small.
Once that music started to play, however, I was pleasantly surprised in a great way!
First off, the LOGiiX Blue Piston plays much bigger than it looks. The sound is big from such a small speaker, that it immediately impresses you. The sound coming out of the LOGiiX Blue Piston though not perfect, has very good vibrancy to its sound signature making it feel rich, full, and vibrant, it's quite pleasing and enjoyable listening to. The highs are not shrill or piercing in any way as some other speakers are. It definitely has that musical feel to its sound. It has a crispness to a part of its sound that you have to appreciate. Whatever driver they are using, it's good. It doesn't sound muddy or uninspiring at all!
Another surprising thing was this Blue Piston's bass. I was quite impressed with the amount of bass it gave off. Even though not earth shattering, it's actually got noticeable thump, a real amount of bass that makes a difference, honestly it's got bass that is on par with larger units that I've personally heard of. It's worlds better than any integrated laptop speaker that's for sure. The funny thing is that if I turn over the Blue Piston upside down, I can really hear the bass even more.
A good thing is that there is no noticeable high pitch Bluetooth whine under product operation. All that's present is a little white noise that is normal and does not affect the outcome of the sound quality.
As for using the Blue Piston as a hands-free speakerphone headset, it works very well. I had someone call me with my Smartphone tucked away in my pocket and accepted the phone call by pressing the phone symbol button on the Blue Piston. The call quality was loud and clear as the Blue Piston speaker was being used, I had no trouble listening to the caller on the other end. Likewise the caller said that he could hear me without any issues, even as I stepped away from the Blue Piston, he said the call quality on his end was still pretty good, despite me being farther away.
Bass Rating (From 0-10, 10 being the best): 4.5/10
As far as volume goes, the LOGiiX Blue Piston plays much bigger than it looks. It can project its sound very loudly, enough for a small size room without fuss.
What I feel is missing from the LOGiiX Blue Piston is a manual setting dedicated for adjusting bass and treble, it would have been great if these features were added, but that was not the case. You'll just have to live with adjustments made to the sound in the software equalizer on your device.
Bluetooth Range - How Far Can It Go?
LOGiiX does not specify any ratings or expectations on wireless range of the Bluetooth enabled Blue Piston. Though pretty much all Bluetooth speakers have a wireless range of 10 meters or 33 feet. Again they don't really give any technical information on their website.
With my Smartphone playing music in my room wirelessly to the LOGiiX Blue Piston, (in the second floor of a 2-story home) I left the phone there, shut the door and headed down past the first floor and then head straight into the basement. The LOGiiX Blue Piston continued to play without any change to the volume, however, there was some skipping at certain parts of the house, but generally it played without any major abnormalities only until it was when I opened the door to the cold room and stepped inside that the LOGiiX Blue Piston portable Bluetooth speaker completely stopped playing music.
Mind you the basement cold room is surrounded by super thick concrete that is essentially the foundation to a home. Cell phones don't work well in basements. I would estimate that from my room to the basement cold room was at least between 10-15 meters, which makes reception from the LOGiiX Blue Piston excellent.
It can definitely meet most people's wireless range requirements without much issue. Considering that the signal travelled through wood, metal, a variety of materials, that's impressive. As always your mileage may vary depending on your Bluetooth device.
Where To Buy
The LOGiiX Blue Piston has an list price of $49.95USD. For the time being it is now on sale at Amazon.com ranging from $19.03 for the red color, $29.95 for the turquoise, purple, lime, black, and $44.95 for the fuchsia color version. It is shipping and sold from Amazon directly, no third party vendor.
That red color version for only $19.03 is quite the value saving 62% off regular price! Better act quick as only 7 are in stock, with more on the way. Where can you get a good Bluetooth speaker for under $20?!
If you are thinking of purchasing the LOGiiX Blue Piston, please use our Amazon link, it will help us out greatly.
The LOGiiX Blue Piston is one of the better portable Bluetooth speaker solutions I've used. It doesn't have all the fancy bell and whistles, but what it does have, it uses very effectively. The big sound from the small little speaker is quite impressive, it just sounds good with impressive bass from the small petite exterior. This beats any Smartphone or laptop speaker easily. It also performs on par and in some cases better than bigger Bluetooth speakers I've heard on the market. Add in the integrated microphone, the Blue Piston also works well as a hands-free device by utilizing the loud speaker as a speakerphone for increased call volume and two microphones on both sides for making it easier to be heard on the other end of a phone call.
Battery life is also a positive, with this unit that I have lasting weeks without needing a recharge.