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Soundfreaq Sound Step Recharge review

Tom Morgan
11 Dec 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
124
inc VAT

Wireless audio and a six hour battery are great, but sound quality is mixed

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Soundfreaq's speaker dock is designed to be portable, so has a built-in battery and Bluetooth, and is compact and light. With an iPhone in its docking station, we managed roughly six hours of use at half volume.

Soundfreaq Sound Step Recharge rear

Plugged into the mains, the 2.1 system produced surprisingly loud audio – we only needed to turn up the volume to two thirds of its maximum to fill our test room with sound. Unfortunately, sound quality was quite mixed - the high end was sharp and the mid-range was slightly eclipsed by the bass. The proprietary UQ3 spatial sound enhancer helps create a more enveloping sound, but it also creates overpowered bass that eliminated a lot of the detail in some of our more delicate test tracks. Unfortunately there aren’t any tone controls – you can turn the equaliser off, but this narrows the acoustic environment and removes too much bass from the arrangement. You’ll have to make fine adjustments through your MP3 player to get the best from the system.

Soundfreaq Sound Step Recharge top right controls

Although it’s primarily aimed at Apple device owners, the Sound Step Recharge will also play nicely with other smartphones, tablets or MP3 players because it uses the standard A2DP Bluetooth protocol rather than Apple’s proprietary Airplay system. There’s also an auxiliary 3.5mm audio jack for connecting players that don’t have Bluetooth, as well as a powered USB port for charging up any devices that can’t use the Apple docking connector. The system works best with Apple or Android products, however, as they have access to the Soundfreaq remote app, which lets you control speaker volume and change the active input wirelessly.

Soundfreaq Sound Step Recharge top left controls

At £125, you’re paying for the Sound Step Recharge's wireless functionality and battery pack rather than sound quality – there are better sounding dedicated speaker docks that cost much less, such as the Philips Fidelio DS3020. If you’re after a system that won’t tie you to a mains socket and that you can control wirelessly, the Sound Step Recharge is a decent, if expensive, dock.

Specifications

Rating****
Speaker configuration2.1
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption on3W
Analogue inputs3.5mm stereo
Digital inputsUSB
Dock connectoriPod
Headphone outputnone
Satellite cable lengthsnone
Cable typeN/A
Controls locatedbase unit, remote control
Digital processingstereo enhancer, loudness enhancer
Tone controlsnone
Price£124
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.soundfreaq.com

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