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Bayan Audio Soundbook Go review

Richard Easton
30 Sep 2014
Bayan Audio Soundbook Go front
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
80
www.bayanaudio.com

The Soundbook Go is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that looks and sounds good, but we'd prefer it to be tougher

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Specifications

Speakers: 2, RMS power output: 15W, Dock connector: None, Wireless: Bluetooth (A2DP), Dimensions: 160x40x88mm, Weight: 480g

When we reviewed the Bayan Audio Soundbook X3 we found it to be a wireless speaker with a good array of features that was ultimately let down by middling sound quality. Bayan Audio has followed the Soundbook X3 with the more portable Soundbook Go that, at first glance, looks like a smaller version of the X3. The Soundbook Go weighs 480g, which is light enough to carry around comfortably, and is available in blue, red, white and black.

Like the X3, the Go uses a smart cover that protects the front speaker grille when not in use and automatically puts it in standby mode. Flip the cover down and the Soundbook Go immediately turns on and is ready to stream music over Bluetooth or play music through its 3.5mm auxiliary port. The cover also folds under the speaker so that it can be used to prop up the Soundbook Go.

Magnets hold the cover closed, so there’s no worrying that it will open in your bag. It’s made from a soft, textured material that’s pleasant to the touch, and this extends to cover the bottom and back of the speaker. On the back is an exposed 2in passive bass radiator.

The outer edge of the speaker is made from a glossy plastic material and it picked up a few scratches during the review period, even though it just had normal use. The Soundbook Go isn’t billed as a rugged speaker, but we do expect more resilience from a speaker designed for portable use.

Usefully, there’s a row of LEDs on top of the speaker that indicate the volume level, which is a useful feature that you don’t always see on portable speakers. There are also two buttons for adjusting volume and a standby button. The latter is used to switch between Bluetooth mode and auxiliary mode, too. Bluetooth pairing is made even easier if your device supports NFC, and the Soundbook Go will remember up to four different devices.

Annoyingly, there’s no way to control your music from the speaker, even a basic play/pause operation. You can stop your music by putting the speaker in standby but then there’s no way to then resume playback without then picking up your connected device.

As your phone connects to the Soundbook Go via Bluetooth, it’s essential that it handles incoming calls well. The Soundbook Go has a built-in microphone, and if you get a call you speak into it and hear the caller’s voice through the speaker instead of your phone. We found we had to be close to the Soundbook Go for our voice to be picked up adequately, and it may prove annoying to walk over to the Soundbook Go in order to answer a call. We didn’t experience any problems with feedback between the microphone and the speakers, though.

Sound from the two 1in long throw neodymium 15W speakers was decent, but not without its flaws. The passive bass radiator meant the Go put out a large amount of bass for a small speaker. However, while the amount of bass was impressive, we found that the bass overpowered other frequency bands and made the mids and trebles harder to pick out, with a resulting loss of detail.

At maximum volume the Soundbook Go is surprisingly loud, however, rivalling even the Divoom Voombox Outdoor for loudness. Generally, we were pleased by the sound of the Soundbook Go, certainly for a speaker of its size. Its battery lasted just shy of 7 hours on a single charge, which isn’t bad.

The Bayan Audio Soundbook Go puts out decent sound but it’s let down by a lack of robustness that is a basic requirement for a travel speaker. It sounds better than the Divoom Voombox Outdoor, but the Voombox is the better choice if you need a more rugged speaker. If you want a speaker for the home, the Soundbook Go’s sound quality makes it the better buy.

Hardware
Speakers2
RMS power output15W
Audio inputs3.5mm stereo
Audio outputsNone
Dock connectorNone
WirelessBluetooth (A2DP)
NFCYes
App supportNone
Battery capacityNot disclosed
Dimensions160x40x88mm
Weight480g
Buying information
Price including VAT£80
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Supplierwww.bayanaudio.com
Detailswww.bayanaudio.com
Part codeSoundbook Go