Tuesday, June 18, 2019 07:15

LON Little Speaker: some sound observations

It’s even littler than I expected.

But that’s a good thing.  LON Little Speaker (LLS)  is beyond portable.  It’s  packetable, almost pocketable.  I’m keeping an eye out for a little drawstring bag to put it in when transporting.

It plays nicely.

The music that comes out of LLS is totally listenable.  Even a big band recording sounded appropriate, symphonic a bit less so.  Voices have great humanity.

Find (or make) a sweet spot.

LLS responds to location.  Experiment a bit with placing it near vertical surfaces or corners.  If you need a corner, you can make one out of a CD case or open book.

Be patient with your Bluetooth connections.

My wife’s Android phone found LLS and connected immediately.  My own similar phone  couldn’t find LLS at first.  It did so only after repeated attempts.  Ditto for an Android tablet.  An older laptop with a BT USB dongle and Windows XP connected right away.  A newer desktop running Vista (64 bit) and using the same dongle was much less cooperative but eventually gave in and connected.

Feeling frustrated at the lack of quick connectivity, I contacted LON Little Shop.  They assured me that “We haven’t had a device that hasn’t been able to connect.”  So I didn’t give up.  It turned out to be the right approach.

“Your mileage may vary.”

How good the music sounds that comes out of  LSS is going to be influenced by the Bluetooth radio in your phone, tablet, or other device.  I note that available loudness varies quite a bit depending on the source device, too.  My best listening was a Pandora feed via the tablet.

Use that input, Jack.

You can make a wired connection to LLS using a standard stereo 3.5 mm cable.   The cable allows LLS to work with various non-Bluetooth sources:  portable CD player, MP3 player, even a Walkman.  I have a cheap Android tablet with no Bluetooth, but it’s very compact and plays nicely with LLS and a wire.  I checked out using a wired connection to a phone.  It may well have sounded a bit better than the BT feed.  (See “Your mileage…” above.)

Reading the indicator light.

The LED between the USB and INPUT jacks has a little (of course) story to tell.  A fast blue flash says it’s offering to make a connection with a Bluetooth device.  Solid blue indicates an active connection.  A slow blue flash seems to be a waiting around for something to happen message.  “I’m fully charged” is conveyed by either a clear red or a reddish cast to the blue.

It’s what it is.

LON Little Speaker is a small, reasonably priced way of playing music from a variety of sources out loud.  As such, one of its most welcome features is that it doesn’t tether the listener to a device the way headphones do.  It doesn’t isolate the way headphones do.  It doesn’t produce 7.1 surround sound like home theater systems do.  It doesn’t reproduce the largest pipe organ with full authority.  It doesn’t fill the room with sound.

For what it is, it’s awfully nice.

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