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Satechi AirBass Active Bluetooth speakers turn the volume knob to 11

Remember that great scene in the classic 1984 movie This is Spinal Tap, where Nigel is showing Marty his speakers and notes that "this goes up to 11"? Well, he could be talking about Satechi's AirBass Active Bluetooth speakers (US$99.99), which pack a lot of sound into a pair of speakers that can be used with any Mac or PC through a wired connection or with your favorite iOS device through Bluetooth. TUAW had an opportunity to try a pair of these speakers, and you'll have a chance to have a pair shipped to you in our giveaway.

Specifications

Dimensions: 9.12 x 10.75 x 9.12 inches (23.16 cm x 27.31 cm x 23.16 cm)

Weight: 7 lbs. 0.4 oz. (3.19 kg)

Connectivity: Bluetooth V2.1 + EDR, or 3.5 mm audio cable

Design Highlights

The AirBass Active speakers are rather plain, using a glossy black or white plastic shell with a removable foam cover over the front to cover the speaker cones. The right speaker has a power and mode switch on the front (also used for volume control), a connector for the power adapter, a pair of screw clamps for audio cables connecting to the left speaker, a pair of RCA ports for a direct connection to a computer or other component, a standard headphone cable jack for a direct connection to a phone or tablet and a subwoofer output connector. The left speaker just has a pair of screw clamps to receive the wire connection for power and audio.

Functionality Highlights

After connecting the two speakers together with the included audio cable and plugging in the power adapter, I tapped the power switch/volume knob on the front and was greeted by a flashing blue light telling me to pair with my favorite Bluetooth device. I chose to connect to my iPhone, and with just a few taps on the Bluetooth settings, I was connected and blasting music.

When I say "blasting music," I mean it. This is the loudest pair of Bluetooth speakers I've ever tested for less than about $350. Although the MSRP is $129.99, they're selling on Satechi's site an Amazon for $99.99. If you don't mind the rather plain case design, they're an amazing set of speakers. Bass really thumps, but the speakers don't skimp on mids and highs.

The AirBass Actives can handle two different auxiliary inputs, and those are easy to switch to with the knob on the front of the right speaker. Probably the only negative? They're not portable speakers, but if you're looking for portability there are literally hundreds of options available for you.

Conclusion

If you're tired of wimpy Bluetooth speakers, it may be time to graduate to a pair of Satechi AirBass Active Bluetooth speakers. These speakers provide volume and clarity that you'd expect from a much more expensive set, and yet come in at a very affordable price point.

Rating: 4 out of 4 stars possible

Giveaway

We're giving our review speakers away, which is probably a good idea since I'm old and going deaf from listening to too much loud music anyway.

Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
  • To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before January 20, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected and will receive a pair of Satechi AirBass Active Bluetooth Speakers valued at $99.99
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.


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Remember that great scene in the classic 1984 movie This is Spinal Tap, where Nigel is showing Marty his speakers and notes that "this...