AwoX StriimLIGHT: The Bluetooth speaker that brightens any room
As I write this review, I'm listening to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" blasting out of a light. That sounds odd, doesn't it? Well, the light in question is Bluetooth-connected and has a rather loud speaker embedded in the center of a ring-shaped LED light. The AwoX StriimLIGHT (US$99, pronounced "strim light") is a strange, but surprisingly useful mashup of light bulb, speaker and Bluetooth. Check out the review, and then enter our giveaway of this bright idea.
- Chip LED: 35~36pcs (Maximum 6.7W)
- Color Temp: Warm white 3,000k
- Light Power: 475 LM in vertical, 8W LED in vertical, 40W incandescent
- LED beam angle: 120 degrees
- Power On LED
- Lighting On/Off via remote control
- Amp Class D
- 10W mono, 10% THD
- Size: 2 inch, 8ohm
- Range: 200Hz - 20000Hz
- EU Version : Bulb LED 110-240V
- US Version: Bulb LED 100-240V
- Power consumption: 21W maximum
- Millimeters : 111.5 (H) x 95 (W) x 95 (L)
- Inches : 4.39(H) x 3.74 (W) x 3.74 (L)
- 680 g (approx.) | 14.11 oz. (approx.)
Well, I don't really think there are any design highlights here. This is an oversized "bulb" that screws into a light socket, and frankly it's not that attractive. Hopefully you'll be hiding it under a nice lampshade, or putting it into a recessed ceiling fixture.
In terms of the design of the electronics, I'm pretty happy with the StriimLIGHT. It comes with a small remote control, which is used to turn the light on and off remotely. I'd rather see that be possible from an app than an easily lost remote, but I'm under the impression that AwoX would like to market this device as being able to work with anything. But can it be that difficult to design an iPhone and Android app to turn a light off and on, and change the speaker volume?
The light color is quite nice, not exactly the harsh bluish white that you get from some LEDs, but warmer. I'd love to see AwoX take this to the next level and make a Philips Hue-like bulb that can change color, once again controllable from an app.
While I'm dreaming, the AwoX engineers (who I keep wanting to call "Ewok engineers") should consider allowing two or more of these to be used as true stereo (left / right channels) speakers. Right now it's like listening to music on an old transistor radio (and yes, I do have one from the late 1950s sitting at my desk). I think that's why this young lady on the StriimLIGHT brochure appears to be screaming and holding her ears:
Pairing with the StriimLIGHT was fast and easy. I simply screwed the bulb into a light socket, turned it on and then waited for about 30 seconds until it showed up on my iPhone's list of Bluetooth devices. One tap and it was paired.
I was quite impressed with the amount of light the StriimLIGHT put out, as well as with the volume of the speaker. The Bluetooth range was also quite impressive -- usually range is posted as 10 m (33 feet) for just about any Bluetooth device, and I was able to stream music from anywhere in my house, including some locations that had to be well over 50 feet away.
On the negative side, don't expect to put this monster of a bulb into just any light fixture. I ended up wandering around my house to find a fixture that had enough space to let me put the StriimLight into it. I finally found a floor lamp that had a rather large top that worked fine. I think this would be a really good replacement for a bulb in a recessed ceiling fixture, as it would work as both light and speaker in one.
In addition, the sound quality from the StriimLIGHT isn't what I've become accustomed to with many of the Bluetooth speakers I've reviewed. It's kind of tinny, doesn't have a lot of bass and there's a chance that whatever light fixture you screw it into might mute the sound a bit. For $99, you can get a really good-sounding BRAVEN 570 Bluetooth speaker that you can also use as a speakerphone, and you'll just have to use regular lightbulbs.
The StriimLIGHT is the start of a good idea. However, I'm not sure it's worth $99 to turn a light fixture into a speaker unless you're really cramped for space or don't like single-taskers (yes, Alton Brown would love the StriimLIGHT). If the next generation can improve the sound quality, cut down on the size and maybe add some useful app-controlled features, I'd be all over this product. By the way, the StriimLIGHT is not being sold in the US at this time, but will be showing up soon.
Rating: 2 stars out of 4 possible
OK, so it wasn't my favorite all-time accessory. But the StriimLIGHT can still be a happy, noise-producing and light-emitting accessory in your very own home since we're giving one away.
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 26, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected and will receive a AwoX StriimLIGHT valued at $99
- Click Here for complete Official Rules.
Software Updatesmore updates
- Apple Remote Desktop updated with Yosemite support
- OS X Yosemite 10.10.2, iOS 8.1.3 updates now available
- Sports Illustrated 120 SPORTS channel comes to Apple TV
- Logic Pro X update brings AirDrop support, new effects, tools, and more
- Parallels Access 2.5 released, adds file manager, computer-to-computer remote access
- The Google Translate iOS app is about to get a lot smarter