gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Intempo Bluetooth Speaker Review

Stereo bluetooth headphones are all well and good when you want to get audio out of your phone for personal listening, but what about using it as a replacement for a kitchen radio, or a bit of living room easy listening?

Unless you’ve got an iPhone, the chances of picking up a purpose built dock are approximately nil. Intempo have the solution to this problem, however, with a convenient, bluetooth connected wireless speaker that you can connect to your phone, netbook, laptop or desktop computer for a bit of relatively short range audio beaming.

The general idea of a bluetooth speaker system conjures visions of extortionate prices, but the Intempo Bluetooth Speaker System manages to come in at a paltry £20. Whilst it’s not the best audio performer I’ve ever laid ears upon, for the price it’s exceptionally good and can pump out far more volume than you would ordinarily need for kitchen listening without distorting or crackling.

Where it’s less of a performer, however, is the range which isn’t so great through solid walls. Transmitting audio from my laptop to the kitchen, about 10 meters away if you follow the edge of the wall round, was just barely possible. (They do quote the range as 10 meters but I’m going to assume that doesn’t factor in walls) It was fine from one end of the living room to the other, however. It’s fair to say that room-to-room audio broadcasting is pretty much out of the question, but that said the Intempo Bluetooth Speaker was designed with mobile phones in mind.

Most phones will connect to it and be able to crank your tunes out without needing to fiddle with an auxiliary connector into a kitchen radio or, in fact, any cables at all. You can just plug the Intempo speaker in, pair your phone, and forget about it. When you want to blast out your tunes a quick change to bluetooth audio on your phone will have it set up in no time.

For something that comes in at just under £20 I couldn’t imagine a better stocking filler bargain. As I’m between phones at the moment I’ve used it, for the most part, with my MacBook Pro where it provided a great, no fuss set of speakers for use when the laptop was closed and hooked up to a monitor on my desk.

In fact, as a laptop speaker it’s also pretty useful. It’s a compact single unit, which means stereo separation is out, but more importantly the lack of cable connection means there’s one less thing to yank out of your desk-bound laptop when you need to go portable. Even better, if you just grab your laptop and jump on the sofa then you can still send audio to the speaker- your listening will not be interrupted!

If, for some reason, you want to plug a non-bluetooth device into this speaker, it’s also got an Auxiliary input.

Anyway, it’s quite obvious why MobileFun are recommending this beauty. It combines the right combination of functionality and price to be a winner for Christmas and, although I’ve never heard of Intempo, the build quality is sound and the unit itself is aesthetically pleasing.

Thursday, November 26th, 2009, Home Entertainment, Personal Audio.