Soundfreaq Soundstep Recharge
Android friendly compact speaker
The Soundstep does without any fancy Bluetooth audio coding like that offered by AptX but the end results are still very listenable, especially if you engage the UQ3 sound modifier, which makes everything that bit more expansive.
Android app for remote tweaking, which, along with the iOS version, also includes an FM radio
How much power the two 38mm forward-facing drivers and one rearward 50mm woofer pump out seems to be a company secret but for a portable and compact boom-box it’s clearly – or rather audibly – more than adequate. I’ve had my Soundstep in the office running through playlists from both an iPhone 4S and an HTC Desire HD over Bluetooth for nearly a week and I’ve yet to manage to wrong-foot it, even with the volume up to the max.
Playing anything from Wagner to Nine Inch Nails to Joni Mitchell, the sound always fell pleasantly on the ear and never wanted for warmth, body or detail. You can’t really ask for more from a box this size.
The Android remote app is little more than a port of the iOS version that appeared earlier in the year. The main difference is the button with a quaver on it. I’ve no idea what this does – possibly a sound enhancer – because whenever I touch it, the app crashes.
Beyond basic control of your music which is something you can also do from your stock music player the app also lets you swap between sources, launch UQ3 and switch the box off, though not back on. Once off, the Bluetooth connection is dropped rendering the app useless.
iPad docking fits nicely too
According to the spec sheet, a full charge of the Soundstep’s battery should keep you grooving for six hours. I found that to be pretty accurate claim, getting 5 hours 40 minutes of playback from a Bluetooth source.
It seems a bit of a missed opportunity though that you can’t re-charge your device from the Soundstep’s USB port or the dock unless it’s connected to the mains. Yes, it would shorten the dock's play duration but it would leave you with a fully charged phone when it breathes its last.
Compact, well made and stylish, the Soundstep has all the visual bases covered and it pumps out a perfectly decent sound. While it holds iPhones, iPods and iPads securely, its other main selling points are the Bluetooth connectivity and remote control app, which let users of Android handsets join the party too. ®
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