Although this is primarily a European product, it is often easily available on ebay and I wanted to conduct a quick review for my readers. I received this as a christmas gift and have been using it daily for about 3 weeks now.
The Veho 360 is a small cylindrical battery powered speaker. It stands 5 cm tall and 4cm in diameter. The device has a 2.2 watt speaker that shoots sound out from the top. On the side, it has 2 ports: a charging port and a 3.5mm audio port. You can use the 3.5mm port to connect the speaker to a non-Bluetooth device.
Herein lies one of my pet peeves with electronic devices… why do I need a special proprietary tip USB cable to charge it?
On the bottom of the device is a little switch with 3 modes: Bluetooth, off and 3.5mm audio in. As you can imagine, the first mode turns on the speakers Bluetooth radio, the second mode turns off the speaker and the last mode allows you to use it with the 3.5mm audio in (thus saving battery by turning the Bluetooth radio off). The switch itself is easy to use and mode selection is clear with a solid click feeling when you change modes.
You can find this speaker online for about $50US.
The company recommends charging the unit for 4 hours for a full charge. I conducted a couple of charge discharge cycles then timed the duration of the battery and was able to get between 3.5-4 hours of constant playback. The battery is not replaceable and I was not able to identify the quality of the battery so I expect it to support 300-500 charge cycles.
Pairing the device was simple. I simply moves the switch to Bluetooth mode and my iPhone asked if I wanted to pair with the Veho. It was that simple. If you want to pair it with another device, you have to force the original device to forget the Veho, switch Bluetooth off on the original device, switch the toggle to off and back to bluetooth and the new device should see the pairing option.
You control the volume of the device using the volume rocker of your source device (iphone, ipod, etc). Now let’s make it clear that this is not a high fidelity speaker system. Sound quality seems to be a little better with the 3.5mm audio in (compared to Bluetooth mode). Bluetooth has limited tranmital capacity and should not be used if you are an audiophile.
For a small pocketable speaker, I was expecting lots of distortion at the higher volume levels but to my surprise, it handles higher volume levels well. As expected, you can start hearing sound artifacts and degradation as your Bluetooth source moves farther and farther away from the speaker. For normal use (5-10 feet from the speaker with open access) you won’t notice this. I pushed the Bluetooth connection to its technical limits and although the audio does degrade, I didn’t lose my connection once (staying within the allowable maximum Bluetooth distance standards of course).
Overall I think this is a nice little speaker especially if you want something small that travels well. I do with I could charge it with a regular USB connection. How does this compare to the Jawbone Jambox or the Logitech Mini Boombox?
I have tried the Jambox and can say it is far superior to the Veho. The Jambox offers cleaner, louder and richer sound but costs 3 times more. If you need something with longer battery life, louder volumes and the ability to add feature via loadable speaker apps then go for the Jambox.
I have not tested the Logitech mini Boombox yet so if Logitech wants to send a sample, email me ;-)