I’ve been playing with a couple of sound gadgets – one for the desktop and one for more private use. They’re both work a look.
Cowin is an Eastern company starting to work in the UK and for the moment selling exclusively through its website. Its first product is about the size of a large family-sized tin of baked beans. Called the Thunder, it has two modes. One of these is for a fairly ordinary sound – respectable enough but a little tinny as you might expect from a device that size.
So you hit the button on the top and it goes into “Thunder Mode” – and if you’ve put it in the right place, it starts to make a better sound. It does so because its stand (there’s an optional extra stand for a little extra height but it does the same thing) reverberates and uses whatever it’s standing on as an echo box, adding extra bass and depth. The result is a better sound than you’d normally get for something of that size or price. Musicians might prefer something with a bit more oomph; a while back I reviewed the Stelle Pillar and that remains my 360 degree speaker of choice, but it does cost over four times as much and is vastly less portable. For the price and footprint, the Cowin Thunder is very good indeed. I’ll be looking at its larger sibling when it’s available in a few weeks.
For the headphone user the new JBL E40 BT (BT standing for Bluetooth, which is how the Thunder communicates with devices as well) is a nice wireless set. I’ve been playing with it for a few days and no doubt looking like a mid-life crisis on legs (odd, that). They’re available in black, white, blue and red; I’ve been using the white ones and they look a bit “when I grow up I’m going to be Beats by Dr. Dre”.
I don’t give a stuff about that; if I did I’d probably spend the £79.99 on the black model and at that price point I’d be very pleased with them. You’re not going to get anything terribly compact at that price but the bass is robust and the music clear. Battery life is decent so what’s to dislike? JBL is actually giving away a selection of its audio equipment in a Fathers’ Day promotion; your dad (or you if you can persuade your kids to nominate you) has to dance and “throw shapes” on video.
Here’s the web link if you must….