Back when I reviewed the Audyssey Audio Dock Air AirPlay compatible speaker, one thing I learned was that despite Apple’s AirPlay technology being a solid option for those tired of pairing and re-pairing their iOS devices to their Bluetooth speakers, the idea of paying a $100-$150 premium for an AirPlay option as compared to a similar quality Bluetooth one, is actually not justified in terms of streaming audio quality. And not only do AirPlay speakers tend to be more expensive, another major downside is that they suffer a slight lag due to buffering while playing back audio and switching tracks. In contrast, no such lag exists while streaming over Bluetooth. Also, you require an active Wi-Fi network for AirPlay speakers to work, which pretty much restricts their portability outside your home.
On the contrary, Bluetooth speakers can be paired with any Apple or non-Apple device, do not require an active Wi-Fi network and are much better priced than their AirPlay counterparts. And even though Bluetooth has had a reputation for poor sound quality in the past, that problem has also been eliminated by the latest standard Bluetooth speakers available in the market. While I do have a pretty decent experience with single unit Bluetooth speakers, such as the Logitech Mini Boombox or the X-Mini™ KAI Capsule, the SuperTooth DISCO TWIN stereo speakers seem to offer a little bit extra with their impressive audio power and true wireless stereo setup. Full review continues after the jump.
- 2 x SuperTooth DISCO TWIN
- 2 x Travel charger
- 2 x Holster (Speaker carrying case)
- 2 x 3.5mm audio cable
- User manual / warranty
Each of the two rechargeable speakers gets its own travel charger, 3.5mm cable for wired playback and soft carrying case, which should come in handy in case you ever wish to share or lend one of the two units to a friend.
Looking at the design of the DISCO TWIN, the speakers feel pretty solid yet fairly lightweight, weighing slightly over a pound each. Each speaker tower is around 7 inches tall, wrapped in a black mesh cloth and a metallic grey plastic base. Around the rear are located ports for the AC adapter and audio-in on each of the two speakers. A status LED is also present that shows the current state of each speaker (charging, Bluetooth etc.) One of the two speakers is also tagged with MASTER – LEFT around the back.
At the top of each speaker, there are six back-lit buttons for Power, Volume control, Track change and Play/Pause, which allows you to control your music from either of the two towers.
Pairing the DISCO TWIN with your iPhone / iPod is as easy as connecting a Bluetooth headset. When you switch on the MASTER LEFT speaker, it automatically connects to the previously paired device. The two speakers communicate with each other over Bluetooth as well, which is what makes it a true wireless stereo setup. You can place the two speakers up to 10 meters apart. Once everything is setup, it’s time to play the music.
As always, I started my audio tests with a couple of bass heavy tracks and guess what, I was impressed right from the get-go. I played all my music through Spotify, downloaded at 320kbps on my iPhone, with no equalizer settings. As I began to appreciate the DISCO TWIN’s clean sound quality, I found the pair to be surprisingly loud as well. According to SuperTooth, the DISCO TWIN pumps out 32 watts RMS audio power (16 watts RMS each). At the highest volume levels, I did however notice slight bass distortion but that’s to be expected from a sub-$200 speaker system. Nonetheless, the DISCO TWIN’s overall sound signature is pretty impressive, especially at medium volume levels which is still loud enough to fill an average-size room.
Regarding the battery life, I was able to get almost 8 hours of music playback at low to medium volume levels on a single charge. The DISCO TWIN speakers take less than an hour to reach full charge, which is once again, exceptionally fast.
In the end, I would certainly recommend the DISCO TWIN to anyone looking for a portable, Bluetooth speaker not only for its impressive audio power and decent sound quality, but also for its highly competitive price point ($148 at Amazon) for a true wireless multi-speaker system.