Add Rays of Sunshine to Every Room Using These Speaker Systems

    They say a day without music is like a day without sunshine.Ttrue!

    In fact, thanks to the folks from Como Audio and BenQ, every room in your house can bask in the sun’s rays and you can take them with you.

    Como Audio has combined their Musica ($599) and Solo ($299) radios to bring great music throughout the house using an app you install on your mobile device. In fact they’re offering a three-room music system ($999) consisting of one Musica and two Solos to get you started.

    Como Audio Solo

    We tested the system by putting the radios in our office, bedroom and living room.

    After installing the app, we went through the setup process using the settings menus on each unit and, voila, we were ready to party.

    The app showed us each individual radio and gave us the option of combing two or three into a group, Once that was done, it was time to play!

    The radios and app give you the option of playing music from FM stations in your area, steaming services such as Spotify and Pandora, or selecting from thousands of Internet station. Plus the Musica is able to play CDs.

    Of course we tried them all, sending rays of sunshine into every room.

    The sound quality was on a par with many of the much larger systems we’ve used. Plus we were able to control stations, selection or source, volume and other settings using the Como app.

    Other key features include:

    • The ability to combine up to five radios into one group (you can have an unlimited number of groups)
    • There are buttons on each radio so they can be used separately.
    • Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity on individual radios
    • USB, optical and headphone ports
    • Six independent presets on the Solo and eight on the Musica
    • Adjustable equalizers on each radio
    • Custom digital signal processing for each radio
    • Large color displays on each radio showing you the time, what’s playing, etc.

    BenQ’s treVolo S portable Bluetooth electrostatic speaker ($199) is an innovative speaker using a bit of new technology.

    Two electrostatic panels fold out from the main unit, making the treVolo S ultra-portable.

    Although the concept is great, the sound quality from this new BenQ offering was not up to par with other portable units we’ve tested. Treble frequencies wowed us to the point where we thought we were hearing high notes that were recently invented. The problem was that bass output was mediocre at best, with many of our more intensive music tracks lacking the power and drive we’re accustomed to.

    Electrostatic panels are designed to vibrate, technically replacing tweeters in conventional sound systems. But these vibrating wunderkinds basically overpower the two 12-watt woofers built into the main unit.

    There’s a 3D sound mode that enhances the audio a bit, delivering a live concert experience, which is pretty impressive delivering distortion free music.

    It was really easy to pair the speaker to our mobile devices and BenQ gives you the option of using Bluetooth, NFC or connecting directly to the unit using an USB cable.

    Six buttons on top of the main unit allow you to pair two treVolos, creating a mini stereo system, turn the unit on or off, enable 3D mode, control volume and play or pause your music.

    Other key features include:

    • Micro USB and line-in ports
    • Up to 18 hours of battery life
    • It’s light and ultra portable – – – small enough to fit in a backpack

    Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman’s Jocgeek fan page or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek. You can also contact him via email or through his website.

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    • Michael L. Berman has more than 40 years' experience writing and editing for The Hartford Courant, The Norwich (CT) Bulletin, The Journal of Commerce and The Middletown (CT) Press. Mike's Techtalk column was syndicated by the Scripps Howard News Service from 1995 to 2000 and appeared as a computer and technology blog on www.shns.com until No. 19, 2013. You can also visit Mike's consumer technology website at www.jocgeek.com.

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