These days with the rampant availability of wireless connectivity options,there are plenty of choices when it comes to getting a portable speaker. One interesting product which I come across recently is UB+ Eupho, designed & distributed by local (SG) homegrown company. Despite a relatively new setup, the product has already won several awards such as A Design Award (Bronze), Singapore Good Design Mark and Computex d&I award 2015. Let us take a closer look if the new UB+ Eupho sounds as good as the looks?
One of the biggest challenge is to design speakers for portability and yet produce good bass & sound reproduction. Primarily, the sound is generated through the ‘active driver’ connected to a digital amplifier. Bass is enhanced by the ‘passive radiator/driver’ within the same air enclosure inside the portable speaker. A good design on the placement & configuration of the sound acoustics within a small sized speaker will greatly reduce unnecessary interference or cancellation from reflected waves. In some situation, sound can be damped and thus energy is wasted in the process. In essence, a good bass is produced with big enclosures & driver diameters which goes against the requirement of portability.
What attracted me is the ORCHAS™ technology applied in UB+ Eupho. It is touted that the acoustic structure of the speaker ensures the components of the speaker and the pressured air movements vibrate in orchestrated directions. These orchestrated vibrations balance each other out perfectly, thereby turning the wasted energy in the form of vibration into reinforced quality sound. That would mean better sound and a more energy efficient speaker.
The retail packaging is pretty neat. The pair on the right – UB+ Eupho speaker (white) and the expansion casing (white clear). The pair on the left – UB+ Eupho speaker (black) and the expansion casing (black clear).
Unfolding the packaging box reveals the actual speaker and the user manual.
The retail set comes with: a. Audio cable (~ 1m in length) b. USB cable (for charging or connection to a PC) c. Portable pouch (grey in colour)
Given its cylindrical body, it is quite easy to manage in one’s palm. The matt exterior do minimize fingerprint smudges, though personally I would prefer the white piece which will render any fingerprint smudges less visible. That said, the black piece will look more professional and classier to the eyes.
The netted top provides some uniqueness in the design yet allowing the sound to be projected out from the speaker. The controls are also located at the top which allow the adjustment to the sound levels, navigation of sound tracks, bluetooth pairing and the power on/off of the set.
Naturally, the analog in is located at the back, together with the micro-usb in for charging and the BuddyStereo connectivity (to be explained in the later part below). The contrasting colour is helpful when one is locating the sockets in dim light conditions, though I would preferred some led light around the connectivity areas.
At the bottom, there is a latch (on the left in pic below) which will open/close the vents which allow the sound transfer to/fro from the inner active & passive drivers. This hatch will be automatically opened when the optional expansion casing is inserted fully. Truely a well thought design.
The height of the UB+ Eupho is no longer than a regular highlighter. Which means you can readily insert into a pocket & transport it around. Not to say it also weights similar to a regular candy phone (at 120g).
The accessories depicted below. A longer audio cable will be preferred especially when used in pairing mode via BuddyStereo mode.
The optional expansion case comes in two physical parts. The clear enclosure will be used to create a air column to resonate the sound for added bass. The vinyl plastic piece will connect the main speaker to this clear enclosure. There is also a guiding catch which will automatically open up the bottom valves when the speaker is inserted into the expansion case.
The final assembled form for UB+ Eupho with the expansion case. When its not in operation, the expansion case can also be used to protect the speaker during transportation. This is a rather cool and innovative design.
A very interesting feature is BuddyStereo™.
One can create high quality stereo sound effect by connecting two Euphos through the BuddyStereo™ function, allowing both Euphos to function as the left and a right speaker respectively.
Friends can also share music freely with each other by connecting their Euphos. When two users connect their Euphos through BuddyStereo™, both of them are still in complete control of their own devices. When one person plays a song from his device, both Euphos can play the music with a stereo sound effect. The other person, however, can interrupt it by playing a different song through his play device. Both speakers will immediately be switched to the second song with stereo sound effect.
Multiple Euphos can also be connected through the BuddyStereo™ function through the use of the Mega Party Cable (sold separately) to pump up the volume substantially.
I have also attempted to test out the UB+ Eupho speakers with other comparable portable speakers in the market using these selected sound tracks played from iPhone 6Plus via Bluetooth connection.
a) Test the loudness & depth of bass – Sail (by Awolnation) – Hysteria (by Muse)
b) Test the crisp of singing – Hero (by Mariah Carey)
c) Test audio spectrum reproduction – Star Trek Main theme (by L’Orchestra Cinematique) – Can’t Stop (by One Republic)
The test results are very impressive and it fared much better than the other competitor products but at a fraction of the cost.
– decent price point – good portability
– Buddy Stereo is very useful & helpful to boost the overall sound quality & volume
– Long battery life (~ 20 hrs)
– Local after sales support
– Good sound reproduction & bass
– Energy saving Bluetooth 4 compatibility
– Relatively new brand
– Design could have been more stylish
– Given audio cable may be too short (though you can get a 3rd party longer one easily)
– Packaging could be more attractive (good product could be missed out by public)
If its still not convincing enoguh for you, the UB+ Eupho is also current on launch promotion. At S$89 a piece, it comes with an accompanying expansion case worth S$11.90. At the moment, you can grab one UB+ Eupho from the retail outlets of Popular, Courts & twoBros.
More information can be found on their official website : http://www.ub-plus.com/
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