We’re not sure if the earjax Echo by BodyGuardz intentionally look like large salt and pepper shakers, but they do indeed look like something you might see at a diner. Rather than add flavor to your food however, these shakers are all about music taste. $79.99 each, the earwax Echo pack some interesting features into a small footprint.
Check the Gear Diary Newsletter for January 21, 2014 for a chance to win one of the two Bodyguardz earjax Echo speakers we are giving away!
“Beauty in simplicity” is the way Bodyguardz describes this small cylindrical speaker. The company, better known for its device protection, set out to create a small Bluetooth speaker that would be simple, unobtrusive and easy to use. They accomplished that goal and much more. The Echo, which is available in black and white, includes both Bluetooth and a wired connectivity options, and it can also double as a speaker phone.
Here’s a look on video.
We asked if the earjax Echo could be used as a stereo pair the way some small Bluetooth speakers, the Logitech UE Mini Boom for example, can. Unfortunately that isn’t possible with this version of the Echo. We hope they will add the feature in the Rev2 Echo, and then sell them as a pair. Seriously, don’t you think “salt-and-pepper Bluetooth speakers” would make a cute gift?
The speaker succeeds in achieving the initial goal of creating something that is simple to use. It connects via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm wired connection. Bodyguardz includes the 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and throws in an adapter that allows the same cable and Aux In port to serve double-duty and charge the speaker. Two hours of charge time yields 3-5 hours of music. That’s a bit on the anemic side of things as far as Bluetooth speakers go these days, but is still enough to make this a worthwhile product and something you may want to consider if you are in the market for a small Bluetooth speaker.
The Echo ships with the speaker, audio/charging cable, a small carry bag and instructions. I appreciate the company throwing in the carry bag and honestly don’t understand companies who are increasingly failing to do so. It only costs a few cents to produce and truly makes this a portable speaker.
As you can see from this diagram, there is far more going on with the earjax Echo than initially meets the eye. It has an LED power indicator light, a microphone so you can make calls (it works well enough, but I would never use this as my main speaker phone), and a dedicated power button. The speaker also has a unique volume control mechanism. Twist the top of the speaker counterclockwise to increase the volume. Turn it clockwise and the volume will decrease. It’s a fun approach that offers just a touch of distinction from pretty much every other speaker on the market.
Concentrated Power: Do not be deceived by the small size; this speaker packs a punch. The earjax Echo has been designed to be a sleek, simple and high quality desktop speaker for those looking to add quality sound to their domain.
Bodyguardz promises big sound, and while I don’t have any issue with the sound put out by the Echo, I would be hard-pressed to consider it big sound. “Good sound for a speaker this small” is more the way I would put it. This isn’t going to fill a medium to large space with sound, and it certainly doesn’t provide the kind of bass many people, particularly younger ones, have come to expect. It is a small speaker, and it does what it does well enough for something this size. That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but I don’t mean it to be a knock on the speaker; I just think it is important to have realistic expectations when purchasing a small speaker.
If you ARE looking for a speaker priced under $80 that can go everywhere with you and double as a speakerphone, then you should definitely check out the Bodyguardz earjax Echo! Learn more here.
What I Like: Small and easy to use; Connects via Bluetooth or a physical connection; Adjusts volume by turning the top; Available in Black or white
What Needs Improvement: Nothing but I wish you could create a stereo pair with two of the speakers
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample