Like them or not, speakers in mobile phones and MP3 players are all the rage these days, with countless unruly youths on just about every form of public transport going bopping away to the latest slammin' tunes using their preferred portable media playing device. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but the fundamental point remains, far too many of these devices now sport built-in speakers and they all share one universal constant: the quality is awful.
It is for that reason, then, that devices such as the Supertooth Disco exist. With the Bluetooth 2.0 protocol finally providing enough bandwidth to make streaming music possible without causing physical discomfort to listeners, numerous A2DP speaker sets have begun to proliferate the market, offering to make listening to music on-the-go using a mobile phone a more pleasant experience.
Obviously a portable Bluetooth speaker set is never going to offer the same quality as something like the Creative Gigaworks HD50s we looked at recently, but a trade-off in quality to add portability is likely to be perfectly acceptable for many. Is, then, the Supertoth Disco one such device? Does it keep the right balance between battery life, weight, size and sound quality?
First things first, regardless how it performs, the Supertooth Disco makes the right impression out of the box. When first removed from its packaging the speaker set is wrapped in a neoprene carry case which has a decent amount of padding at the front, save for a recess accommodating the volume knob. There is also a flap at the rear, secured with Velcro, which enables quick and easy access to the 3.5mm jack, for connecting a non-Bluetooth fitted MP3 player or similar, and the power input for charging the internal battery.
On the subject of batteries, the paperwork with the Supertooth Disco claims that it should pull around three to four hours of play time at full volume and around 10 hours at medium volumes. Taking the battery from drained to fully charged takes three hours. It's worth noting that the power adaptor supplied was a two-pin job, intended for European sockets, and didn't play ball with some of the UK plugs in the office; specifically those which require the third, earth, pin to push in and uncover the remaining holes. Yes, it's a small gripe, but is it really so hard to supply a UK adaptor?