When it comes to audio, it generally makes sense to stick to the established brands. The likes of Sennheiser, Sony, Shure, B&W and JBL have spent years building product lines and reputations. They spend millions on R&D and new technology, and they know how to build kit that's built to last.
However, there's always room for the little guy to find a niche, either by producing premium equipment with a performance beyond the mainstream brands, or by finding some new way of tackling an old problem, and putting out an innovative product at a bargain-basement price. Much as we at TR love checking out the latest and greatest from the biggest names in the business, there's always something nice about finding a little gem - particularly if it comes in at a pocket money price point.
One area where there's room for smaller companies to compete is in the travel speaker market. It's a hard one to crack. I've seen a wide range of systems from manufacturers big and small, and they nearly always fall down somewhere. Some just aren't portable enough. Some use AA batteries then discharge them before a couple of hours are out. Most either have appalling sound quality, or at the least a woeful lack of bass.
The two systems reviewed here take a different tack. These aren't conventional speakers miniaturised for mobile use, but specially designed modules built to produce big sound from an incredibly small package. Should either find a way into your beach-bound backpack or summer holiday luggage? There's only one way to find out - let battle commence!