You are pampered by choices when it comes to Bluetooth speakers. Problem of plenty. Here at our review desk, we got Astrum Symphony BT-027N, portable small wireless speaker, a rectangular music box that can be easily moved around. Aimed primarily at casual music listeners, the built-in speakerphone functionality is an added advantage. We rest our case on this box here.
So what Astrum offers here?
- Primarily a bluetooth speaker (but also .. has)
- NFC support
- aux-in port music play
- MicroSD card play back
- Speaker phone functionality
That is quiet a versatile list to boast but ultimately it boils down to performance. So we put the speaker into test here.
The Symphony BT-027N is a compact meshed rectangular box measuring 6.6 x 6.6 x 10.3mm making it easy to sneak into your hand bag. It weighs just 255g, so you don’t have to worry about the weight. The meshed cage houses a 2 Speakers + 2 passive radiators inside. If you have a chrome-fetish, you will love the abundant glean in the music box as it has good amount of glossy metallic surface around it. At first look, it looks cool with the metallic panels but it tends to get scratched easily and a closer look would disappoint you. The review unit we received already has many scratches and it doesn’t augur well.
Matte finish would have been better choice than the glossy silver and they have actually used it for the ‘L’ shaped strip that is found in the middle of the box. The strip has Astrum logo with LED backlit button at one side. It is used to play/pause tracks or answer/end calls. The other side has previous/next and volume control button.
The top of the box has a metallic slab and a thin vertical chrome strip connects to the bottom. You will find the aux input, microSD card slot and micro-USB port for charging at the base chrome strip.
Turn to the bottom, there is a rubber strip for grip and also you find the power on/off switch.
Get, Pair, Listen & Talk
Pairing the device to the Symphony BT-027N is fairly simple. A rather loud voice prompt tells you the speaker is ready when you turn on the speaker. It also prompts you when a device is paired. Once a device pairing is setup, next time it automatically connects when the Bluetooth is on. NFC pairing is pretty straight forward and just a tap away but it failed to connect at few times. Also, listening to music directly from your microSD card is a good addition and works neatly.
The previous/next buttons also double up as volume controls, with a short press changing the track and a long press changing volume. A separate controls for each would have been good since at many times, when I tried increasing the volume, I ended up changing tracks and vice versa.
The LED backlit around the Astrum logo turns blue when the speaker is on and connected via Bluetooth and turns green when you use aux input connectivity.
In between listening to music, you can also attend calls with Symphony BT-0127N. You can press the Astrum button to answer/end a call or double press it to call the last dialled number.
The Performance Notes…
The first time I turned on the device and listened to my favourite track, I was disappointed. For all the features it packs, the Symphony BT-027N is not the best of the small blocks out there. After few hours of playing, the speaker tends to get a bit matured but still is an under performer. While the vocals are better, the background music gets muddier especially if there are many instruments. While the speaker can deliver high volume, the more you crank up the notes gets distorted. Still, you will be surprised by how much volume can come out of the small box. The base though not literally pounding the block, is better at what it delivers. The speaker is best when at moderate volume and if you are just about a casual music listener, the Symphony can play in background when you are working at kitchen, working at your desk or just reading a book on a lazy noon.
Talking about the call quality when used as a hands free speakerphone , it is pretty decent with loud and clear sound. The Bluetooth range of the speaker is good enough and can extend 25-30 feet and few walls in between.
The Symphony BT-027N houses a 1,300mAh battery and the company claims seven to ten hours of playback. I was able to squeeze out almost eight hours out of it.
Does the Symphony strikes the right chord?
What tilts in favour of Astrum Symphony BT-027N is being the host of connectivity options and easy set up but what puts down heavily is the mediocre performance especially considering the fact it comes at a MRP of INR 3,200 and at this range there is a better picks from popular brands like Logitech and JBL at the price point.