The British firm Majority is hoping to land in a fair few homes with its versatile new Bard speaker.
This black box of tricks offers a decent quality DAB digital radio with added Spotify and bluetooth technology.
The Cambridge company has gone for a compact design with three speakers on the unit, one on top and two either side.
That means that no matter where you put it in the home the Bard is able to kick out a good wide, deep, bassy sound, filling the room.
It’s all thanks to two 4-inch speakers, backed up by a bigger 5-inch powerful bass subwoofer, giving a wide soundscape that captures radio songs well and can be tweaked by EQ.
And it is all about connectivity here.
We’ve got a built-in DAB and FM radio, which can be boosted in signal if needed with a neatly tucked-away aerial behind the back of the box.
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There’s also a full-on internet radio mode too that relies on a wi-fi connection which can be set-up in a matter of minutes to your home hub.
That adds thousands of global stations to your playlist instantly.
Then you’ve got built-in access to Spotify Connect.
So as long as you have a Spotify account, you can log in direct on the machine to access all your favourite tracks from the millions on offer to subscribers.
There’s even a dedicated Podcasts mode so that you can quickly gain access to your fave shows via the built-in 5 x 3.7cm colour TFT display.
And of course you can connect your phone via bluetooth to use the music apps on there.
Plus there is AUX-In, USB and a 3.5mm jack on the back for you to plug other devices in to use it as a speaker system.
It’s all controlled by a handy remote and the batteries even come in the package.
The internet radio is the king here, it works a treat and really opens up endless audio options for someone wanting a compact, stay-at-home system with good all-round sound.
For the price, the Bard could and arguably should have offered even more connectivity than it does.
Similar priced units also often give Deezer and Amazon Music users the option of a built-in service alongside the industry standard Spotify.
The Bard crashed on me once doing trial, never great, but after a hefty play over both iPhone bluetooth, podcast, DAB and internet radio it was only the one time.
And despite being a little slow to turn on, we found the user interface very simple to use and the EQ options versatile enough for most music genres, from heavy rock to all-out pop.
The system’s speakers are solid enough all rounders and about right for the £150 price point.
It’s a neat little black box of tricks but next time I’d encourage the team at Majority to go for a more standout design for the sideboard.
The Bard is a good choice for those seeking a bass-filled music experience in a fixed home or office location.
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