One of the few wireless speakers that caught my attention amid a mass of competitors at the 2014 CES was the incredibly versatile Soundcast Melody.
A winner of the 2014 International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award, the Melody is a portable, all weather Bluetooth speaker, with an appealing state of the art design, built in 20-hour rechargeable battery and an extraordinarily rich eight-speaker design with 360-degree stereo sound. Weighing just nine pounds, the Melody can be transported just about anywhere, from parks and beaches to outdoor parties and receptions. The system is equipped with the latest in Bluetooth technology – version 3.0, has a typical range of up to 32 feet, operating in the 2.4GHz band and is splash resistant.
The Melody Speaker comes with an AC adapter, USB cable, 12V auto adapter, 1/8” (3.5mm) audio cable and a Quick Start guide. The faceplate has just a handful of buttons to familiarize oneself with the operation – power button, Bluetooth, volume up, volume down and a tracking unit similar to a DVD player, with a track back button, pause, play and track forward. The rear of the unit has a small section for an auxiliary input or micro USB power input.
After charging the Melody the suggested amount of time using the AC power adapter, the next step is to pair the device with a music player, such as an iPod or smartphone. The Melody also works with music apps, such as Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, and iTunes from either Mac or PC platforms. With a simple press of the Bluetooth button, it was remarkably easy to connect the device with an iPhone and literally discovered and paired the smartphone in seconds.
A legendary rock band that performed at a private event during the 2014 CES, Fleetwood Mac, was an excellent choice in analyzing the Melody’s sound quality. The result was phenomenal, with crystal clear clarity, even when pushing the volume to its higher ranges, enough to fill the entire home and outdoors. After five selections, a range of musical tastes were experimented with, including the likes of Black Sabbath, White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Rihanna and Macklemore and each time, the Melody continued to impress with excellent results, even outdoors at the beach and later within a redwood forest.
Powered by four full-range drivers and four bass radiators, with no noticeable distortion, even after a the power boost function was enabled, the Melody Bluetooth speakers seems to be well deserving of its 2014 CES award. Soundcast says users “may experience some distortion or noise” when the battery is running low, although during testing over a few days, there was no discernible evidence of distortion or noise.
In summation, the Melody Bluetooth speaker is a certifiable winner and well worth the investment for consumers looking for a high-end device with superior sound. For this review performed within the home and outdoors, the Melody gets a five star rating.
San Diego-based Soundcast Systems offers a full line of extraordinary portable music systems and wireless audio solutions. For more information or for purchases, please visit their official website.
Soundcast Melody Specifications
Four full-range drivers + Four bass radiators in a stereo
360º array using IMPP cones and rubber surrounds.
Proprietary Soundcast DPAT (Dynamic Power
Amplification Technology) with burst power, provides
maximum power and battery efficiency to delivery high
volume, distortion free audio to the 8 speaker system.
3.5mm auxiliary audio input
Micro-USB for USB charging (.5mA to 2.1A)
High-capacity Lithium ion rechargeable internal battery
A2DP V.1.2 (aptX and AAC codecs support)
Proprietary 16 bit
Diameter 9.0” (22.9 cm) Height 9.5” (24.1 cm)
9 lbs (20.3kg)