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effortless and big sound from a beautiful speaker, the MobiAria by iLuv
effortless and big sound from a beautiful speaker, the MobiAria by iLuv
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MobiAria speaker by iLuv

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There are so many ways to listen to music with your smart phone or Mp3 player. You can plug your music maker into a a jam box, a stereo system, headphones, or of course, a sound dock or speaker, but they're not all created equal. They're not all user friendly, and they're not all so lovely to look at. One that is both user friend and really beautiful, is the MobiAria by iLUV. It is a music amplification system -- an NFC blue-tooth enabled speaker that you really will want to show off. The design is so beautiful, you will think it is a sculpture at first, but when you turn it on and sound comes out, you'll thrill to it's beauty and it's functionality.

The slim, elegant device gives you wireless music streaming straight from your mobile devices, with the most ridiculously easy " One Touch" Bluetooth setup - Just touch your NFC-enabled mobile device to MobiAria to connect the two devices together.

For those who don't know what "NFC" is or stands for, it is short for "Near Field Communication" and if you have a new smart phone, it probably has it. NFC is a short range wireless RFID technology that makes use of interacting electromagnetic radio fields instead of the typical direct radio transmissions used by technologies such as Bluetooth. It is meant for applications where a physical touch, or close to it, is required in order to maintain security. NFC might be used in mobile phone appliations for things like paynent in conjunction with an electronic wallet. Other types of uses are taking photos with your cell phone's camera and then touching an enabled devie such as a computer or television set to transmit the images for display. You might use it to transfer large files between two devices such as your laptop and desktop, simply by making physical contact with the two devices, or donwloading games by holding/touching your handheld device to your desktop computer. Ah yes, it's a brave new world out there!

The first thing you can't help but notice about the iLUV Mobi Aria is that even the outside carton has lot of information on it, including information about the JAura sound technology -- sophisticated amplification encased in an acoustically-tuned enclosure for the best sound possible. The JAura sound technology uses a tweeter, mid-range driver and bass enhancer that gives you a good balance of high middle and low range frequencies. Strategically-placed sound chambers in the unit direct the sound waves through the speaker to make the sound rich and clear, even though the speaker really isn't all that huge.

This columnist charged the iLuv MobiAria and turned it on, and paired with my iPod and again in another trial, with my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone, in literally 15 seconds, almost before I almost had time to react. The speaker even has voice prompts to walk you through the pairing mode so even if you don't really understand what NFC is (other than you have a modern phone and it has that technology) and you don't even really understand pairing (other than you know you can do it with your phone), you can do this easily. This premium speaker has backlit, touch-sensitive buttons that really make the MobiAria look sleek and modern, and guess what? It's also able to charge your mobile device via a USB port!

But a pretty speaker isn't worth very much if it doesn't sound good. The beautiful design has" jAura Technology," which actually features two full range speakers and a passive radiator for enhanced bass. I am not a true audiophile, but I have tried a lot of different sound docks and this one delivers big, beautiful, full, rich 3D sound. No, it's not like you're in a concert hall and you won't get the same kind of sound from one speaker that you'd get from a home theater or from two large speakers well balanced around your room, but it does a great job of delivering the sound from one free standing speaker.

I have a large, old fashioned rack system with a cd player, tape deck, turntable and amp, and a specific plug for my iPod. I do love using it, but it's like operating a space ship. The iLuv MobiAria won't play records or tapes, just digital recordings from a Bluetooth-enabled (or with 3.5mm jack for plugging in your device the old way, as well as a USB charging dock so your device doesn't die, mid-symphony), but it has only a few, touch-sensitive, backlit controls along the top of the device. I'd be tempted to say a child could handle it, but of course. a child can probably handle just about any tech device. So I'll just say that probably your mom or dad, or grandpa and grandma, can get the hang of the MobiAria with not too much trouble.

By now, if you're thinking that the iLuv MobiAria is going to make a fabulous holiday gift idea for someone special., you'd be absolutely correct! Wow a boss, a boyfriend, or make it a group gift for the family, and you just have to shop ounce. You can rationalize a purchase of one for yourself not just because you deserve it, but because you absolutely need it for your holiday party!

MobiAria is available for $199.99 at iLuv.com and select retailers such as amazon.com