Definitive Technology: Sound Cylinder
A name that doesn’t immediately spring to mind when it comes to mobile accessories. Definitive Technology is responsible for some very slick and high-end audio equipment. With a pedigree like theirs it’s surprising they suddenly throw something into the arena. The Definitive Technology – Sound Cylinder.
I think they developed this because there’s a need. If you’ve used any number of bluetooth speaker systems (like I have) you’ve probably been less than impressed. While any company can toss in a few tiny speakers and a battery with bluetooth, very few of them wow you with the quality or looks. Enter the Sound Cylinder. With a very high-end look and feel (and a tube-shaped packaging that’s out of this world.) it’s the perfect companion to a tablet, or laptop to give the speakers the boost they probably need.
The Big Shiny
As we’ve said, it’s design is top notch. With a very mac-friendly aesthetic. It’s aluminum and magnesium body is covered in a fine mesh cut grill in the style of many Apple accessories. It looks the right blend of futuristic and luxury. It includes a small flip-out stand that allows you to hold an iPad (or any tablet) at a comfortable position for viewing. It’s capped by a clever rubberized clamp that allows it to hold onto basically any tablet or the lid of most laptops. It even has a hole to avoid blocking the webcam on your Macbook.
This clamp is sturdy and firm but soft enough to not do damage to any of your accessories. The side of the sound cylinder contains the power button and up and down volume buttons. That’s it. It’s. Very. Minimalist.
Here are the features direct from Definitive Technologies site.
- Convenient Bluetooth connectivity
- Enjoy high performance sound with any Bluetooth enabled mobile device
- Conveniently and securely clamps to most tablets, mini-tablets, and many laptops
- Surround Array imaging technology frees the sound from the Cylinder for lifelike sound
- A 2.1 channel bi-amplified audio system, for consistently superior music quality
- Two front-firing 32 mm midrange/high frequency drivers provide high definition clarity
- Side-firing 43 mm woofer driver, for rich, warm bass sound
- 10-hour battery life, rechargeable via micro USB
- 3.5 mm audio input jack for connection to any non-Bluetooth audio source with analog output (headphone jack)
- Rugged aluminum / magnesium alloy construction; beautiful, durable and long-lasting
- Built-in kickstand holds your tablet at the ideal angle, for fatigue-free viewing / listening
Easy Cylinder, Easy
What I liked about this product is how damn easy it is to use. While it includes a standard headphone jack to pipe in a connection from just about anything the bluetooth was marvelously uncluttered. You basically hold down the power button and then pick the device on your phone or computer. I’ve used a variety of other bluetooth devices and this was the fastest and most intuitive. Other systems do it like this as well, but I don’t think it can get much simpler.
The controls are clicky and responsive, and while they could give a little more feedback that you’re pushing them, they’re perfectly adequate.
Who Rocks the Party?
It all comes down to sound. The Sound Cylinder is pretty small and compact, so we were pleasantly surprised at the depth and quality of music that came out of this. Our main basis for comparison was the Jawbone JamBox which is a similarly spec’ed bluetooth speaker. The sound cylinder didn’t quite have the throbby bass of the Jambox but made up for it much more in clarity, general depth, volume and usability. The only functional difference between this and some other systems is a microphone for speakerphone use (like the Jambox) Aside from that it very much held it’s own.
This coupled with it’s reported 10 hour battery life, you’ve got the next best thing to a full fledged boombox. It comes with all the needed cables (charging cable – standard micro USB – and headphone jack connection) and has enough oomph and style to make your next picnic, camping trip or plain hangout session a great one with a crisp clear music. Also great for traveling and watching movies with amplified audio.
Gimme the Cash
This premium product comes at a premium price. Retailing at $199 (USD) it’s nothing to sneeze at, however it’s competitors go for upwards of about 180 dollars and don’t provide the iPad/Tablet and laptop mounting capabilities this device has. So the added functionality tips the scale for us, becoming our number one, best recommended bluetooth speaker solution. It’s loud, proud and clear with clever 2.1 audio including a mini sub-woofer and ultra chic design that makes it at home in any environment. From the packaging, to the presentation to the ease of use and general quality, the sound cylinder is the bluetooth speaker to beat.
We’re big fans and eager to see what else Definitive Technology comes up with when they turn their attention to the mobile world and portable audio.