Updated: Now most of you folks have never heard of Bayan Audio. After reading this piece, you may want to check them out, especially if you’re in the need for what I’ve written below. Bayan Audio has three products under the Soundbook designation, the Soundbook, the Soundbook Go, and the Soundbook X3. I had the pleasure of trying out the latter for a number of weeks. The Bayan Audio Soundbook X3 is a Bluetooth wireless speaker. While there are plenty of Bluetooth speakers available on the market, what sets the Soundbook X3 apart from the pack is its elegance and superior sound. Let’s be honest, most large Bluetooth speakers look somewhere between boring to awful. Do you really want to purchase a product with this description? Sadly, some of you have already made this purchase, but I know I don’t want to.
The X3 is available in two color styles: silver with blue trim and black with orange trim. I’ve only gotten to see the former but I’ve got to admit, from the photos, the latter looks pretty sweet. Even the packaging is sweet and I highly recommend keeping it. As for the X3 dimensions, it’s about the size of a 500 page novel, 9.25” x 4.72” x 1.75” to be specific. Its power output is 20 watts consisting of four 1.5” long throw neodymium (yeah that’s a word) drivers and one 3” passive bass radiator driver. The speaker is run using 100 – 240 volts at 50/60 Hertz. The frequency range is 60 Hz – 20 kHz with a THD of less than 2%. And all of this clocks in at 3.17 lbs. So how is the battery life you ask? It plays music for up to 10 hours at 50% volume on a single charge. And when the battery gets low, the word “LOW” flashes in LED lights on the face of the unit. When this happens, the volume is capped at 50%. In my testing, a complete recharge of the battery takes about 7 hours, give or take an hour. So begin your recharge at 11 PM and unplug it when you awaken at 6 or 7 AM.
I mentioned in the first paragraph that this product is elegant. The housing of the sound book is made from ballistic nylon with an aluminum casing. There’s a protective cover with one side ballistic nylon and the other a rubbery material, which when opened, becomes the stand to the speaker. As it turns out and not a coincidence, the color of the rubber base matches the LED lighting. When opened, the speaker leans back and rests on an angle. (See photos.) When closed a hidden magnet prevents the cover from opening. On the rear of the unit, there are four inputs. From left to right, they are AUX In, Speaker Out, Power In, and a USB. You can even charge another device with this USB port. On the top of the unit, there are five buttons. From left to right they are Tune Down, Tune Up (both for FM radio), Power/Input, Volume Down and Volume Down. Just underneath the Power/Input button is the volume indication. Every time you press the Power/Input button, you change the mode. There are AUX, FM, and Bluetooth (version 4.0) modes which are displayed in the aforementioned LED lighting. All worked perfectly in the unit I tested. The unit also has NFC auto connect paring, an integrated antenna for the radio, and a built-in microphone. The latter comes in handy when conducting conference calls via Bluetooth.
So how do the X3’s 20 watts of audio sound? The short answer is it produces sound very well and envelopes a room, more like an entire floor, in that sound. While testing this I wondered what the point was in keeping my Dad’s old Aiwa stereo rack system. I takes up so much space and weighs so much. In this modern age, such racks systems aren’t really needed beyond the home theater/entertainment system. The speaker is well-balanced, with more bass than anticipated. Most of you will like this strong bass. Now I tested the X3’s abilities from both Bluetooth and via connection to my laptop. I do this for a couple of reasons: 1) I don’t like the sound processing of my LG mobile and 2) I very much like the sound processing of my Toshiba laptop. For this testing, I went beyond my rotating list of testing 4-5 albums. Instead I listened to a minimum of 20-25 albums, half from my cloud library. From Muse to The Killers to Lana Del Rey to Ellie Goulding to Tove Lo, all sounded well. I especially like listening to John Coltrane and Duke Ellington, with Latin instrumental guitarists Struntz and Farah taking the prize. Classical and jazz music production were top notch. The only sound that was a disappointment was Zedd’s Clarity. I don’t think this is X3 related as I’ve encountered this issue before with Zedd. When it comes to electronica, Zedd in particular, everything I’ve tried to date comes up short. I believe a high end system is best to produce what the artist has cooked up.
As this speaker produces a wide range of sound, it is suited for large rooms (300 sq. ft. and greater) as well as small, i.e. the bedroom. It is also ideal for outdoor settings, for instance a back porch, but I don’t recommend the beach. In my opinion, it’s too nice of a product to be around sand.
Included with each Soundbook X3 are the following:
• A multi-language manual
• A 3.5mm 3’ stereo audio cable
• A mains power adapter with 5’ cord
• EU and UK adapters for use with the charger
You can find Bayan Audio products at a variety of online retailers most notably Amazon. The X3 has a list price of $299 while the slightly smaller Soundbook lists for $199. If you have any questions, feel free to send a tweet or post a comment. I do respond.
For those of you who will be attending CES2015, feel free to visit their booth. The Bayan Audio booth is located at the Sands Expo Hall, Booth 74961.