We are no strangers to Bluetooth speakers here at GadgetyNews. But, ones that offer a wide soundstage thanks to a stereo pair of loudspeakers? Not so much. It was with much joy then that we were offered a look at the AOSM 68 speakers.
Look at any Hi-Fi system and, where price and components may differ, one thing remains. They will all feature at least two loudspeakers. This is not only to produce stereo sound, but also to create a more realistic soundstage. Many will tell you that the positioning of a stereo pair of speakers can make or break their performance. So, where most Bluetooth speakers are great on portability, few allow you to alter their position in a stereo field.
However, this is not true for the AOSM 68. The reason for this is that you actually get a pair of speakers that can act in concert.
AOSM 68 speakers design
The AOSM 68 speakers have a ruggedised appearance thanks to their reinforced corners. These protect the “high quality diaphragm” found at either end. Also, this is perhaps a nod to their IPX5 rating. That means they are able to survive splashed water and protection from dust.
The speakers are covered in wire mesh and have the brand ensconced on the front.
The back of the speakers hold most of their features. On the left, there’s a water-resistant panel that conceals the Micro USB and 3.5mm headphone ports.
Additionally, there’s also a leatherette carry strap. Handy.
Each speaker measures 6.2 x 2.2 x 2.2-inches and weighs 12.5oz. Compact but not really feather light. You will notice two in your bag.
They are not the most striking speakers we’ve ever seen. However, they are also not ugly. To be honest, I quite like their utilitarian vibe.
AOSM 68 speakers performance
The speakers are rated at 2 x 6 Watts. According to the literature, the battery life should be around 8 hours but I have eeked out more. This will probably change as with most batteries though. Recharging takes in the region of 3 hours.
As I alluded to earlier, Bluetooth speakers are generally single units. This aids portability as well as convenience.
What you will discover with the AOSM 68 is that you will have to double up. Two speakers means two cables. Two cables could then mean a pair of plug adapters and wall sockets, unless you have a USB hub handy.
Those reinforced corners do allow the speakers to shrug off rough use though. Furthermore, that water and dust resistance should allow for some non-lethal encounters with environmental hazards. These are all bonuses for anyone planning to take the speakers out and about.
The speakers can be set horizontally or vertically. As the strap is situated on the same face as the controls, this does not get in the way of having them in either orientation.
To pair a single speaker with your mobile device, it is the standard routine. Turn on the speaker, find it on your phone or tablet, pair. Sorted.
To get the ASOM 68 running in stereo pair mode you will need to turn them both on at the same time. Wait for the signal stating that they they’re powered up. Now, just tap the power key again to get them to pair with each other.
Once that’s done, you’ll see that one speaker has a solid blue LED light and the other has a flashing blue LED. It’s then just a matter of grabbing your phone and connecting up.
Now you have stereo sound and can place the speakers wide apart to get the full stereo experience.
So, are two speakers better than one? Yes. Stereo was developed for a reason — having two speakers gives a much better sense of presence, and allows music makers to be more creative in their recordings.
The AOSM 68 packs Bluetooth TWS. Thanks to True Wireless Stereo technology, you can pair two speakers via bluetooth to form a wireless left and right channel system.
Did I notice a huge difference in musical enjoyment from carrying two speakers and all they need around? Well, the sound quality certainly rivals that of a single speaker at their price point.
As I sat in my office setting these speakers up I had them stacked upon each other. This provided the usual Bluetooth speaker dynamic. However, placing one on each of the chair arms opposite me, this did make an incredible difference to their presentation.
The panned instruments in Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Chain’ were given more space. The vocals were also better placed.
A quick blast of some Yello did show the speakers’ weak spot though. The low-end is a little lacking. It’s there, when the volume is pushed but then you are sacrificing some of the mid-range’s clarity as that starts to get a bit overdriven.
Orchestral pieces and singer/songwriter compositions are clear and balanced. If you do prefer the less pastorial classics, again, you may notice the slightly light-handling of the lower ranges. But then, look at the size of the woofers. Can we really expect earth-shattering sub from these, especially at this price?
Whether paired or used as a single unit, the AOSM 68 boasts a decent, balanced sound with reasonable mid and high-end performance. There is even some good bass presence once you crank the volume up a bit. As I’ve said, however, higher volumes can make the treble a tad harsh and muddy the mids.
AOSM 68 speakers review conclusion
Twice the speakers, twice the fun? Well, you do also get twice the weight to carry and twice the cables needed. But with 8hrs play time, you won’t need the cables everywhere you use these.
The upside is that you do get proper stereo. The output is decent and the speakers will take the odd knock and splash. This lends them to being handy for festivals and the like.
I also like the fact that two of you can use a speaker each independently and then, when you want, you can join forces again using the AOSM 68s as a stereo pair.
However, I think their prime use would be out in the garden together. I can see these pumping out tunes during a BBQ, and the like.
Price and availability
You can buy the AOSM 68 speakers for £49.99 as a pair from Amazon right now.
In each box you get a speaker, aux cable and USB charging cable.