Blue Aura X30 – Bluetooth, NFC powered bookshelf speakers review
I am currently using a old Denon mini system hooked up to my PC to power some mid-range bookshelf speakers. This works but does mean that there’s more cables behind my desk than really needs to be. When the chance came to test out the Blue Aura X30 speakers I jumped at the chance.
Blue Aura has been producing wireless speakers and speaker systems since 2010. Not only does the company, which is led by a team of British audio engineers, want to bring Bluetooth technology into the company’s products but NFC (Near Field Communication) too.
Is this too much? Have they had to compromise on build or sound quality to add more tech? Read on and find out.
Blue Aura X30 – overview
The Blue Aura X30 is a powered stereo speaker system with built-in Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC for wireless audio streaming from any of your devices fitted with such tech.
At just 17.5 cm tall and 11.2 cm wide, and packing a 25W amplifier on-board, these discreet, self-contained speakers allow you to play music or boost TV sound in style and, thanks to the array of connections round back you can also rig them up to a PC.
The X30 system includes one powered speaker and one passive slave. The two are connected using Blue Aura’s supplied ‘Quick Connect’ cable, which is a standard RJ-45 lead.
The right speaker houses an array of sockets that allows you to connect external sources. The optical digital input is ideal for hooking up a TV, DVD or Blu-ray deck, backed up by analogue RCA input and a subwoofer output should you need more bass.
The X30s look great. I was handed a set in a light tan (Sahara) faux leather finish and they certainly look like some high-quality kit. The nicely curved corners and visible stitching running along the top panel add to the premium look and feel.
On the front is a black metal speaker grille, which can be removed if you want to show off the drivers. These are mounted on a firmly-bolted front baffle.
The speakers can be wall mounted, placed on stands or simply sat on shelves, or your desk – each speaker has a large non-slip rubber pad on the bottom.
Blue Aura X30 – features
Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility is the X30’s main selling point but you can pair a compatible Android device with the speakers using NFC technology, simply by tapping it on the logo – even the logo is cool, as it is sexily stamped into the right speaker’s top panel – then stream music wirelessly.
For Bluetooth, this kit supports the apt-X codec, which offers better sound quality than regular Bluetooth, with mobiles having a wireless reach of around 10 metres.
Each speaker features a 3.5-inch paper cone and ferrite magnet, with a 20mm soft dome tweeter on high-frequency duty.
Quoted frequency range is 55Hz-22kHz. A Class D amplifier inside the right speaker supplies 25W of power.
Blue Aura X30 – performance
You can toggle through your audio sources using the ‘input’ button, and when doing so an LED on the front changes colour to indicate which is selected (green = wired, blue = Bluetooth, red = NFC).
To connect non-NFC Bluetooth devices, hold down the pairing button on the back or the Bluetooth button on the remote. Simple.
Oddly, when I was streaming tunes from my HTC One via Bluetooth the X30’s volume occasionally dropped which could only be resolved by tapping the volume up key on the remote. It might be just my gear though.
Playback through the X30 is smooth with plenty of crystal-clear top-end detail mated with a punchy midrange, making the sound open and engaging but never harsh, even at high volumes.
Bass performance is equally enticing with low frequencies never muddying the mix. For those looking for chest pounding low-end, it might be best to add the extra woofer. For me the X30s were happy dealing with Jazz right through to Electro and a fair dose of Metal. When testing out Hip and Trip-Hop, Dub and such I did notice a slight lack in the bass but not enough to ruin the listen.
Using the speakers when gaming and watching movies proved the flexibility of the X30s. Backing tracks and atmospheric sounds outlined the broad soundstage of these very capable speakers where explosions filled the room even though they weren’t anywhere near full volume.
Blue Aura X30 – Verdict
Performance is impressive for music, movies and gaming. Their dynamic sound and decent bass weight definitely put them on a level with most speakers of this size.
Add to that the quality build and top-flight styling touches as well as throwing in Bluetooth and NFC connectivity, it starts to look like a one-sided fight in Blue Aura’s favour.
If you are looking for some inconspicuous, yet stylish, living-room speakers or top quality desktop buddies, then the Blue Aura X30s are very much worthy a look. I doubt that you’ll be disappointed.
The Blue Aura x30 are available now with a SRP of £289.00