AV Labs AVL337
- Good Bluetooth functionality, great design
- Problems with audio clarity, volume controls are hard to access
A lack of audio clarity is probably the biggest fault of these speakers, however their support for Bluetooth, their design, and price-point make them a viable option for users looking for these things.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
AV Labs' AVL337 is a wireless speaker system built on Bluetooth technology. It has the ability to connect to Bluetooth-compatible devices such as the Motorola MOTOKRZR K1, or to PCs via a USB dongle (although this needs to be purchased separately). Despite reasonably reliable wireless performance, the speakers' sound quality isn't great, with noticeable distortion and lack of clarity. Nevertheless, they represent a good option for users specifically looking for Bluetooth connectivity without blowing their budget.
Audio quality is probably the biggest letdown for the AVL337 speakers. They lack clarity and definition at all but the lowest (almost inaudible) of volume levels, and bass especially tends to be quite muddy and poorly defined. Still, despite the underwhelming audio, they're far from the worst speakers we've ever heard. Volume levels are more than sufficient, and even without a subwoofer (there is support for an external one, if desired), the speakers are capable of producing some impressive volume levels. Apart from the lack of clarity, however, audio tends to be of reasonable quality, without noticeable bias towards either bass or treble, and overall is capable of delivering a pleasant sound.
We found Bluetooth performance to be quite reliable in our tests, with a good amount of fidelity. Using the Motorola MOTOKRZR K1, we connected to the speakers and played some MP3s. Again, audio quality wasn't fantastic, but it was nevertheless perfectly listenable, and we didn't notice too much degradation or distortion as long as both the speakers and phone were in the same room. A separate USB dongle is also available for those who wish to play audio from their computer.
One of the best features is actually their design. They're black, quite large, and the polished wood finish makes them an attractive addition to almost any room in the house, especially considering the lack of cables (apart from the power cord, of course). The only complaint we have is that the volume controls (which include volume, bass and treble) are located on the back panel. This makes reaching them to adjust the volume a little difficult, depending on placement.
Finally, the speakers also support a connection to wired devices through two channel analogue audio connections. They must also be connected to each other via copper wiring. Both an audio cable and copper wiring are provided with the speakers.
Overall, the AVL337 speakers are probably not the best option for users looking for a wired system. The lack of clarity in the audio will be a problem for most discerning listeners. If you're looking for Bluetooth speakers, however, and don't want to spend too much, the AVL337 is a reasonable option.
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