Motorola MOTOROKR EQ7
Versatile Bluetooth speaker system
- Versatile, streamlined design, decent sound quality, doubles as hands-free speakerphone
- Slight hissing sound when connected via A2DP
The MOTOROKR EQ7 is a versatile device that performs well for both music and mobile phone calls. This well-designed speaker system produces reasonable sound considering its size.
Price$ 249.95 (AUD)
The MOTOROKR EQ7 is an extremely versatile wireless stereo system. This UFO-shaped audio system provides A2DP Bluetooth audio streaming, a traditional audio-in jack and a wireless speakerphone for mobile phone conversations.
Taking into account its MOTOROKR branding and partnership with JBL, Motorola clearly considers the EQ7 first and foremost a music accessory. Although it's JBL branded, the EQ7 is distributed and sold solely by Motorola, so it's not really a JBL product.
The design is definitely eye catching. A nice touch is the gloss black edging surrounding the unit and the chrome volume buttons on the front. The anti-slip rubber on the bottom ensures the speaker remains firmly in place on a desk or table. On top, the black speaker grill hides four transducers, while a bass port is located at the rear of the unit. In addition to steaming A2DP audio, the EQ7 has basic playback controls, specifically volume, previous and next track and play/pause.
One of the best features of the EQ7 is its versatility. This unit is compatible with a whole range of devices, including iPods, notebook PCs, mobile phones that support A2DP and any device that supports a standard 3.5mm audio jack — including the iPhone and iPhone 3G.
We tested the EQ7 with a first-generation iPhone as well as the Nokia 6220 classic and were impressed with the results on the whole. Audio streaming from a mobile phone via the A2DP Bluetooth profile resulted in reasonable, but not outstanding sound. We have often criticised A2DP Bluetooth products in the past for poor audio quality, but the EQ7 doesn't fall into this category. Although distortion is evident at high volume, anything below this doesn't suffer. There is a slight, underlying hissing sound when connected via Bluetooth, but this isn't as noticeable as with many other A2DP units.
When connected via the standard 3.5mm audio jack, the EQ7 produces sound loud enough to fill a small room. A weakness is instrumental separation — in complex riffs, individual elements can be lost, creating a somewhat muddy sound. Particularly impressive, however, is bass, which is punchy but not overpowering. For a small unit, sound is fair. It's obviously not audiophile quality, but most people shouldn't have too many complaints.
Where the EQ7 also shines is in handling phone calls. When connected to a Bluetooth mobile phone, the unit acts as a hands-free speakerphone. If you are playing music when a phone call comes in, the music dims and the phone rings through the speaker. An answer call button allows you to take the call without touching your phone. Sound quality during calls is excellent and the microphone located just underneath the JBL logo is powerful enough to pick up your voice from a few metres away. Though it's marketed mainly as a music device, we feel the EQ7's speakerphone capabilities make it an ideal office tool for conference calls during meetings.
The EQ7 comes with an AC adapter but the unit can also run on four AA batteries, located beneath a plastic lock at the bottom of the unit.
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PCW Evaluation Team
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