01 Dec 2012

Hidden Radio Bluetooth Speaker

I didn’t get off to a great start with the Hidden Radio Bluetooth speaker. I was impatient so I tried to use it just a few minutes after plugging the speaker for its initial charge. My phone started randomly disconnecting from the speaker. This problem went away after letting the speaker charge for a couple of hours.

Another problem I ran into was with the twist to control mechanism. The Hidden Radio is turned on by twisting the top part of the speaker. This also increases the volume. The problem was with the base. It wouldn’t easily stay in place while turning its top. I was having to push down and turn. This didn’t work very well.

I eventually found that cleaning the grippy material on the base with some water completely fixed the issue. Hopefully this isn’t something that has to be done too often.

I have the silver colored one. I don’t really care for the plastic-aping-metal look. It looks fine, but I think I would go with black if I had the chance.

I am mostly using the speaker to listen to podcasts, and I have no complaints with regards to audio quality or volume. It seems roughly comparable to other speakers of it’s size.

The location of the micro USB port is annoying. It is on the bottom of the speaker at an odd angle. I find it difficult to both insert and remove the USB cable. This port charges the speaker. The Hidden Radio has a built in battery and is meant to be portable. I would be more likely to use it this way if the charging cable port was more accessible.

The brightness of the the always-on (when plugged in) indicator light is another annoyance. I do have some light blocker stickers that help the situation. I wish the light would go off or dim significantly once the speaker is charged and turned off.

Although I do like the simplictiy of its design, I don’t think I would pay $119 (the Kickstarter price) for it again. I would probably go cheaper with GOgroove BlueSYNC OR3, or more expensive and look at the Jawbone JAMBOX. The retail price for the Hidden Radio is $149.