Not only is the audio world awash with countless devices for our iGadgets and portable media gear, but it seems to become more saturated by the month. Of course, there's a whole host of quality stuff on offer out there all claiming to possess the goods to blast our audio senses into outer space, but seriously, who has the time to test them all? Luckily for you, we do, and we may have just found our new favorite piece of listening kit. Gentlemen, we bring you the Phoenix Speakers, by Beacon.

Sound

It's not the size that counts, but what you do with it, right? Wrong, well usually anyway. The rule of thumb has always been that small speakers equal bad speakers, plagued with that tinny, distant effect that makes it sound as though your favorite band is performing from an underground drain. So kudos to Beacon here, for they have produced something only about the size of a coffee cup that is capable of producing a noise loud enough to shatter a coffee cup. Not just any old noise either, but crisp, sharp, depth-laden quality noise that even at mid volume will fill a small room. The tough as nails construction of the Phoenix also means that even at full whack, there's minimal distortion to its glorious sound.

Connectivity

The sound was definitely better with the line-in, but we still totally preferred to use the Bluetooth playback option. It was an absolute cinch to get it connected, and, to our ears, there was absolutely no detectable audio distortion through the lack of wire. On the downside, we found that as soon as we ventured past the advertised 35-feet connection pick-up range, then it did struggle.

Controls

The gleaming controls of the Phoenix do take a little bit of getting used to, and though they look like state of the art ultra-touch-sensitive types, they're not. The buttons are actually of the push/click kind and each one has a couple of functionalities that you'll need to figure out. For example, the volume control also doubles as the skip track button, so there is the danger that as you raise the noise you may inadvertently flip to the next song unless you remember to hold the dial down.

Build and Quality

One of the most impressive aspects of the Phoenix lies in its construction. It's both solid and lightweight, with no excess or unnecessary cheap-looking plastic parts. The funky cube design, available in red or blue, looks contemporary and chic and its rubber feet ensure improved sound isolation that makes the performance sharper still.

Conclusion

We've been sent a hell of a lot of speakers to test, and none of us can remember one sounding as crisp as this one. Not only that, but the Phoenix is so versatile too, meaning that you can enjoy it on the go, chilling in the park, or catching some rays on the beach. At only a hundred dollars it's an absolute must, though your neighbors may just beg to differ.