Speakers come in various sizes: there are large, free standing towers and bookshelf models, portable speakers running off batteries and even those small enough to fit in pockets. The speaker’s size — its physical dimensions — plays a big part in how it sounds. This is due to the fact that the larger the speaker cone, the more the sound will resonate from the driver pushing the air in/out. This is one of the reasons why small speakers can sound “tinny,” and has nothing to do with the components of the driver itself. So what makes the Bass Egg speaker different, since it is definitely small and portable? How about the fact that there is no speaker cone at all — or to put it another way, anything that the Bass Egg can make contact with becomes the speaker cone.
The Bass Egg has an hourglass shape, which makes it simple enough to be placed on an flat surface that is at least 3 inches in diameter. It runs on a rechargeable battery, with the LED indicator going out when a full charge has been acquired. The power plug consists of a USB cable, making the speaker chargeable on location through any power pack as well. It derives its sound either through a 3.5mm audio mini-jack or, as is more likely, paired through Bluetooth in the conventional manner with a computer/laptop or mobile device (phone/tablet) since this eliminates wiring and increases the options for surfaces it can be placed on. Held up by itself, the audio playing was barely audible.
Because a good speaker enclosure should always be wood (not plastic), I started by placing the Bass Egg on my kitchen table. I turned it on and paired it with my iPhone. I started by playing symphonic music and was intrigued to find that the level of bass equaled that of a portable Bluetooth speaker double the size. The bass came through better than that of the other frequencies. Switching to popular music, I found that the vocals seemed to be a bit muddled and overlapped. Moving the Bass Egg onto a plastic cooler altered the sound significantly as it became louder (the empty space inside caused loud amplification) and the bass much less pronounced. I also moved the Bass Egg onto the seat of a chair, to find the sound heavily muffled (this is not something to be desired). It also significantly lessened the overall volume.
I next used the Bass Egg during a BBQ which took place outside. There was a wooden table to play on, but I also moved it over the course of the evening. Others found this fun, and it certainly helped that the speaker is a bit heavy and well constructed– it’s not cheap plastic and could handle being passed around by others as it was tried out on different surfaces. I even saw someone hold it up against the metal hood of the unused second grill (it sounded terrible with too much screeching — metal is not a good speaker cone). The sound wasn’t as loud outside as it had been inside (audio bouncing off walls and all) but even on concrete the sound could be heard clearly since it was porous. But when I went into the gym and put it on the treadmill, it sounded better than anything other than wood. Who would have thought? I was also impressed by how long the battery charge lasted — the company says up to 10 hours and I was able to work it past 5 hours.
Bottom line: The Bass Egg is a fun way to Bluetooth music from a device, and it sounds pretty good too. $99.95 provides a fun way to see what different surfaces will do to sound, and the box it comes in even doubles as an audio platform.
Unique sound capability, Different colored skins
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.