This iFedility Sideswipe Bluetooth Speaker will rock your room
By Anthony Sabatini, Tech Columnist
It’s not often that we chase down a manufacturer to review a particular product, especially one like a desktop bluetooth speaker, as we receive lots of them to review. We became acquainted with the iFedelity Sideswipe Bluetooth Speaker when we heard about it from a friend who received it as promotional item. Its innovative design and excellent performance immediately captured our attention and we decided that it was important to our readers to hear about this product.
The iFedelity Sideswipe Bluetooth speaker gets its name from its innovative design. When it is stored, this triangular-shaped speaker is only 6″ long. But then you push the button in the top center of the speaker and internal springs extend the speaker out on each end by two inches exposing the actual speaker elements and turning the unit on. To turn it off, one merely pushes on both ends of the speaker causing them to retract into the case and lock when the are fully in, turning the unit off again.
Operation is extraordinarily simple and efficient. One merely enters the bluetooth menu of the smart phone or bluetooth device that is connecting to the speaker and select the Sideswipe in order to pair it. Volume is controlled by the connected device, the Sideswipe feeding back the relative level to which it is set to the device, so you may have had volume fully up on the device but once the Sideswipe is connected the volume control will tell you the volume level on the Sideswipe. The volume level on your smart device will return to the level it was previously set at when the Sideswipe is disconnected.
The sound itself is excellent, and unlike square speakers the triangular shape aims the speaker elements towards your ears, improving the sound. The sound is clean, low range,, within the limitations of the smaller speaker size, and very clear. The base is as much as can be generated without distorting the sound since you are limited, by definition, but the size of the element.
Another outstanding feature is battery life. We have gotten 10 hours of playing time on a single charge and the battery has not run out yet. These are all great points for a small, portable, desktop speaker.
Nothing is perfect, and the iFedelity Sideswipe Bluetooth Speaker does have a couple of niggly points that are worth mentioning. The first is the power/on light. It is a bright blue that can be disturbing if you are watching TV. We solved that problem by turning the speaker toward the screen, reflecting the sound off the screen (tablet or computer). This eliminates that problem. Another The second minor issue are the manual controls which have their functions imprinted on the plastic, making them difficult to read in low light. It doesn’t really matter because you never need them — you control these functions from your smart device. The third minor irritation is the length of the cables. Unlike many devices which have three or six-foot cables, this unit only has cables of one foot (charging cable and audio cable) and no power adapter. This is actually fine, also, because it uses a standard micro usb so most people will already have a USB cable and charger that will accommodate it. Also, there is the minor inconvenience that the unit must be open in order to charge it. It would have been nice to be able to charge it while it was closed.
But all that aside, we really love this speaker. It vastly improves the sound from any table, phone, music player or laptop . We highly recommend it.
Editor’s note: When we researched this speaker we discovered that it is primarily sold as a promotional item . It’s not readily available on audio tech sales sites although you can find it on some of the promotional products sites. In our quest to find a sample of the iFedelity Sideswipe Bluetooth Speaker, we were assisted by the nice folks at the promotional web site Far From Boring, who secured one for us from the manufacturer. If you want to buy just one of these fabulous speakers as the usual minimum for a logoed promotional purchase is 6+) Try FarFromBoring’s web site to order an unlogo-ed version which should run you under $75.00 (plus tax and shipping).