SOL Republic expands to bluetooth speakers with new Deck speaker

SOL Republic is still a better known brand in the US then here in the UK, but perhaps they can change that with their new Deck portable bluetooth speaker, announced as part of their cooperation with Motorola for the launch of the Moto X smartphone. While the new SOL Republic Deck might have strong ties to Google and Android, it will still work just as well with other bluetooth enabled devices.

SOL Republic and Motorola Deck bluetooth speaker

Better known for their quality headphones targeting the younger demographics, the Deck is their first bluetooth speaker and it comes with some interesting features that could be a strong differentiator in the very competitive portable bluetooth speaker market, including its very flat and colorful design. Yes, unlike so many other speakers out there that are either tube shaped or rectangular, the Deck is very flat with the drivers facing upwards (a small bass port faces to the side), which is good if you plan to use it a lot outdoors or where people are slightly more scattered and not always facing the speaker. Adding to the color options of the unit itself is the nicely integrated logo that also offers multi-colored options depending on settings, including which device is currently actively streaming to it.

The top panel features integrated volume up- and down buttons, NFC pairing for those that have NFC enabled devices, and a multi-functional “M” button (the Motorola logo) that is used for amongst other hands-free calling handling. At the back edge of the speaker you will find the power button, 3.5mm Audio-In and Audio-out, micro-USB charger port, and of course the switch that makes the Deck a social speaker.

Back to the “social switch”. It allows you to switch between single-user mode, pairing mode, and a so called Heist mode that allows for up to 5 devices to be paired with the SOL Deck at the same time, and each of the users can at any time hijack a song to take over control of what is played. A very interesting feature that i’m sure a lot of people will have fun with, but could perhaps also cause a fight or two! While you have control of the music you can ‘lock’ others out by hitting the M button on the speaker. Each connected device is also represented with its own color change of the logo on the Deck.

With the SOL Republic Deck speaker running latest version of Bluetooth it can also boast up to 300 feet connection distance, which is quite a lot more than most bluetooth speakers on the market at the moment. As for actual performance, I will have to wait until I get a chance to test it out, but first impressions from other sources seems to indicate that the speaker is competitive against the likes of Jawbone Jambox, with especially the high- and mid frequencies performing strong.

The SOL Republic Deck portable bluetooth speaker will be available in yellow, blue, red, and gunmetal when it is released before the end of August. Retail price for the US is set at $199.99 and we are waiting to find out what the UK price and release date will be.

[Source: Wired]

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