Oxais Bento Close Contact Induction Speaker Review
The Bento from Oxais is a 360 degree speaker, with no bluetooth, and no wires. Oxais utilises the science of Close Contact Induction to allow music to go from the phone to the speaker, all this without any wires going to the phone, and with Bluetooth turned off.
- Output Channel: Stereo
- 40 mm Speaker Driver (x2)
- 58 x 32 mm Passive Driver (x2)
- Amplifier Power (RMS): 2.5 watts x 2 (@10% THD @ 1kHz)
- Frequency Response: 80Hz – 20kHz
- Input sensitivity: 600 mV THD 10 %
- Distortion: < 0.1 %
- Signal to noise ratio: > 75 dB (@ 1 kHz input)
The Oaxis Bento is the winner of the iF Design Award 2014, which you can see why. The speaker almost looks like it is floating and is a completely unique design which I haven’t seen before. The entire speaker is clean except for a power button, 3.5mm audio input and micro USB charging port, in the lower back. The rest of the speaker is crisp, pristine and looks great.
I am using the black and red speaker, which I am a massive fan of. The entire top and bottom of the speaker is a matte black, the speaker grill is red and is a great contrast. The red speaker dips down into the main section, which is where you’ll find the two 2.5W 40mm drivers. This design looks great, and also allows for some 360 degree listening.
The size makes it difficult to be classed as a portable speaker. The top has to be able to hold a large variety of smartphones, so I would view this as a stationary home based speaker. Battery lasts around 6 hours, after a 3 hour charge. Though I was surprised to see that I was unable to use the speaker whilst being charged.
The top of the Oaxis Bento is where the science comes into play. There is a guideline to show you where the phone speaker should be aligned, so the easiest way I found was to turn on the speaker and start playing music. Then aligning the speaker with the line to get get the best sound, as when off the sound can be compromised.
The electromagnetic induction only works on devices with external speakers, namely phones. Though the is a 3.5mm port, so any music player can be used. This is where the Bento loses a point for me, induction is cool, so placing a phone and just playing is a great experience. But the speaker isn’t really that great, so if you had to plug in a device it seems like a waste when you could plug it into a higher end speaker.
I found it useful to just place the phone on when listening to a track, and it is a lot easier then having to bluetooth it. The speaker costs $69, and I think the look and ease of use is a great thing. It looks wicked and even off looks good in the room. The sound isn’t amazing, but is considerably better than the stock S7 Edge speaker.