Bluetooth audio system are often made for listening to music with, however you can even use them as hands-free speakerphones for calls when related to your smartphone or pc. Curiously, the wi-fi speaker I am reviewing right here works fairly in a different way to mainstream choices, in that it’s not targeted on the music listening expertise in any respect. The Beyerdynamic Phonum is a wi-fi speakerphone made particularly for voice communications – whether or not telephone calls or Web-based audio and video conferencing – and connects to a supply gadget utilizing both Bluetooth or a wired USB connection.
Priced at round Rs. 25,000 in India, the Beyerdynamic Phonum is an costly however purpose-built speaker designed to allow you to take calls with out taking your arms off your keyboard. It is meant for use for work calls, whether or not you are at house or on the workplace, and works equally nicely with a smartphone or pc. Is that this attention-grabbing wi-fi speaker well worth the worth? Discover out on this evaluation.
Beyerdynamic Phonum design and specs
Most mainstream wi-fi audio system are designed with portability and climate resistance in thoughts, so the Beyerdynamic Phonum stands out for its delicate and complex look. The spherical physique has a flat, grippy base, with a narrower part simply above that you should utilize to wrap the cable round. The grille faces upwards, though the speaker fires downwards, and the contact controls are throughout it. The bodily energy swap and USB Sort-C port for charging are on the again.
A few of the controls – quantity, microphone on/off, Bluetooth, and microphone path mode – are seen always, whereas the decision reply or reject management and microphone path indicators illuminate solely when receiving a name and when on a name. You possibly can go away the Beyerdynamic Phonum on standby and take calls with it as they arrive, or flip it on if you want it.
Utilizing the Beyerdynamic Phonum is straightforward sufficient; it pairs to a supply gadget utilizing Bluetooth, and prompts its on-device controls when in use, relying on whether or not it is in standby or lively. You can too join it to a pc utilizing the included USB Sort-C to Sort-A cable, which units up a wired connection between the 2 and in addition expenses the battery of the Phonum.
The Beyerdynamic Phonum makes use of the corporate’s Gecko microphone expertise, which has three modes of voice monitoring and may detect voices coming from any path across the speaker. You possibly can cycle via the modes when in use, and select the one which fits the aim greatest. Repair mode tracks a single speaker in a hard and fast location; Observe mode directs the monitoring on the lively speaker in a bunch; and 360 mode picks up voices from all instructions.
The speaker has a 2-inch down-firing driver, a frequency response vary of 120-10,000Hz, computerized echo and noise cancellation for the microphone, and Bluetooth 4.2 for connectivity. There’s a 2,600mAh battery within the Beyerdynamic Phonum, which ran for round 9 hours when enjoying audio constantly. When used as a speakerphone system, I used to be capable of get round 16-17 hours of battery life in complete, switching between standby mode, taking some telephone calls, and infrequently enjoying music.
Beyerdynamic Phonum efficiency
In contrast to many of the wi-fi audio system I’ve reviewed, the Beyerdynamic Phonum is firmly targeted on the expertise with voice calls. Whereas I did use this speaker for infrequent music listening, I largely had it related to my iPhone and on standby through the work day, inserting and receiving telephone calls as and when wanted. I additionally used it with my MacBook Air for Zoom convention calls on a couple of events.
The tuning of the Beyerdynamic Phonum is, expectedly, suited to voice. Output was sharp and exact, and the voices have been loud and distinct sufficient to be clearly heard from as much as 3m away in a quiet room. Moreover, connectivity was secure so long as the telephone remained inside round 3m of the speaker.
I discovered it significantly straightforward to make use of the controls; I might look at my smartphone to see who was calling, and rapidly faucet the decision reply button on the Beyerdynamic Phonum to choose up with out interrupting my workflow at my house workplace desk. Adjusting the amount was additionally straightforward, though I did not typically want to do that in a quiet room, and solely bumped it up if I additionally wished another person within the room to listen to what was being stated.
The Gecko microphone system is each bit nearly as good because it sounds, and was capable of decide up my voice exactly from inside round 60cm from the speaker. Environmental noise cancellation and echo cancellation additionally labored nicely to make sure that my voice was picked up clearly. Whereas callers reported that it did sound as if I used to be talking on a hands-free gadget as a result of notion of distance between the particular person talking and the microphone, my voice was nonetheless clear. Calls weren’t affected by the everyday readability points that individuals face when utilizing hands-free gadgets.
Music is not the perfect use case for the Beyerdynamic Phonum, and as indicated by its frequency response vary and voice-focused tuning, audio tracks sounded a bit awkward on this speaker. The highs have been solely misplaced, and the sub-bass could not actually be heard. It would work for some vocal-centric tracks, however generally, the Phonum is greatest averted for music listening.
Wired connectivity naturally sounded so much higher than Bluetooth on the Beyerdynamic Phonum, providing a extra secure and clear sound expertise than merely utilizing my laptop computer’s personal audio system. When plugged into my MacBook Air, the Phonum was detected mechanically, and macOS provided two equalizer modes via its sound settings – Voice and Music – which labored as I anticipated to optimize the equalizer for these functions. The Voice mode gave the mids an inexpensive push.
Elevated dependence on working from house has made for some attention-grabbing improvements within the gadget area, and the Beyerdynamic Phonum is one such gadget. It is pitched as a speakerphone for calls, and does that very nicely whether or not related utilizing Bluetooth or a USB cable. It might additionally come in useful in a convention room, the place its glorious Gecko microphone system can optimize voice pickup from any path.
Though costly at round Rs. 25,000, this speakerphone places Beyerdynamic’s experience to good use. It does not sound too good with music, however that actually is not what the Phonum is made for; keep on with its core performance and you will rapidly develop keen on it, as I’ve.