Great speakers for tablets from Kanto, Edifier, Tribit, Soundcore and the new ZVOX AV70 (Week 10, 2023)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 10, 2023

Q. I once had a Sony stereo boombox with detachable speakers that I used for listening to music CDs on my patio. I am thinking of replacing it by transferring the CD music to my wife’s Amazon Fire Tablet and listening with Bluetooth speakers that can be paired for a stereo sound. What high quality Bluetooth speakers do you recommend that can be paired for stereo, for up to around $200?

-M.A., Kapolei, HI

A. If AC power is an option you will find many bookshelf speakers from Edifier that sell for under $200 per pair. The $299.99 Kanto Yu powered bookshelf speakers also work on AC power and are a bit above your budget, but worth it as the sound quality is some of the best in its class. The $199.99 Tribit StormBox Blast can be paired for stereo, but I think one unit would be enough for your patio as the sound quality and maximum volume is truly exceptional. My very favorite small Bluetooth speakers are the Soundcore Flare speakers and the Flare Mini is only $42.99. They pair for stereo and have neutral, clear, natural and engaging sound that satisfies even demanding music lovers. For under $50, the Soundcore Flare Mini is one of the best values in audio and one of my perennial favorites.

I don’t know if it is the best option for your specific situation where music performance is the absolute top priority, but ZVOX recently introduced a speaker designed to be the perfect companion to tablets and laptops. They say necessity is the mother of invention, but in this case it was the mother that invented the necessity. During the pandemic the president of ZVOX and his family were communicating with his mother over Zoom a great deal since they could not meet in person. The small size and weak performance of tablet and laptop speakers, combined with the less-than-ideal hearing of several parties on both ends of the conversation, meant a lot of straining to hear and repeating oneself until everyone understood what was said. With this came lost time and frustration. This led to the proverbial light bulb going off in the president’s head, with the thought “what if we incorporated our AccuVoice voice-clarifying technology into a small speaker that could also be used for video conferences and Zoom meetings?” And so, the ZVOX AV70 was born.

The small, circular AV70 has 24-hour battery life, AccuVoice voice-clarifying technology, a microphone sensitive enough to pick up 12 people in the room, and a bottom-firing subwoofer. It can be paired via Bluetooth to tablets, phones, and laptops, and even to televisions that have built-in Bluetooth. In terms of music performance, the AV70 sounds good but is not the absolute best-sounding Bluetooth speaker under $100. But if you are watching streaming content or using it for Zoom or other video conference apps, it is truly in a class of its own. It is the only compact Bluetooth speaker with voice-clarifying technology and has been called “a miniature home theater for tablets.” I think that sums it up pretty well, especially if watching with more than one person. I used the AV70 to watch episodes of HBO’s “Rome” with my girlfriend on my iPad Pro, and the added impact from the down-firing subwoofer and the greatly improved dialogue brought the experience to a new level.

The ZVOX AV70 retails for $99.99 and is an excellent value at that price, but until April 17 the code SAVE40 reduces the price to $59.99 with free shipping and a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee.