Published on March 16th, 2014 | by Greg0
ZAGG Origin: A Wireless Speaker Duo With Chops
A lot of companies think they can simply hop into a space, take some marketing chops and perhaps a clever name and make a new product in a new category work. But there is a reason that many audio companies are focused on audio, and haven’t tried to make televisions, or smartphones. And few firms can actually make Bluetooth speakers that offer anything new or interesting in the crowded space.
Which is why it was all the more surprising to have great things to say about a company primarily known for their mobile accessories, and the ZAGG Origin 2-in-1 Bluetooth Speaker. It’s an interesting combination, a small and portable speaker that can dock itself into a larger model with bigger sound and more bass. The smaller one is battery-powered and recharges automatically when docked. And it’s barely noticeable when tucked away on the rear of the unit.
We’ve used a variety of ZAGG products, from screen protectors to mobile cases. And they’ve always been solid. The Origin is no different, even if it doesn’t have much visual flair. The angled design is distinctive though, and the silvery gray goes with just about everything. Included in the box are not only the speakers, power cable plus 3.5mm auxiliary cord, but also a handy remote. There are controls on the speaker as well, though, well hidden. And there is a USB port for you to charge a device while playing.
The small speaker isn’t waterproof, but offers a very impressive 15 hours of battery life- a bit less in our tests at higher volumes using wireless. The base unit offers a dedicated subwoofer alongside dual tweeters and dual midrange speakers as well, though the portable unit has just the two full-range drivers. Both units sound on-par for similar-sized Bluetooth speakers, punching about this price range and with plenty of power. The portable speaker won’t cut it outdoors at a picnic really, but is perfect for use in the bathroom or kitchen or garage. And the larger speaker sounded great, balanced, with minimal distortion and only a slightly boosted, bright character, ideal for pop and rock. Acoustic music was crisp, with strong vocals and good higher range sound. Audiophiles might not be wowed, but gadget lovers who could use a rechargeable speaker and a larger one will appreciate this combo- they fit together nicely, offer solid sound performance, with great battery life and a clean look and feel. The ZAGG Origin is clever and unique, and well worth the $175 price tag, online and in stores.