BlueAnt's M1 Bluetooth speakers boast up to 10 hours of listening time, 28 watts of power, and a bass-boosting feature. Add a sleek design, and suddenly everyone's checking out your speakers. Unfortunately, the M1 doesn't sound quite as good as it looks.
Make no mistake, the 2.5-pound M1 is a looker. A black metal grille wraps around the front and top of the unit. A big brushed metal-looking volume knob sits off to the right, surrounded by playback control buttons encircled by a thin, brushed metal ring and blinking Bluetooth LED. It was tricky to hit the Play/Pause button at the 12 o'clock position on the playback controls without grazing the volume knob. The M1 comes with a neoprene carrying case with holes in the back for the subwoofer, line-in cord and power adapter. Unlike many other Bluetooth speakers, the M1 does not have speakerphone capabilities.
When we paired the 28-watt speakers with ourBlackBerry Curve 8330and selected The Hold Steady's "Chillout Tent," we were dismayed. While the kicking bass was thick and distinguished, it wasn't as crisp as that of the Altec Lansing inMotion SoundBlade. The bass booster added to the low-end sound, but it caused distortion at medium volume levels. Turning off the bass boost resulted in less distortion in all sound ranges but also less oomph overall.
When we connected the M1 to our phone with the included 3.5mm cable, our tracks sounded much better. The bass boost centered the vocals on Eddie Vedder's "Hard Sun," and the sound was crisp and clear and more on a par with the SoundBlade. The low range didn't overpower the highs, and the highs sounded full, not tinny.
While we like the BlueAnt M1's style, we wish the audio quality over Bluetooth sounded was better and that it had speakerphone capabilities. If you're looking for a Bluetooth speaker strictly to listen to music, the M1 will get the job done. But at $70 less, almost a full pound lighter, and with speakerphone capability, the Altec Lansing inMotion SoundBlade is the better choice.