The Motorola EQ5 is the gadget we've been carrying around with us to show our non-techie friends how cool Bluetooth can be. This tiny Bluetooth speaker is about the same size as ourBlackBerry Curve 8330, making it ridiculously easy to tote in a pocket or purse. It delivers enough volume for a cubicle, small kitchen, or hotel room, and it works almost instantly after the initial pairing, whether you want to use the EQ5 for rocking out or making calls.
At 4.6 x 2.6 x 0.6 inches and a mere 3.5 ounces, the EQ5 sports a miniature design and sleek look. Two speakers flank the Motorola logo along with an indicator light and the volume and playback controls in the center of the unit. On top is the call answer and end button, and the bottom has the sliding power switch. A small wire kickstand pops out from the back of the unit. On the left side behind a rubberized cap is a micro-USB charging port. A 3.5mm line-in jack resides behind another rubberized cap on the right side, with the microphone sitting above it.
Pairing the EQ5 with our BlackBerry via Bluetooth was quick and painless. As a speakerphone, the EQ5 is fantastic. We could easily hear our test caller, who said the speakerphone sounded clearer and crisper than our regular cell phone. Music sounded very good, especially considering the speakers' size. The EQ5's 1-watt-per-channel speakers are a big step up from your cell phone's internal speaker and even some smaller internal laptop speakers. Although mid- and low-range sounds were clean and strong, we noticed distortion at maximum volume, especially during the plucked acoustic guitar intro on "Citrus" by The Hold Steady.
The EQ5's inclusion of a 3.5mm line-in jack and cable opened up our entire iPod catalog--not just the music on our BlackBerry--to mobile music blasting. What made it even better was how crisp and clear the music sounded through the line-in jack, no matter what the volume level. Overall, we were far more impressed with the sound quality via the line-in versus the Bluetooth connection.
The EQ5 is rated to last 8 hours on its rechargeable battery. We didn't need to recharge it until after four days of occasional listening.
The EQ5 won't replace your iPod dock, but it's not meant to. We recommend it for listening to tunes on the go through your cell phone and for giving an audio boost to your laptop. Although we wish it were a little less expensive, the $107 EQ5 stands out with its easy portability, generous battery life, and excellent speakerphone.