Bluetooth audio system are often made for listening to music with, however you can even use them as hands-free speakerphones for calls when linked to your smartphone or pc. Interestingly, the wi-fi speaker I’m reviewing right here works fairly in a different way to mainstream choices, in that it’s not centered 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 Internet-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 palms off your keyboard. It’s meant for use for work calls, whether or not you are at house or on the workplace, and works equally properly with a smartphone or pc. Is this fascinating wi-fi speaker definitely worth the worth? Find out on this overview.
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 refined 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 change and USB Type-C port for charging are on the again.
Some 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 can depart the Beyerdynamic Phonum on standby and take calls with it as they arrive, or flip it on once you want it.
Using 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 energetic. You can even join it to a pc utilizing the included USB Type-C to Type-A cable, which units up a wired connection between the 2 and in addition fees the battery of the Phonum.
The Beyerdynamic Phonum makes use of the corporate’s Gecko microphone know-how, which has three modes of voice monitoring and might detect voices coming from any path across the speaker. You can cycle by the modes when in use, and select the one which fits the aim greatest. Fix mode tracks a single speaker in a hard and fast location; Follow mode directs the monitoring on the energetic 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 is 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 in a position to get round 16-17 hours of battery life in whole, switching between standby mode, taking some telephone calls, and infrequently enjoying music.
Beyerdynamic Phonum efficiency
Unlike a lot of the wi-fi audio system I’ve reviewed, the Beyerdynamic Phonum is firmly centered on the expertise with voice calls. While I did use this speaker for infrequent music listening, I largely had it linked to my iPhone and on standby through the work day, putting and receiving telephone calls as and when wanted. I additionally used it with my MacBook Air for Zoom convention calls on just a few 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. Furthermore, connectivity was secure so long as the telephone remained inside round 3m of the speaker.
I discovered it notably straightforward to make use of the controls; I may look at my smartphone to see who was calling, and rapidly faucet the decision reply button on the Beyerdynamic Phonum to select up with out interrupting my workflow at my house workplace desk. Adjusting the quantity was additionally straightforward, though I did not usually 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 mentioned.
The Gecko microphone system is each bit nearly as good because it sounds, and was in a position to decide up my voice exactly from inside round 60cm from the speaker. Environmental noise cancellation and echo cancellation additionally labored properly to make sure that my voice was picked up clearly. While callers reported that it did sound as if I used to be talking on a hands-free gadget because of the notion of distance between the individual talking and the microphone, my voice was nonetheless clear. Calls weren’t affected by the standard readability points that individuals face when utilizing hands-free units.
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 completely misplaced, and the sub-bass could not actually be heard. It may work for some vocal-centric tracks, however basically, the Phonum is greatest prevented for music listening.
Wired connectivity naturally sounded lots 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 supplied two equaliser modes by its sound settings – Voice and Music – which labored as I anticipated to optimise the equaliser for these functions. The Voice mode gave the mids an affordable push.
Increased dependence on working from house has made for some fascinating improvements within the gadget area, and the Beyerdynamic Phonum is one such gadget. It’s pitched as a speakerphone for calls, and does that very properly whether or not linked utilizing Bluetooth or a USB cable. It may additionally come in useful in a convention room, the place its wonderful Gecko microphone system can optimise voice pickup from any path.
Although costly at round Rs. 25,000, this speakerphone places Beyerdynamic’s experience to good use. It would not sound too good with music, however that basically is not what the Phonum is made for; follow its core performance and you may rapidly develop keen on it, as I’ve.