By Ross Werland, Tribune Newspapers
7:28 PM EST, December 5, 2012
Name: Geneva Sound System Model XS
What it is: High-end travel speakers (a woofer, two tweeters), an FM radio and an alarm clock that fold into an upright position like a retro travel alarm — an attractive one — with a clamshell case.
The good: Being painfully cheap but appreciating my music on the road, I do carry an acceptable portable speaker for my cellphone and MP3 player, but this is a game-changer. It's now on my birthday gift list. For anyone accustomed to the shallow, often tinny sound of many travel speakers, this will blow you away. The bass is rich; the higher pitches are true, and at 1 pound and about the size of a fat paperback novel, it's still compact enough to carry even if you're avoiding checked bags. This is the first travel-speaker system I've tried that was capable of being too loud. Plus you have the benefit of FM radio and a travel alarm. But the rich sound is why you would spend the money. It's almost like Sinatra and Nelson Riddle were there in the bed-and-breakfast with me. This has Bluetooth wireless capability, with a range of about 30 feet, and a short cable is provided for non-Bluetooth devices. The rechargeable internal battery makes it fully portable.
The bad: If you're at all like me and read directions only after pushing every available button, you might coax the box into a "mind-of-its-own" moment, where it hesitated and blinked for a bit, apparently trying to figure out what the heck I was trying to do. I just turned it off and started over.
Cost: List is $250, but shop.
Available from: genevalab.com, amazon.com and crutchfield.com (where it was $200 at press time).
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