The Gadget: The Cygnett GrooveTune Portable speakerThe Price: RRP is $49.95, although it wouldn't surprise me if you could find it for a bit less. The Verdict: This is one seriously loud little speaker. For its size, you probably won't find a comparable product, at least in terms of volume.
It is an incredibly simple product - a single speaker with a single 3.5mm audio jack and a single on/off switch. No volume, no iPod dock, no stereo. The 3.5mm jack slips into a slim grove around the circular speaker's circumference for storage, and there's a wriststrap for carrying the speaker around with you.
The GrooveTune runs on 3 AAA batteries, which fit in the bottom of the speaker - if you can get it open without breaking it. After getting the review unit open, the speaker developed an annoying rattle, like I'd snapped off a part of the internal circuitry and it was flying around the inside of the speaker looking to escape. That didn't effect the volume though, that's for sure.
Sound quality from the single speaker is pretty damned decent, considering its size and weight. At maximum volume from my iPhone, only bass-heavy tracks like Muse's Stockholm Syndrome really started distorting - track's like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles seemed distortion free. But even distorted, the sound was decent enough to listen to - some speakers I've heard you simply have to turn down the blow out in the bass is so bad.
For $50, I probably wouldn't pick up the GrooveTune myself - it's probably just a bit too expensive for a mono speaker, especially when you see that the US get the same product for $US20. If it were 20 bucks cheaper, I reckon it would be a must have for anybody looking for a cheap portable speaker, but it's not, so you need to decide if it's worth $50 to you.