Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Groomsman Gift Idea: Bluetooth Speakers #spon

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

This post is written by Pete. For all his posts, check out this link.

Anybody who has the distinct "experience" of knowing me will tell you that I am completely over the top -- to the point of being terribly annoying -- when it comes to playing music and the ever new and novel ways I am always finding to make sure that I can have music playing 24/7 ... in elevators, while walking down the street, you name it. Lisa even says that I have theme songs, or more accurately, a soundtrack, nay, a playlist of songs that when heard by others reminds them of me – case in point – my latest obsession:

For a long time I had several problems -- well actually, I'm action-packed with problems, most of them mental, but for the purposes of this article I'll stick to the ones regarding my music-listening experience. In my search to find a portable way to have a musical backdrop to my entire life, I encountered several problems throughout time. Starting in elementary school and through early high school it was all about big bulky headphones plugged into a Walkman the size of a brick that played cassette tapes. Then from late high school through college, up until mid-2012, it was a portable CD player that consumed AA batteries like a boozebag bum drinks whiskey. I remember spending almost $100 a month on Duracells back in the day. Luckily, my dad bought me rechargeable batteries, which while saving me money, also sucked. I'd get 15 minutes of listening time before I had to recharge them.

This was all well and good at the time because I knew no different, but in hindsight it's obvious that these items were bulky and the music was confined to my own ears by either big doofy and clumsy headphones or tiny ear buds that constantly fell out -- usually when I was on the treadmill at the gym. An ear bud would fall out, which would distract me. And as my attention was focused on getting the ear bud back in my ear, I'd almost get thrown off the treadmill into the person on the treadmill behind me. Ah Christ, and don't get me started about the wires that tethered me to my device. They'd tangle into incomprehensible knots or get caught on people and/or various objects as I walked, yanking the cord out in the middle of my favorite part of the song I was listening to. WORST!

Fast forward to the smart phone era. It wasn't until this period in human technological development that my dream of having a compact, battery-efficient device that was loud enough to blast music to the world for them to share with me began to come true. Now I could store thousands of songs on a device small enough to easily fit in my pocket. But I still had to use headphones and the internal speaker on smart phones are not nearly loud enough for me to hear my music as I'm walking down the street, riding a bike, or at a party. I mean, I could plug a 1/8" chord into my phone and connect my phone to a stereo, but I wasn't about to start carrying a boombox on my shoulder everywhere I went again (yes, again). But eventually, as if the magical mystical forces of the universe had finally sensed my frustration, there was the creation of Bluetooth speakers. As far as I'm concerned this was the single greatest human achievement after the polio vaccine. And the best news of all is that you can get inexpensive Bluetooth speakers, which finally brings me to the topic of today's article: Bluetooth speakers are an awesome idea for a groomsman gift.


Groomsman Gift Idea: Bluetooth Speakers

We currently own five Bluetooth speakers, but there are two in particular that stand out as a great groomsman gift because they're a perfect combination of affordability, convenience, portability, and sound quality. Both are made by Insignia and serve different, and extremely practical, purposes.

The first one is Insignia's Plug-In Bluetooth Speaker. It retails for only $29.99 at Best Buy and has a very well- rounded sound. It doesn't sound "trebly" and cheap like many small speakers can. It's also very compact (it's just under 4" x 4"), which makes for easy transport if you want to bring it with you. My favorite feature is that it plugs right into an outlet to play and charge, which I love because there's no need for a charger and USB cord. When plugged in, it stays almost flush against the wall, making it an inconspicuous source of sound. It's white so it blends into the wall (if yours are white like ours), making it an integrated part of any room. A nice touch is the small rubber strips on the back, which prevent the plastic from leaving any marks on the wall.
Insignia's other speaker is in a class all its own and is unlike any other Bluetooth speaker I've seen. It's the smallest one I've seen, making it very portable. Probably why it is aptly named Portable Bluetooth Speaker. While the plug-in speaker works more as a room fixture, this one is made to be on the go. It retails for only $19.99 from Best Buy, making it very affordable. It's shaped like a teardrop and comes encased in soft silicon that tapers into a hook at the top. This is a fantastic feature because you can basically attach it to anything -- a belt loop, a travel pack, a towel rack, a dog's collar, a necklace, a baby's crib, my grandma's wheelchair, pretty much anywhere. It's also splash-proof so you don't have to worry if you get a little water on it. It's surprisingly loud too!

While most men don't know it, every guy needs a Bluetooth speaker. I found out that once I had one, I couldn't imagine life without one. Guys who think, "Nah, I don't really need a Bluetooth speaker" are dead wrong. You do. Like food, water and shelter. It's one of those things that, while you got along in life just fine without one, you can't imagine how you could ever live without it once you have one.

The benefits are innumerable. Here's my top three: One) They take up minimal real estate on counters, tables, etc. Two) Many of them have amazing sound. I own one that if you didn't know it was a small Bluetooth speaker, you'd swear it sounded like a stereo that was many times larger than the speaker itself. Three) There's no cord. A Bluetooth signal is pretty hardy too. Up to a 30 foot radius for many. This is cool because you can walk around your house with your phone in your pocket without losing the connection. Four) You can have music, podcasts, whatever, playing anywhere. Gone are the days of having dedicated stereo systems that stay in one room.

Some of my favorite locations to bring a Bluetooth speaker are: the bathroom (I don't know about you guys but having The Allman Brothers playing while in the shower is about as good as life gets); the kitchen (we have one of our speakers sitting on top of the fridge so I can have music playing while I cook); the car (I only did this briefly when my car stereo broke; vacation (this is one of my favorites in particular, mostly because I can have The Allman Brothers playing in the hotel bathroom while I shower. I actually did this last month when Lisa and I went to Japan); the beach (hands down, you gotta  have music at the beach while you hang out on the sand or you might as well go home and come back when you have a Bluetooth speaker. Not only is it a space saver, but many of them afford you a good amount of volume so you can hear your music over the sounds of the ocean).

While I firmly believe that a Bluetooth speaker is an awesome and budget-friendly groomsman gift idea, Lisa and I felt that there was something missing, like we needed something else to go with it – a "jelly" for the Bluetooth's "peanut butter" if you will. Then BOOM! BANG! SMASH! POW! It hit me -- an Amazon gift card that your groomsmen can use to buy some new songs to play out of thir Bluetooth speakers. What a thoughtful compliment. You can put as much, or as little, money you want on the card. Plus, this design even allows you to add an image of what you think the groomsmen should get with the card, so you can add a picture of music to explain why the card goes with the speaker. You can have the gift cards emailed to you, then just print it out and attach it to the thank you card. And Amazon is better than iTunes because you don't know if your groomsmen have iPhones or Andriod phones.

So go ahead fellas, trust me and do this. There are plenty of super affordable Bluetooth speakers out there that are less than what I paid for the travel mugs I gave as a groomsman gift. Pick a speaker up for yourself too, if you don't have one. Once you get a Bluetooth speaker and start discovering all of conveniences it provides, you'll be saying to yourself, "Man, I don't know how I lived this long without one!"

BRIDAL BABBLE: What do you think about giving Bluetooth speakers as a groomsman gift?

1 comment:

  1. I love my bluetooth speakers!! These would be amazing to get as a gift, I use mine to listen to music while cleaning the house.