Bayan Audio Soundbook: Wireless Audio Dynamite


I’ve seen more wireless music docks than I’ve had fish suppers, and I don’t think that my lifelong vegetarianism detracts from that statistic. Some, dare I say most, ellict a certain sense of ennui, but even I was excited to hear about the release of the Bayan Audio Soundbook – a small speaker powerhouse that brings something new to the table.

The 15W speaker uses aptX audio compression so the sound quality if far more detailed than certain larger speakers I’ve come across, with a decent level of bass as well. There’s also TDMA noise rejection to eliminate interference from other nearby electrical equipment.

The Soundbook is quite compact and designed to be neatly tucked into a bag and pulled out during picnics or camping trips. However it can also be used in the boardroom as there is an integrated microphone that allows for hands free conference calling (I’ve only ever done hands free conference calling in a board room).

The ballistic nylon cover also doubles as a stand and comes in Silver/Turquoise or Charcoal/Burnt Orange. But the cover also triples as an on/off switch so you simple close to preserve battery life and “open to play”.

The Soundbook uses Bluetooth 4.0, so can deliver 10 hours of streaming wireless music on a single charge. The Soundbook also has NFC paring so all the non-iPhone owning smartphone users can revel in one-tap ease of use. Of course AirPlay would be nice but the Apple-only streaming technology literally carries a premium.

The Soundbook also has an integrated FM radio with an invisible aerial. I grew up on Radio 4 so have a soft spot for the radio and am glad it’s included. DAB would be nice but if you’re pairing with a smartphone, you have access to most digital radio shows away.

Soundbook from Bayan Audio will be priced at £149.99 including VAT and will be available to buy at from 7th July 2013.

Bayan Audio’s SteamPort Universal: Another Step Towards a Wireless World


For the past ten years or so we have been able to carry around our entire record collection thanks to the digital music revolution. Whether it is an MP3 player, smartphone or similar mobile device, most of us now have the ability to listen to any song, anywhere, on demand.

While this has its advantages on the commute to work, travelling in the car or even at the gym, being able to listen to our favourite tracks at home relies on existing technology. One of the first MP3 solutions was via a humble cassette with an auxiliary lead, and then we turned out attention to a 3.5mm jack with 2 phono connections. However, nobody likes wires, they look untidy, get tangled up and take an eternity to unravel.

Another problem with plugging in your smartphone is that if you want to send a text, browse the Internet or play the latest version of Angry Birds, you are virtually attached to your stereo system. One of the best things about mobile devices is that they are able to deal with all manner of tasks, yet a physical wire renders all interaction inconvenient and irritating. It is like when remote control cars were on wires, unless you were prepared to run alongside it, you could only go so fast and so far.

Apart from the holy grail of wireless charging, we have pretty much achieved a world without cables with Bayan Audio now seemingly solving yet another common problem.

StreamPort Universal is a Bluetooth enabled audio receiver that plugs into any stereo system and connects to a compatible device wirelessly. Therefore all you need to do is plug in the StreamPort Universal to any sound system with a 3.5mm jack or RCA input, pair your MP3 player, smartphone, tablet, laptop or any other Bluetooth device, select the music, audiobook or radio station you desire and enjoy life with less wires. Simple.

The receiver is also the first of its kind with NFC, an increasing common smartphone feature and possibly included just in case future devices decide to ditch Bluetooth. Anyone remember infrared?

This pocket-sized device’s 10-metre range is more than enough for listening to music around the home and its integrated high quality digital to analogue converter enables high quality near-CD quality audio.

The StreamPort Universal costs £59.99 but if you enjoy all the trappings and freedom a smartphone offers, this is a small price to pay.