Back again with another Groov-e product and this time it’s the ‘Aura’. The Aura is a wireless charger, Bluetooth speaker, desktop lamp combo, which is quite a lot. I’m intrigued to see if Groov-e has managed to deliver on all three parts, or whether only one or two are worthwhile.
Within the box, you get the speaker itself, its associated power adapter and some instructions. Unboxing it for the first time, I am initially impressed with what the Aura looks like. I like it’s modern, minimalist design and it’s quirky, this is not your traditional side table lamp.
The Aura is available in both a white or black finish and in both instances, the charging section comes in a wood effect. It’s not real wood, it’s in fact plastic and it’s been covered. It’s never easy to simulate the look and feel of a wood finish but it’s ok.
The overall shape is similar to a basket, with a handle and I was initially drawn to carrying it around like a picnic basket. The base has ridge extrusions around the sides, with perforated sections to the front for the speakers. There are four separate push buttons to control the speaker and the power inlet is to the rear. either side and rising up is that handle I’ve spoken about, which includes a LED strip within it, covered by a frosted diffuser. To the top and on that wood effect section, is a circular rubber section, which is where you need to place your Qi device for charging.
The Aura offerings wireless charging with a maximum output of 5watts, it has a 7watt speaker with Bluetooth ONLY connection (no aux) and a touch-controlled LED light with three different output levels.
As a speaker, its performance is disappointing. The 7watt system lacks power, clarity and vibrancy. It loses its quality at the higher volumes and the bass is something to be desired. That being said, it works, it’s got Bluetooth connectivity and I put it on for a few hours while in the kitchen as a bit of background music and it was fine. Anything more than background music and this isn’t for you.
As for a wireless charging platform, it’s easy to use and it works well. All you need to do is to place your Qi-enabled device on the circle and it will begin to charge. Total output is just 5watts, which is 10watts less than the Hyper X ChargePlay Base I just checked out so it’s not that fastest at charging but it adequately charged my phone overnight from 0 to 100%.
As for a light source, I loved it. I’m not sure what the wattage of the LED strip is, or the colour temperature (coolish, say 4000k+) but it offers a nice distribution of light onto the desk below. There is very little light spread upwards, it’s mostly onto the desk or the areas in front or behind. The light is touch-controlled, so tap anywhere on the handle section and the light will turn on, tap again to increase brightness, tap one more time for the highest brightness. The touch control worked really well and it has yet to fail to register a touch. Each of the three elements can be used individually or together.
As a lamp, I love it. As a wireless charging point, it’s handy and it works well. As a speaker, it’s functional but not great. It’s available now and it retails at £44.99. Head over to the official Groov-e website for more information.