I’ve said it before and ill say it again, the Urbanista Melbourne is still my go-to portable speaker. It’s not perfect but weighing up the size, performance and cost, it’s a winner for me. Ubranista have now released two new speakers, the aptly named Sydney and Brisbane. We got sent both to try out but first up, we look at the Sydney.
The Sydney is a tiny portable speaker, smaller than the Melbourne and it sat perfectly in the palm of my hand. It comes in four different colours, camo green, pink, white and black. The speaker is constructed from plastic and has a mesh wrapped around four sides, with the other two sides being solid plastic. There are four buttons to the top of the speaker, on/off, Bluetooth and plus/minus (volume/track etc). To the right-hand side and behind a small rubber cover, is the micro USB port for charging and a 3.5mm jack, in case you wanted a hard-wired connection. There are also two small rubber feet to the underside, adding that little bit of support when on a flat smooth surface. Compact, lightweight, subtle branding and functional.
The Sydney offers a total playtime of up to 5 hours, it’s water-resistant IPX5, has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and retails at £34.90. It has a single 40mm driver, with a total output of 3watts but two of the same speaker can be paired together to offer a stereo solution.
Set up was very straight forward for a single speaker, it’s like any other Bluetooth device. When you want to pair two together to form a stereo set up, you need to hold both Bluetooth buttons simultaneously and the two will pair. Set up and controls are detailed in the instructions, plus there are various beeps and indicator lights to assist in the setup.
Overall audio performance was good for just one speaker and it was of the level I was expecting. It’s relatively loud, it’s clear but it does lack in the low end and quality does drop off at louder volumes. That being said pair two together and it’s a totally different experience.
Stereo sound is not a new thing by any means but you usually only have one Bluetooth speaker when out and about. You don’t usually want to carry two around but in this instance, you really should. They compliment each other well, the system becomes louder and it was easy to identify specific musical notes from the left or right channels. It was as if I hadn’t heard audio in stereo form before! Although the experience improved, the system still lacked bass and felt I couldn’t push them as hard as I wanted.
I’d agree with the battery life, I depleted the battery completely a couple of times during a week in the office. It took just over an hour to fully charge and yes, you can use the speaker while it’s charging.
With all factors considered, the Sydney is a great little speaker. It’s affordable, it’s very very portable, the stereo pairing is fantastic and the audio quality is more than enough for most situations. For those wanting a little more, I imagine the larger Brisbane speaker may be for you. Watch this space for that review in the near future.
For more info, head over to the official Urbanista Sydney webpage.