Join the Bluetooth revolution and step into a whole new world
We explored Bluetooth guitar amps in our “4 of the Best Bluetooth Amps” article, but what about everyone else? Tech has come on in leaps and bounds, so we’ve compiled some gear that we reckon will inspire you to step into the world of wireless.
Redwood UK5BT Bluetooth Ukulele Amplifier
When you think cutting-edge Bluetooth amp, we’ll forgive you for not immediately making the connection with ukulele. However, the team at Redwood went for it and built the awesome UK5BT Bluetooth Ukulele Amplifier. Portable and surprisingly powerful for its size, this little beauty boasts 10-watts of out power, which makes it ideal for practising with and indulging in intimate performances. The stylish wooden cabinet is paired with a woven cloth speaker cover, whilst a robust leather strap completes the vintage look. If you fancy playing along to a backing track or simply kicking back and listening to some tunes, connect your smart device via Bluetooth and let technology do the rest.
We’ve got this down as a solid contender for festival accessory of the year. Picture it now, all those budding Eddie Vedder-types sitting around a camp fire, ukulele in hand, singing renditions of (insert most popular tune of the time here) and then busting out some tunes on the Redwood UK5BT Bluetooth Ukulele Amplifier. Summer feels.
V-Moda Remix Bluetooth Speaker
Second on our list is the unapologetically cool V-MODA REMIX Bluetooth Speaker. Boasting two world first’s – full surface 3D printed custom product AND Bluetooth speaker with built-in headphone amplifier -, the REMIX is perfect for audiophiles at home or on the go. What better partner for your V-MODA headphones than a dedicated headphone amp when you fancy a little me time?
Lightweight and luxurious, the REMIX has enough going on to prove that it isn’t just a pretty face. Intricately engineered internal parts maximise sound quality, from glass fibre dual-drivers for a defined midrange and articulate highs to the passive bass reflector for thumping basslines.
V-MODA sought to make the REMIX future-proof, so you can safely charge the speaker using a standard USB-A to USB-C cable (but they’ve included their own custom one in the box anyway). A single charge provides a whopping 10+ hours of playback! You can wander away from the unit up to an impressive 10 metres (30 feet) and it is capable of pairing with two sources simultaneously.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the V-MODA REMIX Bluetooth Speaker even plays well with others when it comes to Amazon’s Echo Dot, Siri, Google Now, and Skype. Seriously cool, seriously functional, and seriously smart.
Mackie Freeplay PA Systems
From personal portable use to wowing adoring fans on the stage, there’s a Mackie FreePlay Bluetooth System to suit anyone and everyone’s needs including: “GO”, “HOME”, and “LIVE”. As you might have already guessed GO is the portable one, HOME is suited to home use, and LIVE is for those taking to the stage. Clever stuff.
In all seriousness though, Mackie are absolute legends when it comes to anything that turn their hand to, and the engineers have done us proud. Across the range, each FreePlay speaker delivers exceptional audio quality with mightily impressive bass response and generous headroom for tremendous clarity. All three FreePlay speakers boasts built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with up to 15 hours battery life. With the GO and HOME models you can use them as a power bank to charge a phone or a tablet too (including your friend’s if you’re feeling generous).
Obviously, the LIVE packs extra features that go above and beyond the GO and HOME. You’ll find dual 1/4-inch/XLR combo inputs for guitars, mics, keyboards, etc. There’s a 1/4-inch balanced monitor out for sending your mix to another power speaker or mixer, and an 1/8-inch aux input for connecting additional audio sources. Whether you’re busking or gigging, the FreePlay LIVE gets the job done without any fuss. With 150-Watts to play with, it produces room-filling sound with ease. You can even mount it onto a mic stand (I know right?!).
Get the Mackie Connect App on the go for iOS and Android, and you can control levels via your smart device. We know, its pretty awesome, right?
Keep on rockin’ with a FreePlay!
QTX QRPA 2-way PA Speaker with Bluetooth and Wireless Microphones
For those who take their busking and live performances seriously – but are also mindful of budget -, check out the QTX QRPA 2-Way PA Speaker with Bluetooth and Wireless Microphones – say that in hurry. Thankfully, the system itself is easier to use than it is to say that mouthful.
There are 100-watts of power to play with thanks to a highly efficient amp for emphatic performances to be delivered with gusto. The QRPA boasts Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream backing tracks directly from your smart device or laptop. QTX have included a VFF wireless microphone, which allows you to sing or speak alongside your backing track of choice. If you fancy making your own music, then the rear panel is host to a selection of connections that include mic/line combo inputs, perfect for all you budding troubadours craving some amplification. Independent volume controls for each input and 3-band EQ controls allow you to keep on top of your mix, so there’s no need for a sound engineer.
The champs at QTX have even gone so far as to spare your back from doing any of the hard work. A built-in extendable handle and a pair of wheels allows you to get from A to B without any heavy lifting required. Result!
Wster Bluetooth Microphone with Party Lights
We know what you’re thinking but hear us out. At first glance a lad in our office thought the same thing you’re probably thinking about the Wster Bluetooth Microphone with Party Lights. However, after road-testing one (by road-testing we mean winding up his partner as she was wrapping Christmas presents), he was won over. Even if just for the sheer joy of crooning along to your favourite tunes with your own private disco thrown in, this little beauty is absolutely fantastic.
Connect to your laptop or smartphone via Bluetooth and let the good times roll. There’s a built-in sliding switch that adds a touch of reverb, another button allows you to change the pitch of your voice from sounding link a chipmunk to recreating the dulcet tones of a certain disco/soul singer from yesteryear.
Once you’ve run out of battery, simply connect the included USB cable, charge it up and keep the party going!
That’s a wrap
And there we have it, a selection of amps for all occasions and a microphone that will set any party off.
Quick recap of products that we covered:
- UK5BT Bluetooth Ukulele Amplifier
- V-MODA REMIX Bluetooth Speaker
- Mackie FreePlay GO
- Mackie FreePlay HOME
- Mackie FreePlay LIVE
- QTX QRPA 2-Way PA Speaker with Bluetooth and Wireless Microphones
- Wster Bluetooth Microphone with Party Lights
Jon is a multi-instrumentalist with a passion for inspiring others to get involved in making music. After spending many years playing venues here, there and – pretty much – everywhere, he joined the Dawsons’ Music Web Team before progressing into his current role managing the Dawsons Blog.