Bluetooth speakers are an excellent option for people who are happy to leverage the power of digital radio to tune into their favourite music.
With a Bluetooth speaker and an app on your smartphone, you can access countless stations in seconds – all without having to worry about using a tuner.
VQ, one of the leaders in retro radio design for people on a budget, have dipped their toes into the portable Bluetooth speaker market recently, as part of a collaboration with the Joules Albany brand.
The resulting product is a portable retro radio Bluetooth device that combines simplicity and function with good sound quality at this price point.
The question is, does the VQ Albany perform as well as some of the alternative portable listening options on the market today?
Here’s your complete review of the VQ radio Albany Bluetooth speaker.
VQ Albany Bluetooth speaker: Design and build
The VQ Albany fits perfectly with the range of retro radio products offered by VQ.
The system can connect automatically with listening software like Spotify and Apple Music so that you can find your favourite stations in seconds.
What’s more, this portable Bluetooth speaker also comes with a built-in microphone so you can take calls and respond to your friends hands-free.
What really makes the VQ Albany stand out, however, is it’s unique design.
You’ve probably noticed the stylish products in the VQ portfolio in other areas, like the VQ Christie and the Hepburn.
That same respect for aesthetic appeal has gone into the creation of the VQ Albany, which was designed with state-of-the-art fabrics throughout.
Customers have the option to choose between two exclusive designs by Joules Albany, each with its own unique floral appeal. This is the kind of portable speaker that’s designed to capture attention not just with sensational sound quality, but with bold design choices too.
For functionality, the design includes a Micro USB so you can charge your phone through your Bluetooth speaker, as well as a rechargeable lithium ion battery.
There’s also a 3.5mm aux-in port so you can connect your speaker to other radio devices for extra sound or connect a set of headphones for private listening.
VQ Albany Bluetooth speaker: Features
The biggest downside of the VQ Albany retro radio Bluetooth speaker is that it doesn’t come with any conventional radio listening options.
VQ includes the Albany in their radio portfolio, probably because you can easily connect the tool to various internet radio stations and apps via Bluetooth. However, there are no tuning options to find DAB and FM stations on your own.
On the plus side, you’re still getting a very attractive product that can play radio if you have the right apps installed on your smartphone. This might be a good choice for someone who likes listening to the BBC Radio app on their phone but wants a bit more volume when they’re in the garden or out and about.
For less than £50, the VQ Albany delivers features like:
- A huge battery capable of lasting 36 hours between charges
- Built-in lithium ion battery made with high-quality materials
- Premium support and service from the VQ brand
- Dual ultra-wide full range speakers
- Aux-in for wired connections
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Premium fabrics throughout
- Exclusive design choices
- Built-in microphone for calling
- Micro USB charging
- 5 watts of power
If you don’t mind fiddling around with smartphone apps to access the radio channels and other music options that you want, then the VQ Albany could be a good alternative to other portable Bluetooth speaker options on the market.
That’s particularly true for anyone who loves to show off their sense of style when they’re on the move.
VQ Albany Bluetooth speaker: Performance
The VQ Albany suffers in one respect when it comes to performance. This product isn’t designed to deliver exceptional usability and simplicity to customers.
Although you can get some relatively high-quality sound from your portable Bluetooth speaker from VQ, it’s difficult to set up the connections that you want when you’re trying to find your favourite radio channels.
We think that this particular product would be a lot better if it included some of the traditional digital radio options included with other portable designs from VQ radio.
On the plus side, you do get a fantastic battery life, which can be hard to find with some Bluetooth speaker choices. Additionally, sound quality is surprisingly good for such a compact product.
The dual ultra-wide full range stereo speakers make sure you’re going to get a decent experience.
VQ Albany Bluetooth speaker: Verdict
If you’re looking for a dedicated Bluetooth retro radio, then the VQ Albany isn’t it.
If, however, you need a portable Bluetooth speaker that works with radio applications and devices while giving you some excellent style, then you can find what you need right here.
This retro radio style speaker is brimming with great functionality, as well as a fantastic high-quality battery, and plenty of style too. We just wish it was easier to get radio set up.
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