A Travel Pad sounds like it should come with a free ballpoint pen. But this British purveyor of radios hasn’t delved into the stationery world.
Instead, it’s looking for a slice of the Bluetooth speaker market, and this slender offering looks rather fetching.
The smooth finish of the rubber surround feels nice in-hand, and the fact you can just see the speaker drive-units beneath the main grille keeps your interest up.
The front of the speaker features a battery-level indicator, in the shape of three green lights. There’s also a Bluetooth indicator, which glows blue when the speaker is connected, and a flash of red from the maximum-volume indicator should you hit the ceiling.
There are also buttons for power, volume and going hands-free through the integrated mic. Besides a USB charging-port and an auxiliary input, the Travel Pad also features a lock-switch, a bit like on a mobile phone, so you don’t accidentally turn it on.
The Travel Pad supports standard Bluetooth and aptX, should your handset handle both, and you can tap compatible smartphones on its NFC logo for speedy pairing.
Given the Roberts’ slender stature, it’s not surprising to discover that bass weight isn’t the Travel Pad’s forte. There is a slight lack of body and richness, even compared to similarly slim rivals.
On the plus side, the Travel Pad actually sounds wonderfully clear and open all the way up the frequency range. Play Hozier’s Work Song and his soulful vocal shines through with a fine sense of space. Switch to Royal Blood’s Figure It Out and there’s texture and detail throughout.
The speaker keeps its composure despite the distortion in the main vocal and it keeps a good sense of rhythm for the duration of the track. Roberts is branching out from radios in style.
The Travel Pad has nice touches where features are concerned and although it might not deliver the most bombastic of sounds, it offers enough to hold your interest.
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