Just when you thought you couldn’t squeeze any more features into a budget Bluetooth speaker, enter stage left the Yamaha NX-P100. AptX Bluetooth? Check. Built-in mic? Check. NFC? Check. A friendly voice telling you when you’re paired and how much battery life is left? Check.
And the Yamaha isn’t finished there.
The NX-P100 can come to your rescue and charge portable devices using its Type-A USB socket. You can even play music through the speaker from a laptop – all you need to do is run a cable from your computer to its micro-USB socket.
A wired connection isn’t the most practical, but it does allow you to enjoy the sound-quality benefits that come with it: music sounds more solid and refined.
Design and build
All these features are wrapped up in a solid package. The edges and top controls of the speaker are rubberised and Yamaha claims it can also withstand the odd splash of water.
Wrapped in a metal case, the speaker feels robust enough to withstand a few knocks (it’s perforated at the front to let sound out). The P100’s rechargeable battery should hold out for around eight hours, which is about average.
But then all these niceties are pointless if theYamaha proves to be all show and no go.
Play alt-J’s Breezeblocks and you’re waiting for an explosion of energy and life, but it never really arrives. The Yamaha doesn’t express itself as easily as rival speakers. There’s more substance to bass notes than from, say, the Roberts Travel Pad, but it doesn’t sound particularly punchy or solid.
Nor is there the level of the texture or detail in the treble that the best rivals offer. There’s a half-decent level of detail across the board, but not the fully convincing sense of rhythm and togetherness for all the different elements of the track that we’d like to hear.
It’s nice to have all the features the Yamaha provides, but we’d prefer the sonic side of things being brought up to scratch.