I was interested in the SpeeCup for review because the email soliciting a review claimed that it fits into water bottle cage. It turns out it does just that, but that is perhaps the least of its features, and the one I used the most rarely.
The SpeeCup is more than just a cup-shaped speaker. iCreation, SpeeCup’s manufacturer says it quite clearly: “speeCup is a Siri/S Voice Activated Portable Bluetooth Surround Sound Speaker with gesture control.” Not included in that description is the full-duplex speaker phone, an audio out port, and a rechargeable battery good for at least 20 hours of continuous use.
Out of all the products I’ve reviewed this year, the SpeeCup has been used more than any other. From early morning NPR news via a cell phone app and evening Pandora sessions while making dinner, to cargo bike entertainment and road trip boredom fighter, this little electronic device has been a constant companion.
Obviously the main feature is the Bluetooth speaker, and it does a fine job with music and news. It doesn’t get overwhelmingly loud, and with the windows down on the highway in my truck the sound could be overwhelmed with ambient noise, but everywhere else it get a thumbs up. I had no issues pairing the speaker to my phone, but my laptop needed a few tries to get it to sync up. I rarely used it with my laptop, so it wasn’t a huge issue to me.
The controls on top of the SpeeCup handles most of the basics of listening to audio or answering phone calls. The speaker phone worked well, even in the loud confines of my truck, much better than the speakerphone function on my cell.
I’m also lacking anything other than an AM/FM radio in my pickup, so the SpeeCup often when right from the kitchen counter to the cup holder, where the controls on top of the speaker were much safer to use than messing with a cell phone screen while driving. The gesture control (once I figured out how to turn it on) made it easy to skip songs and adjust the volume without fumbling for buttons.
The SpeeCup went on a few bike trips with me, but I rarely used it while riding, as the sound was carried away when at speed, and I’m not down with cranking up the volume until everyone around me can here The Moth Radio Hour or Bill Callahan. Neither of those do well at excessive volume anyway.
The hard plastic body of the speaker rattled in the bottle cage, so I cut the bottom out of Yakima Racks 35th anniversary coozie and slipped it over the body. This stopped the rattle and, to my ears, improved the sound so I’ve left it in place. I discovered iCreation sells a similar coozie, but it doesn’t cover up the speaker ports. It does go for rides with the kids on the cargo bike where I already seem to be a spectacle, but it is left at home on solo rides.
The last feature I used once in a while was the audio out port. While it could be used with headphones, if was better suited to connecting my phone to a bigger set of speakers while keeping my phone in my pocket.
You get a choice of white, black or red speakers for you $129. There are less expensive speakers out there, and speakers with better sound quality, but few if any with better sound or a better set of controls. I never expected to use this as much as I have, and certainly never expected to have it work its way into my daily routine. I’m not giving this one up, but you can get your own at www.speecup.com.Tweet Print