A powerful, functional portable speaker for notebooks, iPods and other MP3 players.
- Slim design, easily transported, SDHC slot, good battery life
- No control screen, heavy weight, distortion present at higher volumes
If you are looking for a volume boost over your iPod or laptop's integrated speakers, the Fiio S3 is very capable portable speaker. It will output acceptable quality sound except at high volumes.
Price$ 59.90 (AUD)
The Fiio S3 is a portable speaker that is easy to transport and it provides a welcome volume boost to the internal speakers of laptops, iPods and other MP3 players.
This portable speaker is only available in a scratch-resistant matte white finish, the Fiio S3 is nothing special to look at. The utilitarian theme continues with the top-mounted buttons which are simply labelled with the appropriate symbols. In addition there is an SD/MMC slot, which allows playback of WMA and MP3 files natively and supports a card size of up to 16GB.
Despite its boring looks the speaker is quite capable — if nothing special. Two 40mm 1.2 Watt drivers pump out well-rounded sound and are able to reach reasonable volumes before distorting. The sound created has strong treble and acceptable levels of mid-range, but no bass to speak of. We preferred it over the integrated speakers of our Dell Inspiron Mini 9, while the volume advantage over an Apple iPod touch (2nd Generation) is noticeable.
The MP3 playback feature is well-implemented. Its simplicity will either impress or frustrate, though; apart from the play/pause button, only forward and reverse track skipping buttons are available. MP3s of all bit-rates are playable, though higher bit-rates will be wasted on the mediocre speakers. However, a headphone output means these can be listened to on headphones.
The S3 lasted just over eight hours playing music at what we deemed the maximum non-distorting volume — this is an impressive achievement considering that it runs on two AA alkaline batteries. Alternatively the speaker can be connected to USB for direct power.
One complaint may be that the speaker is too heavy — the addition of two AA batteries does give the S3 a significantly 'hefty' feel.
Despite its shortcomings, the low cost of the S3 makes it an attractive option for those wishing to access high-volume audio on the move. Its advantages over integrated laptop audio and an iPod's speaker are even more palpable considering its price advantages over similar devices like the Altec Lansing orbit MP3 (IM237).
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- Sony shows latest high-end Walkman
- Sydney Airport lost property auction: you'll be amazed at what some people left behind
- The iPod classic plays its last
- Apple iPod Touch pricing slashed by up to 25 per cent in Australia
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTUX Design LeadNSW
- FTAX Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCContract Junior Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/XML) 161018/JP/922Asia
- FTSenior Consultant Commercial PricingVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst - PIMAsia
- CCDigital Solutions ManagerNSW
- CCContract Senior Systems Analyst (Oracle/SSADM) 161027/SSA/634Asia
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTHands-on Service Desk Team LeadNSW
- FTSenior Architect | Perl | Linux |MySQL | Infrastructure | TelecomNSW
- CCField EngineerVIC
- CCQlikview DeveloperNSW
- CCOracle Functional Consultant | 6mth ContractVIC
- FTDelivery LeadNSW
- CCStrategy AnalystVIC
- CC.Net DeveloperWA
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (Oracle/PL/SQL) 160930/AP/vtdAsia
- CCSitecore DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Manager - ANZNSW
- FTJava Script, Frontend Developer- DynamoDB or MongoDBNSW
- FTProduct ManagerVIC
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- FTSalesforce Subject Matter ExpertNSW