Fugoo Style Bluetooth speaker review: wireless audio never sounded so good

There’s hardly a home or office that doesn’t have at least one wireless Bluetooth speaker these days. (Or is that just me? Do non-tech bloggers have 4 portable wireless speakers?) Portable wireless audio has become the standard for listening to music in the home. There are larger more sophisticated versions like Sonos or Bose, but there are also many choices when it comes to smaller more portable speakers. Fugoo Style is one of those speakers. But how well does it perform and is it worth the price?

Features of Fugoo Style wireless speaker

Fugoo makes a variety of Bluetooth speakers in varying sizes, different levels of portability and several styles. The Style speaker is one of the chicest, but its good looks conceal a tough and durable interior. Fugoo says the speaker has a “fiber-reinforced resin shell and waterproof cloth covering that gives this speaker the protection it needs to last long past cocktail hour.”

The speaker is about the size of a small clutch purse or a portable coffee mug, and though it’s lightweight, it doesn’t feel cheap; it feels like it has some durability and heft behind it. it has a built in speakerphone and connects with Siri or Google Now.

It also has a changeable jacket, which is removed by pushing a release tab on the base. Without its skin, it looks very industrial, and still cool. Keeping the jacket on provides some measure of water or spill protection, so it’s probably best kept on.

Setting up Fugoo Style is easy

Setting up the Fugoo speaker couldn’t have been simpler; the first time you’ll turn it on, head to your device’s Bluetooth menu, and click on the speaker, which should have appeared in the Bluetooth devices list.  If not, you can touch the Bluetooth button next to the speaker’s power button and it should pop right up accompanied by a helpful and suave sounding male digital assistant’s voice.  I was connected and playing music in about 10 seconds. I love devices where set up is simple and flawless, so Fugoo gets high marks for this.

Fugoo Style Sound quality & volumeFugoo style poetable wireless bluetooth speaker

It can be hard to find good quality sound in a small Bluetooth speaker.  Fortunately the Fugoo Style sounded great from the get-go. The device, thought it looks like a single speaker, actually hides 4 speakers inside its housing; two in each face and two others in the ends.

Fugoo says, “the FUGOO Portable Bluetooth Speaker has six symmetrically-placed drivers. The two tweeters deliver clean highs, two mid/sub drivers give midrange punch, and two passive radiators help bring out a full, deep bass. Together, these six drivers deliver a clean sound pressure level, filling large rooms and outdoor areas with rich, immersive sound.”

I definitely found the speaker powerful and room filling, and I tested it with several styles and genres of music.

My test Playlist with the Fugoo Style

► The Roots (Don’t Say Nuthin’)
► Pharell (Beautiful)
► Dave Matthews Band (American Baby)
► City and Colour (Comin’ Home)
► Robbie Williams (I will talk and Hollywood will listen)
► Tragically Hip (Poets)
► Kiev (Be Gone Dull Cage)

The bass was solid, and the high end didn’t sound tinny or buzzy. I was able to crank it to 2/3 volume without any noticeable distortion. At about 3/4 volume I did notice a raspiness creeping in to the vocals, but overall the sound was pretty good. The sound quality overall has quite a bit of depth and the music sounded true.Fugoo style poetable wireless bluetooth speaker

The bass on Don’t say Nuthin and Poets was true and thumping, the vocals on Beautiful and Be Gone Dull Cage sounded soft and smooth, while the picking and the snare on American Baby were resonant and real. The acoustic guitar on Comin’ Home was hauntingly real. Subtle flute and clarinet, and the big symphonic drums on my Robbie Williams selection was delicately replicated, while Robbie’s voice cut through with vibrancy. I was quite impressed with the amazing sound quality I got out of this little speaker.

Fugoo adds, “the upward tilt of the speakers puts everyone in the sweet spot. So simply place your speaker in the center of a room and fill any space with sharp highs, bassy lows, and all-around premium audio.” I can’t disagree.

Does Fugoo Style have good battery life?

Many portable wireless Bluetooth speakers have a battery life in the 10-20 hour range. Fugoo Style boasts an astounding 40 hours of battery life. That’s well above many other similar speakers, so this gadget is a great choice if you’re heading to a campground or on a road trip for a weekend. I tested the speaker for about two weeks and never charged it once.

Bluetooth connectivity is outstanding on Fugoo Style

Fugoo style poetable wireless bluetooth speakerThe speaker uses Bluetooth 4.0 for wireless connectivity which Fugoo says will give you solid connectivity up to 33 feet. In my tests I carried my iPhone 6 Plus all over the 1000 square foot main floor and didn’t experience any breakup of the Bluetooth signal. Heading downstairs (where I have seen digital signal breakup on other speakers) the Fugoo Style didn’t miss a beat. Again, I was impressed.

Overall review of Fugoo Style portable wi-fi speaker

This is an absolutely fantastic Bluetooth speaker. I have to say I wasn’t expecting very much from something this small and with such an eye to style, so I was happily blown away by the outstanding audio quality and durability. The dead-easy set up also gets top marks from me.

The 40 hour battery life is also a huge plus for me. I’ve been using it in my bathroom when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. I used to just use the small crappy speaker on my iPhone, but the easy connectivity, great sound, and compact size means it can sit in the bathroom for weeks on end and provide me with high-quality audio before it ever needs to be recharged.

I think the waterproof cover is also a great thing to have since you just never know what can happen at a party or gathering; a little insurance is nice.

In short, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this speaker to anyone who’s looking for a portable Bluetooth audio solution.

 The Fugoo Style costs $139USD or about $185CAD. Get more info here.

 

 

The strange tale of the ‘spin-dial machine’

Will today’s teens ever know what a VCR is? Will tomorrow’s teens find TVs obsolete? A friend told an amazing tale of technology that’s become lost to today’s generation of young people.

Her son has a fear of being trapped in an elevator; and that’s exactly what happened to him. Leaving his dentist’s office in a multi-storey professional building, the elevator stopped abruptly and the power went out.  In the dark and afraid, the teen used his cell phone’s flash light to look around his prison box. A small sign on a small door on the wall indicated he should, ‘Open for Help’.

Opening the door, the boy saw a sign that said, “For immediate help, use this phone, dial (phone number)”. But the boy was puzzled… there was no phone inside. Recounting the story to his mother, he told her, “Behind the door was a spin-dial machine, with a small barbell-type handle”.rotary

While it looked familiar, the teen had no idea how to operate it.  He began pushing the ‘buttons’ inside the holes where numbers were marked.  Nothing. Then he tried twisting the dial, and that sort of worked, there were some clicking sounds… but he was getting no connection. Then he noticed the crescent shaped ‘stopper” and had an idea: he pulled the dial around to the stopper, then let it go. The phone seemed to wait for him.  He dialed the next number.  Another good sign. Then he dialed the wrong digit.

“Mom! I had to start all over!” he told her afterwards.rotary 2

Eventually, the boy got the spin-dial machine to connect to someone. The person on the other end of the phone told him help was on the way. He then called his mom and told her about the strange new machine he’s had to use to get unstuck. She told him it’s called a Rotary Dial Phone; a device many people will remember from their youth. A device almost never seen today.

It’s fascinating to wonder what technology we have today that will vanish before children born today grow up.  Will TVs still be around? Will cameras become obsolete?  Cars? Digital thermometers? If you imagine single-purpose technology, you can bet one day it will vanish, replaced by more multi-purpose gadgets.

What’s your guess on what we’ll soon be without? Get out your crystal ball and make a prediction below or find me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

 

 

The power of mushrooms! How fungi can replace styrofoam, at Beakerhead #YYC

mushroom 4Beakerhead is Calgary’s celebration of science, art and engineering.  For five days, there are myriad events all over Calgary, from massive art installations, the Ted-style Talks, plus food/chemistry events and even engineering feats.

One of those is In/flux, an art installation that uses mushroom bricks as faux-construction material.

In/flux is created by two Calgary engineers, who designed and built a castle-style structure with moveable walls from mushroom bricks.

mushroom1What are “mushroom bricks”?  They’re the creation of U.S company Ecovative, which can grow and shape these bricks to take any form. Using agricultural fibres like corn husks, and hay or straw, they mix these fibres with mushroom spores, pack them into a mould, and allow the spores to grow.  They form what’s called mycelium. which is the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like fibres. These fibres are very strong, meaning the bricks hold together well. After the mycelium fibres have filled every nook and cranny, the bricks are heated to stop the growing process. The bricks are theyn ready to use.

While the Beakerhead installation looks like a structure, the bricks aren’t structural at all.  They’re mainly used for packaging materials and insulation, so I guess you could say they’re not necessarily bricks either. The company has sold them to manufacturers to use to keep washing machines from moving in their transport crates, and as wall panels of eco-friendly insulation.

While the bricks will biodegrade when exposed to water or the elements, kept dry they’re stable indefinitely.

The In/Flux structure at the corner of Memorial Drive and 10 St NW is a beautiful example of art, science and engineering, and it’s meant to show off an alternative to styrofoam packaging.  Because with mushroom blocks, once you’re done with the package, you just toss the blocks into your composter.

mushroom3

Beakerhead celebrates science! 

 It’s not even officially underway yet and already it’s cool! I spent this afternoon volunteering for Calgary’s art, science and engineering mash-up Beakerhead.

Just one of the amazing visual events is Intrude at Central Memorial Park. It’s a set of giant inflatable bunnies you can’t look away from.

They’re the brainchildren of artist Amanda Parer who was here to supervise today’s installation.

Amanda has taken her art installation to countries across the globe, including Belgium, England, France and the USA.

Amanda is Australian, and likes to work with the natural world, “with startlingly beautiful creatures enlarged and frozen within their chosen habitats” Her website goes on to explain, “When viewing one of these iconic, mostly feral animals inhabiting a beautifully haunting landscape, the environmental message is enhanced by the artist’s finely crafted traditional technique in any of her chosen mediums such as painting, sculpture and public installation.”

While these Intrude bunnies are super cool against a blue blue sky they’re going to be even cooler at night.

intrude

Set up on Tuesday involved unpacking the bunnies, inflating the canvas part way then climbing inside through a small zippered opening to lay sandbags for stability and set up lights for later. The bunnies were later tied down for safety. Being inside was like being inside a bright, white tent.


 Pop over to the park and have a look before Beakerhead wraps Sunday.

Open to the public September 16 – 20

  • Wednesday, September 16 to Saturday, September 19,  10:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Special A Trip Down the Rabbit Hole party on Thursday, September 17, 6:00 – 10:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 20, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Giant Crater Uncovered from Meteor that Could Have Destroyed an Alberta City

Eight-kilometre-wide crater suggests meteorite strike devastated southern Alberta within last 70 million years, theorize UAlberta and Alberta Geological Survey team.

By Bryan Alary on May 7, 2014

– See more at: http://news.ualberta.ca/newsarticles/2014/may/ancient-crater-points-to-massive-meteorite-strike?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UofAExpressNewsArticles+(University+of+Alberta+News)#sthash.ntRH3Avk.dpuf

Eight-kilometre-wide crater suggests meteorite strike devastated southern Alberta within last 70 million years, theorize UAlberta and Alberta Geological Survey team.

By Bryan Alary on May 7, 2014

 

Image
Image from University of Calgary

Read the article here.

The discovery of an ancient ring-like structure in southern Alberta suggests the area was struck by a meteorite large enough to leave an eight-kilometre-wide crater, producing an explosion strong enough to destroy present-day Calgary, say researchers from the Alberta Geological Survey and University of Alberta.

The first hints about the impact site near the southern Alberta hamlet of Bow City were discovered by a geologist with the Alberta Geological Survey and studied by a U of A team led by Doug Schmitt, Canada Research Chair in Rock Physics.

bow city crater
Time and glaciers have buried and eroded much of the evidence, making it impossible at this point to say with full certainty the ring-like structure was caused by a hypervelocity meteorite impact, but that’s what seismic and geological evidence strongly suggests, said Schmitt, a professor in the Faculty of Science and co-author of a new paper about the discovery.

“We know that the impact occurred within the last 70 million years, and in that time about 1.5 km of sediment has been eroded. That makes it really hard to pin down and actually date the impact.”

Erosion has worn away all but the “roots” of the crater, leaving a semicircular depression eight kilometres across with a central peak. Schmitt says that when it formed, the crater likely reached a depth of 1.6 to 2.4 km—the kind of impact his graduate student Wei Xie calculated would have had devastating consequences for life in the area.

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance.”
— Doug Schmitt, University of Alberta

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance,” he said. “If it happened today, Calgary (200 km to the northwest) would be completely fried and in Edmonton (500 km northwest), every window would have been blown out. Something of that size, throwing that much debris in the air, potentially would have global consequences; there could have been ramifications for decades.”

The impact site was first discovered in 2009 by geologist Paul Glombick, who at the time was working on a geological map of the area for the Alberta Geological Survey, focusing on the shallow subsurface, between zero and 500 metres in depth. Glombick relied on existing geophysical log data from the oil and gas industry when he discovered a bowl-shaped structure. After checking maps of the area dating back to the 1940s, he found evidence of faulting at the surface.

The Alberta Geological Survey contacted the U of A and Schmitt to explore further, peeking into the earth by analyzing seismic data donated by industry. Schmitt’s student, Todd Brown, later confirmed a crater-like structure.

For Glombick, who earned his bachelor’s degree and PhD in geology from the U of A, contributing to such a historic find was a “pretty cool” departure from his regular duties of mapping rock and layers in the shallow subsurface.

“It’s exciting to come across a structure like this. It highlights there’s still a fair amount of unknowns in the shallow subsurface,” he said, noting the oil and gas industry’s geological interests focus deeper underground. “It’s nice to be able to contribute something to the geology of Alberta.”

The research team’s paper about the discovery was published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science in an early online release.

The discovery of an ancient ring-like structure in southern Alberta suggests the area was struck by a meteorite large enough to leave an eight-kilometre-wide crater, producing an explosion strong enough to destroy present-day Calgary, say researchers from the Alberta Geological Survey and University of Alberta.

The first hints about the impact site near the southern Alberta hamlet of Bow City were discovered by a geologist with the Alberta Geological Survey and studied by a U of A team led by Doug Schmitt, Canada Research Chair in Rock Physics.

View Bow City Crater in a larger map

Time and glaciers have buried and eroded much of the evidence, making it impossible at this point to say with full certainty the ring-like structure was caused by a hypervelocity meteorite impact, but that’s what seismic and geological evidence strongly suggests, said Schmitt, a professor in the Faculty of Science and co-author of a new paper about the discovery.

“We know that the impact occurred within the last 70 million years, and in that time about 1.5 km of sediment has been eroded. That makes it really hard to pin down and actually date the impact.”

Erosion has worn away all but the “roots” of the crater, leaving a semicircular depression eight kilometres across with a central peak. Schmitt says that when it formed, the crater likely reached a depth of 1.6 to 2.4 km—the kind of impact his graduate student Wei Xie calculated would have had devastating consequences for life in the area.

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance.”
— Doug Schmitt, University of Alberta

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance,” he said. “If it happened today, Calgary (200 km to the northwest) would be completely fried and in Edmonton (500 km northwest), every window would have been blown out. Something of that size, throwing that much debris in the air, potentially would have global consequences; there could have been ramifications for decades.”

The impact site was first discovered in 2009 by geologist Paul Glombick, who at the time was working on a geological map of the area for the Alberta Geological Survey, focusing on the shallow subsurface, between zero and 500 metres in depth. Glombick relied on existing geophysical log data from the oil and gas industry when he discovered a bowl-shaped structure. After checking maps of the area dating back to the 1940s, he found evidence of faulting at the surface.

The Alberta Geological Survey contacted the U of A and Schmitt to explore further, peeking into the earth by analyzing seismic data donated by industry. Schmitt’s student, Todd Brown, later confirmed a crater-like structure.

For Glombick, who earned his bachelor’s degree and PhD in geology from the U of A, contributing to such a historic find was a “pretty cool” departure from his regular duties of mapping rock and layers in the shallow subsurface.

“It’s exciting to come across a structure like this. It highlights there’s still a fair amount of unknowns in the shallow subsurface,” he said, noting the oil and gas industry’s geological interests focus deeper underground. “It’s nice to be able to contribute something to the geology of Alberta.”

The research team’s paper about the discovery was published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science in an early online release.

– See more at: http://news.ualberta.ca/newsarticles/2014/may/ancient-crater-points-to-massive-meteorite-strike?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UofAExpressNewsArticles+(University+of+Alberta+News)#sthash.ntRH3Avk.dpuf

The discovery of an ancient ring-like structure in southern Alberta suggests the area was struck by a meteorite large enough to leave an eight-kilometre-wide crater, producing an explosion strong enough to destroy present-day Calgary, say researchers from the Alberta Geological Survey and University of Alberta.

The first hints about the impact site near the southern Alberta hamlet of Bow City were discovered by a geologist with the Alberta Geological Survey and studied by a U of A team led by Doug Schmitt, Canada Research Chair in Rock Physics.

View Bow City Crater in a larger map

Time and glaciers have buried and eroded much of the evidence, making it impossible at this point to say with full certainty the ring-like structure was caused by a hypervelocity meteorite impact, but that’s what seismic and geological evidence strongly suggests, said Schmitt, a professor in the Faculty of Science and co-author of a new paper about the discovery.

“We know that the impact occurred within the last 70 million years, and in that time about 1.5 km of sediment has been eroded. That makes it really hard to pin down and actually date the impact.”

Erosion has worn away all but the “roots” of the crater, leaving a semicircular depression eight kilometres across with a central peak. Schmitt says that when it formed, the crater likely reached a depth of 1.6 to 2.4 km—the kind of impact his graduate student Wei Xie calculated would have had devastating consequences for life in the area.

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance.”
— Doug Schmitt, University of Alberta

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance,” he said. “If it happened today, Calgary (200 km to the northwest) would be completely fried and in Edmonton (500 km northwest), every window would have been blown out. Something of that size, throwing that much debris in the air, potentially would have global consequences; there could have been ramifications for decades.”

The impact site was first discovered in 2009 by geologist Paul Glombick, who at the time was working on a geological map of the area for the Alberta Geological Survey, focusing on the shallow subsurface, between zero and 500 metres in depth. Glombick relied on existing geophysical log data from the oil and gas industry when he discovered a bowl-shaped structure. After checking maps of the area dating back to the 1940s, he found evidence of faulting at the surface.

The Alberta Geological Survey contacted the U of A and Schmitt to explore further, peeking into the earth by analyzing seismic data donated by industry. Schmitt’s student, Todd Brown, later confirmed a crater-like structure.

For Glombick, who earned his bachelor’s degree and PhD in geology from the U of A, contributing to such a historic find was a “pretty cool” departure from his regular duties of mapping rock and layers in the shallow subsurface.

“It’s exciting to come across a structure like this. It highlights there’s still a fair amount of unknowns in the shallow subsurface,” he said, noting the oil and gas industry’s geological interests focus deeper underground. “It’s nice to be able to contribute something to the geology of Alberta.”

The research team’s paper about the discovery was published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science in an early online release.

– See more at: http://news.ualberta.ca/newsarticles/2014/may/ancient-crater-points-to-massive-meteorite-strike?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UofAExpressNewsArticles+(University+of+Alberta+News)#sthash.ntRH3Avk.dpuf

The discovery of an ancient ring-like structure in southern Alberta suggests the area was struck by a meteorite large enough to leave an eight-kilometre-wide crater, producing an explosion strong enough to destroy present-day Calgary, say researchers from the Alberta Geological Survey and University of Alberta.

The first hints about the impact site near the southern Alberta hamlet of Bow City were discovered by a geologist with the Alberta Geological Survey and studied by a U of A team led by Doug Schmitt, Canada Research Chair in Rock Physics.

View Bow City Crater in a larger map

Time and glaciers have buried and eroded much of the evidence, making it impossible at this point to say with full certainty the ring-like structure was caused by a hypervelocity meteorite impact, but that’s what seismic and geological evidence strongly suggests, said Schmitt, a professor in the Faculty of Science and co-author of a new paper about the discovery.

“We know that the impact occurred within the last 70 million years, and in that time about 1.5 km of sediment has been eroded. That makes it really hard to pin down and actually date the impact.”

Erosion has worn away all but the “roots” of the crater, leaving a semicircular depression eight kilometres across with a central peak. Schmitt says that when it formed, the crater likely reached a depth of 1.6 to 2.4 km—the kind of impact his graduate student Wei Xie calculated would have had devastating consequences for life in the area.

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance.”
— Doug Schmitt, University of Alberta

“An impact of this magnitude would kill everything for quite a distance,” he said. “If it happened today, Calgary (200 km to the northwest) would be completely fried and in Edmonton (500 km northwest), every window would have been blown out. Something of that size, throwing that much debris in the air, potentially would have global consequences; there could have been ramifications for decades.”

The impact site was first discovered in 2009 by geologist Paul Glombick, who at the time was working on a geological map of the area for the Alberta Geological Survey, focusing on the shallow subsurface, between zero and 500 metres in depth. Glombick relied on existing geophysical log data from the oil and gas industry when he discovered a bowl-shaped structure. After checking maps of the area dating back to the 1940s, he found evidence of faulting at the surface.

The Alberta Geological Survey contacted the U of A and Schmitt to explore further, peeking into the earth by analyzing seismic data donated by industry. Schmitt’s student, Todd Brown, later confirmed a crater-like structure.

For Glombick, who earned his bachelor’s degree and PhD in geology from the U of A, contributing to such a historic find was a “pretty cool” departure from his regular duties of mapping rock and layers in the shallow subsurface.

“It’s exciting to come across a structure like this. It highlights there’s still a fair amount of unknowns in the shallow subsurface,” he said, noting the oil and gas industry’s geological interests focus deeper underground. “It’s nice to be able to contribute something to the geology of Alberta.”

The research team’s paper about the discovery was published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science in an early online release.

– See more at: http://news.ualberta.ca/newsarticles/2014/may/ancient-crater-points-to-massive-meteorite-strike?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UofAExpressNewsArticles+(University+of+Alberta+News)#sthash.ntRH3Avk.dpuf

Read MORE from the Calgary Herald too.