Friday, January 22, 2016

Big Sound From A Small Package

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When someone recommends a sound system that costs less than a decent dinner out for two, we get a bit skeptical about it to say the least. Of course, when that speaker setup has a retail of $99.99 and is marked down 73% to hit $26.99, we can’t do much more than laugh. Call us crazy, or stupid, or just plan laugh at us, but we took the bait on this one as we were looking for a nice little speaker for road trips and hotel stays. We wanted big sound in a very small package and we have to say that the Venstar Taco completely fit the bill. Not only was the price on the Venstar Taco dead on, but so was the performance.

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The Venstar Taco features 2, 50mm, 3W acoustic speakers with a unique design that powers them to rival speaker systems costing much more. In fact, it might even be appropriate to say that the Venstar Taco rivals speaker systems as strong as the Beats Pill without stretching too far. The player controls are very simple. On the back of the device, a rubber cover secures the charging port (micro USB) and AUX port. The front features 4 buttons: Reverse/Volume down, Play/Pause/Fast forward/Volume up and Power. To pair the speaker, simply hold the power button for a few seconds until the LED next to it flashes blue and you are all set. Go to the add Bluetooth device on your phone or tablet and scan. It should find your Venstar Taco in seconds.

The performance of the Venstar Taco is, as we said, very good for a $100 device. It’s even better when you figure that the Venstar Taco is under $30 with free Prime shipping. The sound is clean and clear, with even a slight note of a decent low end from the tiny speakers. The lows were noticably better when the speaker was placed on a softer surface that allowed the back side of the Taco to perform a bit better. Hard surfaces led to a bit more tin sound from the speakers, but it was still much better than the sub $70 speakers you find at most retail locations. Overall, the Venstar Taco shined during our play with it.

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The battery is advertised as a full 12 hour playback, but we found that it was much closer to 10 hours, which is still more than enough time to run for most uses. If you need longer, the micro USB port is compatible with popular portable battery chargers like HTC’s Battery Bar and Samsung’s Universal External Battery packs. Both of these packs were able to keep the speaker powered up and playing far beyond the 12 hour mark and can be used to charge it while it hangs in it’s included carrying case.

At the time of publication, the Venstar Taco is currently $26.99 online and includes a carrying case, micro USB cable, 3.5mm male to male AUX cable and instructions. Note, a wall adapter is NOT included with the package, but a standard phone adapter seems to charge the unit without any issues. Be careful not to use a USB 2.0 Quick Charge enabled adapter as it could overheat the battery and cause permanent damage. If you are in the market for a great portable speaker at an even better price, check out the Venstar Taco before they decide to increase the price. You won’t be sorry.

Link: Venstar Taco

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