Gadling Gear Review: SuperTooth Disco Portal Speaker

The SuperTooth Disco portable speaker systemOne of the best things about carrying smartphones, tablets and laptops with us when we travel, is that we are also generally carrying our entire music libraries with us as well. The problem is, the speakers on those devices aren’t usually the best for enjoying that music and we don’t always want to wear headphones to get the best sound. Fortunately a number of companies now make excellent portable speaker systems that do offer great sound and are fun to take with us on the road.

One of those speaker systems is the Disco from SuperTooth, which can stream music from any device that supports Bluetooth 2.0 technology. Once paired with such a device, the Disco pumps out surprisingly loud and clear music, streaming audio, movie soundtracks or anything else that you can throw at it. I was impressed with how this relatively small device could fill a room with sound, serving up distinct highs and lows and clear vocals from a variety of sources.

While the Disco does included a standard wired audio port for devices that don’t use Bluetooth, the best way to connect is wirelessly of course. Pairing my iPhone and iPad with the Disco was simple and took just seconds and once they were connected, it was a breeze to stream my personal music library, as well as audio from Pandora, Stitcher Radio or any other app. It was a joy to listen to podcasts while wandering around my apartment and it was fun to use the speaker system as a mini-home theater while watching movies on my iPad too.All of that great sound comes courtesy of two 8-watt speakers and a 12-watt subwoofer, but the Disco is packing more than just a quality sound system. It also features a built-in rechargeable battery that allows you to take it with you just about anywhere. The tech specs say that the battery is good for anywhere from 3 to 10 hours, depending on volume, and in my testing I was routinely getting 8-9 hours on a moderate setting. That’s plenty of time for most single-day outings, but you’ll want to pack the charger along with you if you take it on a trip.

While I found the Disco to be a high quality product, with better sound than I was expecting, I do wish it were a bit more portable. It is slightly more than a foot in length and weighs in at 2.5 pounds. As someone who likes to travel light, that’s a bit on the heavy side for my liking. I love having it around the home and for day trips in town, but I’m not sure I’d want to add it to my suitcase or backpack when I’m heading out for a longer trip.

SuperTooth saw fit to include a speaker cable and a decent carrying case in the box, but I wouldn’t have minded having a remote control as well. While most of the time you’re controlling the music and volume from the phone itself, it would have been nice to be able to pause, skip tracks and control the bass booster from across the room too. Once you get accustomed to wirelessly controlling your audio, it is a bit jarring to have to cross the room to adjust a setting.

All of that said, this is one of the better portable Bluetooth speaker systems that I’ve come across, particularly for the money. The SuperTooth Disco carries an affordable price tag of just $149, which is actually a steal for a device with these features and high quality sound. In fact, I’ve used systems from competitors that cost much more but didn’t sound nearly as nice.

If you’re looking for a great way to wirelessly listen to your favorite music, podcasts and streaming audio, either at home or on the road, then the SuperTooth Disco is a great option. Simply put, you’ll have a very hard time finding anything else that sounds this good in the same price range.