Beyerdynamic Phonum Wireless Bluetooth Speakerphone Review: Made for Working From Home – Gadgets 360
Bluetooth speakers are usually made for listening to music with, but you can also use them as hands-free speakerphones for calls when connected to your smartphone or computer. Interestingly, the wireless speaker I’m reviewing here works quite differently to mainstream options, in that it isn’t focused on the music listening experience at all. The Beyerdynamic Phonum is a wireless speakerphone made specifically for voice communications – whether phone calls or Internet-based audio and video conferencing – and connects to a source device using either Bluetooth or a wired USB connection.
Priced at around Rs. 25,000 in India, the Beyerdynamic Phonum is an expensive but purpose-built speaker designed to let you take calls without taking your hands off your keyboard. It’s meant to be used for work calls, whether you’re at home or at the office, and works equally well with a smartphone or computer. Is this interesting wireless speaker worth the price? Find out in this review.
Beyerdynamic Phonum design and specifications
Most mainstream wireless speakers are designed with portability and weather resistance in mind, so the Beyerdynamic Phonum stands out for its subtle and sophisticated look. The round body has a flat, grippy base, with a narrower section just above that you can use to wrap the cable around. The grille faces upwards, although the speaker fires downwards, and the touch controls are all around it. The physical power switch and USB Type-C port for charging are at the back.
Some of the controls – volume, microphone on/off, Bluetooth, and microphone direction mode – are visible at all times, while the call answer or reject control and microphone direction indicators illuminate only when receiving a call and when on a call. You can leave the Beyerdynamic Phonum on standby and take calls with it as they come, or turn it on when you need it.
Using the Beyerdynamic Phonum is easy enough; it pairs to a source device using Bluetooth, and activates its on-device controls when in use, depending on whether it’s in standby or active. You can also connect it to a computer using the included USB Type-C to Type-A cable, which sets up a wired connection between the two and also charges the battery of the Phonum.
The Beyerdynamic Phonum uses the company’s Gecko microphone technology, which has three modes of voice tracking and can detect voices coming from any direction around the speaker. You can cycle through the modes when in use, and choose the one that suits the purpose best. Fix mode tracks a single speaker in a fixed location; Follow mode directs the tracking at the active speaker in a group; and 360 mode picks up voices from all directions.
The speaker has a 2-inch down-firing driver, a frequency response range of 120-10,000Hz, automatic echo and noise cancellation for the microphone, and Bluetooth 4.2 for connectivity. There is a 2,600mAh battery in the Beyerdynamic Phonum, which ran for around nine hours when playing audio continuously. When used as a speakerphone system, I was able to get around 16-17 hours of battery life in total, switching between standby mode, taking some phone calls, and occasionally playing music.
Beyerdynamic Phonum performance
Unlike most of the wireless speakers …….