CES 2022 hasn't even properly started yet and it's already full of fun. I particularly love these new Bluetooth speakers, which couldn't be more me if they refused to play anything but Lorde, Taylor Swift and Sepultura. They're called the Victrola ME1 and ME2 and they're designed to offer best-in-class sound quality and high quality materials and cases.
Aren't they gorgeous? If they sound as good as they look they're a shoe-in for our best Bluetooth speakers guide when they launch in the Spring.
There's definitely something of the Sony Walkman – the original, not the later, higher tech ones – to the design, and I'm getting a strong sense of Roberts Radio too. That's enormously appealing to me, because I love retro style and modern tech – so for example while my guitars were all designed in the 1950s and 1960s, the electronics inside them and the effects and computers I plug them into are from the here and now. I want my audio tech to look great, but not at the expense of how it sounds.
What's in a name?
If you're wondering where you've heard the name Victrola before, it's from the American gramophone firm The Victor Talking Machine Company. It created the His Master's Voice trademark later adopted by HMV, and it made and sold the 1920s Victrola range of phonographs. I love the fact that 100 years on, the same name is still appearing on home audio tech.
The two models here are differentiated by size. The ME1 is the baby of the range, with a two-inch driver and passive bass radiators, USB-C charging and 12 hours of continuous play. The ME2 has a 3.5-inch driver and a one-inch tweeter, and once again there are dual passive radiators for bass. This one has 20 hours battery life, USB-C and a built-in Qi charging pad you can use to top up your phone.
I'm really taken by these speakers and I'd love to give them a listen. They'll go on sale in the Spring for US prices of $99.99 and $199.99 for the ME1 and ME2 respectively, with the ME1 shipping in black, grey, red, blue and green and the ME2 in black, grey or blue.