Recommendations from the Experts

Holiday 2012: Tech Gifts for Your Significant Other

by Suzanne Kantra on November 17, 2012
Most affordable, portable Bluetooth speakers aren’t much better than your smartphone’s speaker. Not the case with the Cambridge Soundworks Oontz. This tiny speaker, which can easily rest on the palm of your hand, has great dynamic range and enough volume to fill an average bedroom. The secret sauce? High-quality drivers and a passive radiator to produce surprisingly good bass.

Read full Article:

A new look for the Oontz

by Don Lindich on November 19, 2012
I wrote a rave review of the $69 Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz Bluetooth Speaker not long ago, and quite a few readers have been contacting me with some raves of their own.  Here are a few samples of what they have to say about The Oontz:

“After reading your column I purchased the Oontz Bluetooth speaker. I love it. It is a great musical companion when paired with my iPad. No more annoying headsets or earbuds to contend with and I can happily go about my household chores.  I am thoroughly enjoying the sound of my affordable Oontz as I write this. Thanks for the recommendation.”

-P.K., Bethel Park, PA

“A HUGE “thanks” for making me aware of the Oontz!  I’ve been trying to find a way to use a speaker phone for business calls for the past year or so.  The quality of consumer phones is so poor that the speakers are unacceptable for business calls.  I did not want to pay the $500 or so to get top-of-the-line business speaker phones, so I bought a refurbished business speakerphone and had nothing but grief from it (it worked on occasion but not reliably).

The Oontz arrived a day or so ago, and it was easy to use with the Bluetooth on my iPhone and will solve my need–all for about $70.  Also, the quality of playback from my iTunes library is way better than I ever expected.  And, all from such a tiny speaker.  Thanks, again!”

-D.B., San Farncisco, CA

“Love, LOVE them.  I was about to purchase a Jambox, which everyone said is great, but heck. At the oontz price I was willing to trust the reviews.  Worst case, I could give it to my underemployed recent college grad or her sister, the senior.  Well, it was too bad for them.   I loved it and bought two more. All for me!  The holidays are soon upon us, though, and Cambridge is running a volume purchase sale. We’ll see…”

-J.C., Minneapolis, MN

Click Here to read full post:

Get the Best Bang for Your Buck with the OontZ and the OontZ Angle Speakers – iPad Gear Review

By Juli | September 6, 2012

If you’ve been searching for an iPad speaker that has great sound, a compact size, and an affordable price tag, you may want to take a look at the OontZ and the OontZ Angle from speaker manufacturer Cambridge Soundworks.

You may remember our news announcement on the OontZ Angle, which promised the sound quality of Jawbone’s Jambox with less than half the cost, a prospect that had me intrigued as a longtime fan of the Jambox. I had the opportunity to test all of the above speakers, so read on to see how they compare and my thoughts on the OontZ product line.

Read Full Review:

Review of the OontZ

I ordered a Cambridge Soundworks Oontz bluetooth speaker recently.

They advertise this speaker as having great bass and high volume- especially when considering how small it is.  You know how marketing pieces go- you have to take them with a grain of salt.

Well, they are right.  This is a very small speaker (roughly 5 1/2" wide, 3" deep, and 3" high).  I pulled it out of the box and noticed basic instructions for how to pair it with your bluetooth device were printed right on the bottom of the speaker (excellent idea).  Very simple- just turn it on and press the "source" button until you hear a beep.  Then start the bluetooth connection process on your phone and have it scan for new devices.  It will find the Oontz and just let it connect.  On mine I didn't need to enter a code- but some phones, apparently, do need you to enter the standard 0000 passcode.
Once the phone was paired I fired up Pandora.  Wow!  The sound quality and volume is very impressive.  Now, I will say right up front this is not going to give you the same sound output as a larger speaker like you might find on your home stereo- nor should you expect that (afterall, this thing is TINY in comparison to a speaker like that).  But, when considering the size, it is quite incredible.  Easily plenty of volume to fill my home office with great sounding audio.  It  does have bass- although not window shattering bass.  But enough bass to give you a good full sound.  And it is a full sound- not 'tinny' like you get with most small speakers like this.  It has a very good balance of lows, mids, and highs.

Read Full Review:

Sound Advice: Small speaker packs a big audio punch

By Don Lindich

Q.  I want speakers to play music from my iPhone in my garage while I work at my workbench.  I am looking for something really under $100, preferably not much more than $50 that I can use without connecting a cable.  Is there anything out there that is passable?

A. Earlier this year I mentioned Cambridge SoundWorks had some exceptional products in the pipeline. One of them is the OontZ, a $69.99 wonder that is a perfect match for the iPhone, iPad or any other Bluetooth device.  The OontZ is a portable Bluetooth stereo speaker with a USB- rechargeable battery rated

Many inexpensive portable and computer speakers have dramatic, unbalanced sound that initially impresses but soon grows tiring.  The OontZ has smooth, even sound that never causes listener fatigue.  I was told that audiophiles now own Cambridge SoundWorks, the sound of the OontZ is evidence of that.  The speaker is not especially placement sensitive but I did get better sound from different parts of my desk and kitchen counter, so if you get one be sure to experiment with placement.

I found the OontZ and iPhone to be a perfectly matched pair for whole-home listening. I carried it around the house and used it in the kitchen, the garage, the laundry room, on my hobby workbench, and in the yard with my dogs.  It sounds good and is fun to own and use. While music is the obvious application for the speaker, I found that iPhone games like RC Plane 2, Angry Birds Space, and Facebook Zynga Poker were even more enjoyable with the OontZ playing the soundtrack.

The sound quality, satisfying volume, long battery life, ease of use and price are enough on their own to recommend the OontZ, but the sweet icing on the cake is the speakerphone capability.  When the phone rings the OontZ functions as a high-quality speakerphone. As I was writing this column it was paired to my iPhone and a call from my dad came in.  I just pushed the answer button on the OontZ and took the call.  If I was doing anything else but writing I could have just kept on working without missing a beat.

No product is perfect and the only fly in the OontZ ointment is so superficial and personal to me that I feel conspicuous mentioning it.  I didn’t care for the “OontZ” logo on top of the speaker, which is a large, cartoony font.  I mentioned this to my contact at Cambridge SoundWorks, saying that the clean, modern industrial design and luxurious feel of the plastic reminded me of a Bang & Olufsen product and that the logo looked out of place.  He when someone sees the OontZ on a coworker’s desk they want them to know exactly what it is, immediately. I can see this product having that “What is that, I want one” kind of a vibe to it so their reasoning is understandable, even if I don’t care for the big logo.  With all it has going for it for only $69.99, perhaps the OontZ will be a household name soon enough that the big logo won’t be needed. See it at
Read Full Article:

More oomph from Oontz

Q I read your column on the Oontz Bluetooth speaker and want to give one a try, but when I visit the website (, there are two models for sale, the Oontz and Oontz Angle. Which do you recommend?

A I have only reviewed the Oontz. I haven't yet heard the Oontz Angle.

The Cambridge SoundWorks website, as well as my contact at the company, say that the Oontz has more bass and plays louder than the Oontz Angle. The Oontz Angle is meant to make a styling statement while still providing good sound. It also is slightly smaller and lighter than the Oontz. Both sell for $70.

I would go for the Oontz and its superior bass. Bass is a challenge for any small speaker, and I can vouch for the sound quality of the Oontz.

This is a good time to mention that since I wrote the column about the Oontz, I have taken it around with me and demonstrated it to friends and family members. The response has been gratifying and enthusiastic.

What is most telling is that when the music starts playing from the Oontz, there is typically a physical reaction such as a raised eyebrow, a mouth that drops open or a glance at me that says, "Wow."

People are shocked that such good sound comes out of a small speaker. When I tell them the price, they are even more surprised.
Read full Question and Answer: