iPhone Life magazine

A Must Have Travel Companion: The Geneva XS Speaker System

 

For fear of dating myself, I remember not leaving home without a folding, windup, analog travel alarm clock.  Now, there's probably not a hotel room in the world without a radio alarm clock. Now most people probably use their phone for waking up in the morning. But there's a better way.

I've discovered a speaker system to die for that does it all. The Geneva Sound System Model XS is highly portable. It folds into a study case measuring 6 1/4" x 3 3/4" x 1 1/2" making a compact unit in your suitcase. It weighs about one pound. The XS comes in red, white or black.

I just returned from a road trip on which I visited my brother who would play his iPod on a Bose speaker while barbecuing most nights. At the time, I was impressed with his Bose setup. But, at less than half the size, I would say without doubt that the Geneva system is every bit as good, if not better, and it does a heck of a lot more.

Even with the volume at the highest level on my iPod and on the unit itself, I could not produce any distortion. At lower levels, I began to hear subtle tones that I didn't even know existed in the music. This sound system is a real treat; it fills the room like a concert hall. Close your eyes, and you're in Carnegie Hall.

Here are all the specs:

Model XS - Bluetooth, FM, Alarm Clock, Speakers, Amplifier. All-in-one.
• 2.1 speaker system with two 1" tweeters and one 2¼" woofer
• Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming
• When in Bluetooth and Line-in mode, powered by a digital amplifiers for optimal audio performance. When in FM mode, powered by analog amplifier for optimal radio reception
• Each speaker individually powered & chambered for accurate acoustics
• Rechargeable lithium battery with more than 5 hours play-time
• Digital FM radio tuner with auto search function
• Digital clock with alarm
• LED display for volume/mode/frequency
• TouchLight controls – backlit, touch-sensitive
• Stereo mini line-in jack for external audio

Model XS Specifications
• Engineered in Switzerland by the Geneva Lab in-house design team
• Cabinet: Piano-lacquered HD composite, available in white, black, and red color

Features
• Speaker system: 2 × 1" tweeters and 1 × 2¼" woofer
• Power Amplifier: Digital and analogue amplifier (Class A/D) with 12 (2×3, 1×6) watt output
• Frequency Range: 80 Hz to 20 kHz

Built-in Audio
• Digital FM radio tuner, with auto search function

Connectivity
• Analogue Audio in: 1 × Stereo mini line-in with 3.5 mm (⅛ inch) plug for any external audio input, e.g., computer, MP3, TV, wireless music receiver, etc
• Bluetooth 2.1 A2DP: for high quality wireless audio streaming

Electrical Requirements
• Power supply: 100-240V AC, 50-60Hz

Size and Weight
• Width × height × depth (when opened): 6.2" × 4" × 4.5"
• Weight: 1.1 pounds

Included Accessories
• AC power adapter with cable
• Rechargeable 2700 mA lithium battery
• Adapter cable for stereo mini line-in: 3.5 mm (⅛ inch) plugs on both ends

Let me tell you about all its capabilities. I mentioned that I have been using it with my iPod touch. It will connect to any device via Bluetooth, which makes it very versatile. If your device doesn't have Bluetooth, it comes with a 3.5 mm double male adapter cable. So, it will probably connect to just about any MP3 type player out there.

But, that's not all. It comes with an FM radio built in. There is also a fold out telescoping antenna for better reception, but I've never had to use it.

Now if only it you could play your Pandora stations on it. Oh, wait a minute, all I had to do was connect my iPod to Pandora via WiFi, connect my iPod to the XS via Bluetooth, and I was playing all my Pandora channels in the highest fidelity. Very cool.

Too bad it isn't also an XM/Sirius receiver in addition to FM. That would make it just about the most perfect unit ever. Oh. wait a minute. I pulled up my Sirius mobile app on my iPod and connected via WiFi and the to XS via Bluetooth. Voila! I was playing my favorite Sirius radio channels on the XS. I guess that makes it just about the coolest travel companion ever.

There is a control panel on the top of the unit with a power switch, + - for clock settings, a Mode button so you can switch between input sources (FM, Bluetooth, cable), < > buttons for changing FM frequencies, and an alarm clock button. The time is displayed in red numerals through the front of the sound grill making it a perfect travel alarm clock.

The developers at Geneva have succeeded in producing a product of superior quality and functionality. It is not by far the least expensive sound system you can acquire, but less expensive ones do not compare in quality and are merely speakers. Most don't even have Bluetooth, not to mention FM and all the other features.

At half the size of my brother's Bose system, which is anything put portable, the quality is the same or better. Surprisingly, at $199, the Geneva XS costs a lot less than the Bose. Now ask yourself, which would you rather have?

Perhaps I should mention that I am the unfortunate owner of an Acer netbook that I take with me as a compact alternative to a full sized laptop. The speakers on this thing are practically none existent. At full volume, you can hardly hear anything. I hooked it up to the Geneva, and suddenly there was sound, great sound. It transformed that sorry netbook into something useful at last.

I hope I have convinced you that this is a must have accessory whether you are a road warrior or a couch potato. Check it out here. Happy listening.

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