In the years since wireless speakers first hit the market, they’ve come a long way. From tinny and weak, they’ve advanced to provide great quality and booming sound. But now, choosing a set of speakers has become even tougher. Many of the speakers on the market are single units that combine right and left channels. Some of those can be paired to create true stereo, though that means doubling your investment. That includes Sonos, and Heos from Denon. British high-end audio gear maker Cambridge Audio has recently decided to make new inroads into the U.S. market, both with more modestly priced hi-fi components, and with speakers. We recently had an opportunity to test out their YoYo (M) Bluetooth speakers.
After having had some frustrating experiences in getting speakers to pair up, both with streaming sources like an iPhone, and with each other to make a stereo pair, the first thing we noticed was how quickly, easily, and painlessly the YoYo’s paired with both our music source and with each other. In seconds.
From an aesthetic perspective, these are really comfortable to look at as well as listen to. They come with a specially made British woven grill material that is treated to be dirt and splash resistant, though some reviewers say this slightly muffles the sound, not that I noticed. The YoYo’s have a contemporary styling that will fit with almost any decor and are available in three colors.
Of course, you’re really buying speakers for their sound and not for their looks. The Cambridge Audio YoYo’s do not disappoint. They deliver a full range across the audio spectrum, reproducing subtleties such as guitar strings clearly. Some reviewers say they are not quite as crisp as they might be, perhaps in part because of the speaker grills, but I don’t think I’ve missed much. While they do a very good job on my MP3 tracks, these speakers really weren’t designed for Hi-Res audio, so don’t expect to get the most out of lossless files.
The YoYo’s are very portable, so you can easily move them from room to room. They offer an almost unheard of 24 hours of battery powered playback time, which I guess is great if you are a student doing an all-nighter or if you simply forget to charge them. They have a USB port so you can charge up your smartphone while you listen. They also have a 3.5mm jack so you can hardwire your music input, though there is no digital audio option.
There’s a really easy to see control panel right on the top of each speaker that shows you power status as well as Bluetooth status. So you won’t be confused about right and left, the right speaker has the Cambridge badge on the front. Price for the pair is $350. Certainly not the cheapest on the market, but by no means unreasonable for the package you’re buying.
Cambridge also makes a smaller version, the YoYo (S) which has gesture control for changing music tracks. Price is $180.