If you are the kind of person who cares about design and build quality, even when purchasing lower budget products, then you will love the Sound to Go soundbar. However, if you are more interested in the sound that comes out of your speaker rather than the admitting glances it gets, you might do better to look at other Edifier speaker options to be honest.
After reviewing the Aurora laptop speaker system from the same manufacturer, and actually being very impressed with pretty much everything about it, I was rather looking forward to getting my hands on the Sound to Go portable speaker. Unfortunately my enthusiasm was somewhat short lived as the two devices really do not compare well with each other.
Whereas the sound from the Aurora was surprisingly good; well-rounded and dynamic with more than enough 'oomph' for the average user and certainly a huge advance in quality from the average laptop speakers, the Sound to Go was just OK. By which I mean that while it was better than the average built-in audio experience you are likely to get from anything but a high-end multimedia laptop, it's not exactly got the wow factor when it comes to sound reproduction. The design precludes any stereo separation for a start, despite the four one-and-a-quarter inch magnetically shielded tweeters. There's also a magnetically shielded three inch subwoofer with a built-in amplifier contained in the sleek cabinet, but it doesn't do a very good job of pumping up the bass. In actual fact, the bass output was truly weak in my opinion and rather let the whole unit down as a result.
The sound just wasn't dynamic enough for me, although at low volumes it was distortion free and 'pleasant' enough I guess. Just don't expect to go boom boom and shake the room with this thing, ramp up the volume and the only thing shaking will be your teeth as they grind together at the distortion when you play anything loud. Maybe I have just been spoiled by slightly bulkier, slightly more expensive, slightly less portable laptop speakers when it comes to sound quality. But, you know what? I'd take bigger, costlier and better every time. Not that the Sound to Go portable speaker is bad, far from it in fact. It's just what I'd file under low budget for audio performance.
Which is a shame, as the Sound to Go looks and feels a million dollars. The 10.3 x 1.4 x 1.7 inch speaker unit has a largely brushed aluminium construction giving it a very Macbook Pro look and feel to be honest. The wedge-shaped 'soundbar' gives that appearance of being hewn from a block of metal, something that is reflected in the weight of 0.73 pounds which is just about on the right side of being truly portable. I wasn't surprised to learn, therefore, that it had won a bunch of design and engineering awards.
I was surprised when it didn't produce any sound at all when I first connected it, via the laptop USB port which also provides the power to the device, and fired up iTunes. It actually took a little while to figure out that the volume button was built-into the end of the speaker and required me to push the not so cleverly concealed control to get some sound out of it (pushing and holding decreases the volume).
Overall then, the Sound to Go is a good looking portable speaker which won't burn a huge hole in your budget. For me though, the look and feel of a speaker isn't as important as the sound quality and it's here that the Sound to Go falters a little.
I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .