Review by Andrew Kameka on Friday June 27, 2014.
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The Favi Audio+ is a different kind of speaker. While most of the audio accessories we come across are for Bluetooth connectivity or a high-fidelity Wi-Fi pairing system, the Audio+ offers wire and protocol-free pairing to play audio from a smartphone. It uses the simplest connection form possible - drop and play.
Favi specializes in "Set to Connect" technology that plays music or voices using induction. Without needing to pair the phone and speaker, the Audio+ relays sound pumping through a phone's external speakers into its own speaker that produces considerably higher volumes. Favi claims the volume measures 6x higher, and the sound definitely suggests that's true. The speaker acts as an amplifier of the phones standard audio rather than connecting through headphone jacks or wireless systems. It's a smart strategy that's heavy on convenience and light on sound purity.
When listening to audio from Favi, the volume definitely goes up a few decibels. While I'm able to hear my iPhone audio clearly indoors, the jump in volume makes the music more audible when I'm in the shower. Unfortunately, it doesn't improve sound quality. When listening to podcasts or placing phone calls, my most frequent activities, every thing is fine. When listening to music, there's a bit more of a woofing sound, so the sounds aren't as crisp. You're still able to enjoy the music, but it's noticeably below the quality enjoyed when using Bluetooth.
That's the tradeoff someone makes when deciding to go with Favi. The sound is less distinguished, but the setup is much easier. There's no need to deal with power outlets or use battery-draining pairing methods. Plop the phone down and go about your business enjoying the amplified sound or bottom light that pulsates to the rhythm of the song played. And speaking of battery, the Audio+ officially lasts for 6 hours of play before it needs to plug-in its microUSB charger. I used the device daily on average of 30-60 minutes and still went almost two weeks before needing to recharge. A simple on-off switch continues the ideal that this is a phone built on making things as stress-free as possible.
At $49.99, the Favi Audio+ is a little expensive. The Soundflow Soundboard, which uses similar inductive technology, costs only $29. The only reason I'd recommend this over the cheaper Soundboard, which also has an optional 3.5mm input jack, is because this has a built-in rechargeable battery that's easier to manage. It also has a more compact form that's portable and takes up less space on a desk. If someone's top priority is ease of use rather than sound quality, the Favi Audio+ speaker for iPhone is worth considering. Others who care more about great sound should stick with Bluetooth.
This review covers the Audio+ for iPhone. Favi also sells models for Android devices and tablets
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.