Best Bluetooth speakers for home and office with some business inspiration to boot!

This subject may seem like a fluff topic but I have to tell you about these speakers and the company behind them.  They’ve got me pumped because they are great speakers, lots of fun to use, have great business applications and even offer a great business lesson.

The Product

The products I’m talking about and love are the Oontz Angle 3 and Oontz Angle 3XL.  They are inexpensive ($30-$110) Bluetooth speakers with truly incredible sound given their size and cost.  They have a built-in mic for use with phones and computers as a sound source and are super easy to setup and pair with your devices (phones, computers, etc.).

As you can imagine, they are a great way to bring music wherever you are but they also offer impressive portable speakers for business presentations and can be used as a portable speakerphone for ad hoc conferences when paired with your smartphone.  So these are great to place in conference rooms or with traveling executives and sales staff.

One unique feature of the Oontz Angle 3XL (the larger unit) is that if you buy two of them, you can set them up to offer true stereo sound with each one carrying a separate stereo channel.  I have not tested this as the single units have proved to be more than sufficient for my needs.

The history

I used to be a bit of an audiophile when I was younger and was really into a company called Cambridge Soundworks, based in my home town of Newton MA.  I visited their factory store, dreamed of their speakers and even tried to get a summer job there.

Cambridge Soundworks has gone through enormous changes over the years.  At one time they had a national chain of retail stores and huge online direct distribution.  But with anyone familiar with the consumer electronics and Hi Fi industry, everything changed with the iPod and digital music and people lost interest in component music and high fidelity sound systems.  And so the likes of Lechmere, Tweeter, Circuit City and many others went out of business in the late 2000s.

Cambridge Soundworks was no exception and was struggling in the late 90s but had a niche with products that worked directly with computers and the new portable music players like the iPod, known as SoundWorks.  They had comparatively good sound next to the competition.  In 1998 Creative Labs, a computer components and portable electronic manufacturer, acquired Cambridge Soundworks.  As best I can tell, Creative Labs cannibalized Cambridge Soundworks for their technologies and distribution and ended up closing all their retail locations. Their products dwindled, there was no innovation and their brand suffered.  As a loyal and committed customer, it was very sad to see this downfall.

In 2011, SoundWorks, Inc. was formed and purchased the remaining assets of Cambridge Soundworks from Creative Labs Inc.  They relaunched the business based on a new product called Oontz, a portable Bluetooth speaker system.  Frankly I was dismayed.  As someone who was into sound quality this was the last straw! Bluetooth was notoriously bad at carrying high fidelity sound and the speakers were so small that I couldn’t imagine anything worthwhile coming out of them.

Fast forward to 2016 and I’m a HUGE fan!  I think the Oontz products are incredible.  Yes, they still don’t offer truly high fidelity sound, but they do provide an exceptional solution for a convenient, connected speaker and mic system with good sound. And they have achieved this with a product that is simple to use and has better sound than the competition at a lower cost.

My takeaway

As a business owner I can become overwhelmed with the necessity and constant pressure to innovate and evolve to stay relevant. It is easy to get stuck in the nostalgia and wishful thinking of what used to work or how things used to be.  All you have to do is think of behemoths like Polaroid and BlackBerry to know what the risks are.  But when I think of Cambridge Soundworks, I’m inspired and amazed at the vision and guts it takes to truly innovate and evolve a business.

I’m inspired by Cambridge Soundworks because they were not held back by their own old products and past successes.  They were forward looking, understood their unique value proposition of good simple sound products at a lower cost, and created great brand new products that people want.

The result is a business reborn and great speakers I can call the Best Bluetooth speakers for home and office.

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