This little battery-powered speaker may not look like it can do much, but we think its sound quality is tremendous considering its size. It's tiny, yet its sound is crisp and vibrant, and surprisingly well rounded. It doesn't make a meal of low frequencies (as long as the volume is not at max) and this means that you can definitely use it for casual music listening almost anywhere in the home (or office).
The Veho Portable 360 is only 5cm tall and almost 4.5cm in diameter. It has a single 2.2W speaker that shoots through the top of this small enclosure and the power and settings button is located on the bottom. You can slide the switch to the 'on' position if all you want to do is listen to a device that will be attached via the speaker's line-in port, or you can slide the switch to the 'Bluetooth' icon if you want to connect to a smartphone or laptop that's equipped with Bluetooth. We're not fans three-state switches because switching to the 'off' position (which is in the middle) can sometimes be a pain, but it was easy enough to switch off this speaker.
Mostly though, we just kept listening to the Veho 360 until it ran out of juice rather than switching it off. Its internal battery lasted 5hr 30min when we streamed music to it from an iPhone 4S. This is more than the stated 4-hour run-time of the unit, but we didn't always run the speaker at full volume.
We settled for a volume level about two-thirds of the iPhone's maximum setting and the sound still managed to be room-filling. At full volume, some music (music with lots of bass) did sound too distorted. We used the Veho as a kitchen speaker (for which it was perfect), a lounge speaker and even tried it outdoors — although when it's used outdoors its sound may be drowned out depending on your environment. It's definitely a decent choice for any business user who wants to provide better-than-average sound for a laptop presentation, for example. Even though it's a mono speaker, it does produce bright and spacious sound.
Setting up the Veho Portable 360 Bluetooth Speaker was not difficult at all. As soon as we enabled Bluetooth on the iPhone, the speaker beeped and we were immediately able to listen to music through iTunes (calls will still use the iPhone's speaker). We also set it up on a Bluetooth-enabled laptop with a minium of fuss, and followed the instructions in Windows 7 to get music flowing through the speaker.
However, when trying to pair the speaker with the iPhone again, we had to first tell the iPhone to 'forget' the device and then re-pair it. Likewise, to re-pair it with the laptop we had to first remove it as a device and then re-add it.
As we mentioned earlier, the sound quality from this device is quite good and we actually preferred it to the sound of the Veho Mimi Qube Wi-Fi Speaker, which we tested at the same time — the Mimi sounded a little too flat overall.
The Veho Portable 360 Bluetooth Speaker costs £34 and it's available from JB Hi-Fi. We think it's a good option if you want a portable speaker that can supply more than decent sound to fill a room. It's versatile enough to be useful in kitchens or boardroom. It ships with a USB charging cable (don't lose this as it is not a standard mini-USB cable) and also with a line-in cable. It takes a couple of hours to charge.