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Lately, our Sundays have been spent enjoying the latest trend in urban cycling: group bicycle parties. So it seemed a logical extension to add music to the festivities with Cy•fi’s Wireless Sports Speaker.
Designed by cyclists who obviously took inspiration from the aerodynamic lines of a bike helmet, the Cy•fi is a portable wireless speaker that mounts to your bicycle or clips onto a backpack and works with your iPod. The 9-by-6-inch speaker comes in black, gray, or red, and Cy•fi also produces a Bluetooth model designed to work with your iPhone as a speakerphone. We tested the iPod model, which was very easy to use. You simply slide the wireless transmitter onto the Dock Connector at the bottom of your iPod, turn on the speaker--which can be mounted to your handlebars with the included (and ingeniously designed) hinged mount--and off you go. The Cy•fi can blast tunes up to 30 feet away from the transmitter, and you can pair multiple speakers to one transmitter if your group is large and scattered. And since it’ll work with any content on your iPod, including video, the speaker is useful off the bike as well.
Wireless speaker brings the iPod noise to the Critical Masses.
The compact, lightweight speaker was very sturdy and handled our two-hour bike ride with nary a jiggle. We blasted Modest Mouse loudly enough for those riding near us to hear--even through bike helmets and over the din of the city. While the speaker cranks up pretty high, the sound quality is a little tinny. There’s no way to adjust the tone on the speaker itself, but you can always adjust EQ settings on your iPod. After we turned down the treble in our iPod settings, we got the bass bump we wanted, but the overall sound quality still lacked depth.
The Cy•fi’s charge lasted the promised six hours, and the device enables you manually change the track, volume, and playlist directly from the speaker--a handy feature for bike riders. We did have to stop a few times, however, to get the playlist flowing again after selecting songs because the Forward button didn’t always work properly, and the on/off button was a bit temperamental.
Cy•fi provides a cool-looking wireless option for listening to music while on the go, without using earbuds, which can be dangerous for riders. But if we're going to impose our musical tastes on the world, we'd prefer a deeper sound.