OM Audio has harnessed the power of the triangle with their new Mantra Bluetooth speakers. Crafted with a walnut enclosure, these powerful pyramids allow for better sound quality than with the run-of-the-mill plastic housings of most Bluetooth speakers. Upping the game even more to stand out from the crowd is the ability to link two speakers together via Bluetooth for true stereo sound. I was a little skeptical of this feature at first, thinking it would just output the same audio on each speaker (two channel audio as opposed to real stereo sound). However, I was surprised to discover true stereo sound emanating from these hardwood encased speakers. They were able to produce great sound indoors and out, from the front or the back, with no muddling or great loss of sound quality in a 360 degree environment.
The Mantras come with USB connectivity for charging and audio output from a computer (though stereo sound with one or both connected to the computer doesn’t happen). They also have an aux input if you don’t want to use Bluetooth to connect your device to the speakers and yet again the stereo feature is not available while using the aux input.
The directions for connecting devices to the speakers and the speakers themselves are pretty straight forward, but in reality it’s not as simple. The toggle switch on the back is required to be held in the “link” position before the speaker is turned on. This sometimes just turns the speaker on instead of placing it in linking mode. If this happens the only thing that will correct it is to turn the speaker off and try again. Also, not mentioned in the directions is that a device must be connected to the left speaker (which becomes the controlling speaker when two speakers are paired) before connecting two speakers together for the stereo experience. I’d like to see a toggle switch that isn’t spring loaded and instead has definitive “on”, “off”, and “link” positions to avoid some of these connectivity problems. If the speakers are low on battery they won’t connect to each other, but will on occasion, link to a device. There is no audio output port so daisy chaining the speakers together to try and save power is out of the question as well. This would be a great added feature, maybe in future models.
The OM Audio Mantra retails for $100. Despite it’s connectivity short comings preventing the use of the best feature of these speakers, they do produce a great, full sound in true stereo for a great portable mp3 listening experience. Moreover, they have an impressive look that stands out from the crowd of the standard boxy, plastic-housed Bluetooth speakers. Just keep them charged and you’ll be set for great sounding portable music almost anywhere.