Touch speakers are different than Bluetooth speakers.
What makes them different is the type of technology they incorporate.
For touch speakers, near field audio (near field communication) is their bread and butter.
It’s what makes them stand out in a market saturated with different types of speakers.
From outdoor speakers, to indoor speakers, there is no shortage of supply when it comes to audio experiences.
To create distance between you and your competition, innovation is key.
Near Field Audio
The confusion between near field audio and bluetooth comes when you compare their similarities.
Both have no wires, no issues syncing, and only connects with short distances.
Bluetooth portable speakers work the same way but require more time to sync.
This is what makes it hard to separate the 2 conceptually.
But that’s where most similarities stop.
To differentiate itself from Bluetooth, near field audio markets itself as a new wireless technology compared to other audio technologies.
It’s interesting to realize this hasn’t been mainstream until recently.
An example of this technology is “tap-to-pay” retail purchases.
Pretend you’re an iPhone user.
You walk into a store to purchase Hot Cheetos and head to the cashier.
Once you’re up, you pull out your phone and unlock it.
To pay, all you do is align your phone next to the device and confirm payment.
All of this is fluid, convenient, and efficient assuming all your card information was set-up beforehand.
This is the power of near field communication.
Although with speakers, there is one annoyance that’ll keep occurring.
If you were planning to purchase one, one caveat we assume will happen is you accidentally place your phone near it, and it starts playing even though you didn’t intend it to.
This is similar to Bluetooth.
If you’ve ever purchased a Bluetooth speaker, you’re initially impressed by the connectivity.
After a while, your reaction of impressed slowly turns to annoyance as the Bluetooth plays random songs out of your phone without permission.
A common occurrence, and one that won’t go away with near field technology.
So while you’re complaining about connection, be thankful it connects to a variety of phones.
Phones like iPhone and Android are supported, but to be frank, this is a new type of technology that hasn’t been explored much so there are new possibilities we don’t even know.
Let’s just figure out what makes this better than other audio transmission technology.
Ease To Use
One of the most prominent manufacturers of near field technology is iFrogz.
Their main product “Boost” amplifies any sound of any phone near by.
All you have to do is lay it next, or on top of a speaker to function it and voila!
Low Power Consumption
When you have portable devices and high-tech chips inside a power circuit, power consumption gets tricky.
For iFrog’z near field portable speaker, power is generated from 3 AA batteries.
3 batteries will give you 15 hours of play time.
The downside to this product is its strength.
If you’re an audiophile interested in the intricacies of music production, you won’t be satisfied with this product.
The reason we say that is because it has 2-watt speakers.
You’re not going to convince us that’s packing a punch. But it’s good enough if you want music anywhere, anytime.
Small designs are incorporated here and there to make sure power consumption is low.
Most of them exclude digital information being flashed on a screen like a digital watch.
Another difference is proper input/output design.
As we’ve mentioned before, near field audio doesn’t depend on wires so there are no inputs or outputs to depend on.
When a device has inputs and outputs, it has the ability to retrieve and distribute information.
Near field technology doesn’t need inputs or outputs because it retrieves information through syncing.
The main principle for low-battery applications is everything staying in one package.
This means devices should limit any energy consuming applications (i.e inputs/outputs).
It all comes down to the design of the product. To maximize power, near field technology needs close attention to minute details.
Optimizing production costs is similar in the sense that they too have to be wary of too many features.
The top manufacturers of near field communication chips are Texas Instrument and Qualcomm in the U.S.
But the leader in near field communication chips are NXP Semiconductors.
With the emergence of communication technologies such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets, NXP will see a rise in their valuation.
But the major selling point of near field communication chips is they’re getting cheaper.
As that happens, more touch speakers will emerge and eventually create iterations of the original.
This isn’t all though.
Costs go towards pricing, and as chips go from cents to free, it’ll be everywhere.
More chips equals more supply and less demand.
No one would ever want to pay premium of something they can get a lot of unless its hash browns.
For the consumers, as chips get cheaper, your final product will get cheaper.
Simple as that.
Additive Process Technologies (APT) is a growing company who has taken the process of manufacturing near field communication chips and used cheaper materials.
Materials like plastic (inlay), expensive inks, and adhesive are some of the materials either taken away or modified to make chips cheaper.
In addition, they made the process of putting everything together more efficient.
This benefits the customer in the long-run.
Packaging a cheap chip inside thousands of different products will only bring more value to a consumer.
It lets them enjoy more without having to pay more.
What Do We Think Of Touch Speakers?
Touch speakers can act as indoor speakers or outdoor speakers.
Our recommendation is to make them indoor speakers as they’re not powerful enough for outdoor acoustics.
Although they only possess 2-watt speakers, they do possess advantages.
The first advantage is they’re portable.
Portable speakers are great for obvious reasons so we won’t get into great detail on it.
Another immediate advantage touch speakers possess is how easy they are to use.
How hard is it to place your phone on top of a speaker?
On top of that, there are no wires, syncing problems, or maintenance issues besides replacing batteries.
Even the batteries are worth the investment because you’ll have music playing 15 hours straight.
The price for Amazon batteries is $14-$15 for a pack of 48 batteries which equals approximately 240 hours of audio.
If we take it even further, 240 hours of music, video, or whatever you’re into translates to a week and a half of all your batteries.
And this is assuming you’re using that speaker 24/7.
They say you pay for what you get.
If you’re planning on purchasing a touch speaker, you’re getting high quality audio with a long duration of use.
It’s a great investment for someone looking to purchase their first speaker.