Bayan Audio SoundScene 3

Indoor/Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker Review

Bayan Audio SoundScene 3 Bluetooth Speaker
Bayan Audio SoundScene 3 Bluetooth Speaker. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Bayan Audio SoundScene 3 is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that has very interesting physical construction. Unlike many bluetooth speakers, the SoundScene 3 is constructed vertically with a rubberized top and bottom surface, and heavy-duty cabinet with a built-in carrying/hanging handle attached to the top rear end. Also, the power and 3.5mm audio connections are hidden behind a rubber cover on the bottom rear panel.

Features and Specifications

1. Main Speakers: Two 2-inch drivers for midrange and high frequencies.

2. Woofers: One 2.5-inch woofer with additional support from Two 2-inch Passive radiators.

3. Frequency Response (total system): 65Hz - 20,000 kHz

4. Amplifier Power Output (total system): 20 watts

5. Audio Inputs: Bluetooth (ver 3.0), NFC, and 3.5mm analog stereo input capability.

6. Waterproof Rating: IPX5

7. Power Requirements: Can Run on AC Power (detachable power cord provide), or via built-in rechargeable battery (approximately 8 hour charge life).

8. USB: USB power connection is also provided for charge compatible portable source devices, such as smartphones and tablets - However, it cannot be used to access music content from Flash Drives or other USB media storage devices.

9. RF Receiver/Transmitter: 2.4/5.8 GHz. Range Link with other SoundScene speakers up to 100 feet.

10. Bluetooth Reception Range: Up to 30 feet.

11. Dimensions (WHD): 4.92 x 4.92 x 10.63 inches.

12. Weight: 4.84 lbs.

Set-up

You have three ways to set up and use the SoundScene 3.

Physical Connection

If you have a non-Bluetooth source device, such as an older, MP3 player, CD player, DVD player, or even a TV - as long as your source device has either a 3.5mm or RCA style audio output you can connect it to the Bayan SoundScene 3.

The only caveat is that if you are using a source that has RCA style audio outputs, you must use an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter to connect to the 3.5mm input on the SoundScene 3.

Bluetooth

For first-time paring of your Bluetooth-enabled source device with the SoundScene 3, you need to be with 3 feet of the speaker.

From there the steps are easy: Turn on the SoundScene, Press the T (transmit select) button, Press the Bluetooth logo on the top of the SoundScene.

To complete the pairing process, go into the settings on your device (smartphone, etc..>), turn on the Bluetooth function, and then scan for new devices. When you see SoundScene 3 appear as a new device, select it and you should be good to go.

NFC

If you want to use the Soundscene 3's NFC option for accessing audio from your source device (it must be NFC compatible), first turn on your device and unlock the screen (also make sure that the NFC function on your device is turned on).

Next, turn on the SoundScene3, press the T button, than the SoundScene's Bluetooth logo. At this point the SoundScene should be pariing. Now, touch the back of your device to the SoundScene's NFC logo. Confirm the connection to SoundScene by selecting Yes/OK on your device's screen.

To disconnect your device from SoundScene just your audio source again to the top of the SoundScene.

Using Multiple SoundScenes

One very practical feature, especially for use outdoors for movie night is placing several SoundScenes and linking them together (up to 8 are allowed). To do this, first gather your speakers, then select one as your transmitter (the one that you are using to physically or wirelessly connect with your source device.

Once your setup is establish, select R on your receiving speaker(s) and then select T on the speaker you have designated as the transmitter. Then press and hold the Link buttons on both the Transmitting and Receiving speakers (do one at a time).

Once you have successfully executed the transmitter/receiver relationship with all your speakers, then you can place them where you would like them, taking into account factors such as effective transmitter/receiver range (up 100 feet). All of the speakers duplicate the sound signal sent from the transmitting speaker.

Unfortunately, one thing you can't do, in terms of multiple speaker setup is that if you are using two speakers, there are no provisions for stereo pair designation, and of course, if you are using 5 speakers, you cannot set them up in a 5-channel surround sound configuration, with each speaker designated to a individual channel. Both a stereo or surround sound-type set-up would be very desirable features for home theater fans as the such a capability would allow an easy wireless surround sound solution for a backyard movie nite.

Of course, for multi-speaker surround sound, provisions would have to be made for a digital optical/coaxial audio input option in combination with the WISA standard for wireless speaker sound distribution, as well as on board Dolby Digital/DTS decoding capability, but perhaps Bayan could explore this possibility. Frankly, even a just having the ability to do a stereo pair would be nice to have.

Performance

In terms of performance, I had mixed impressions of the Bayan Audio SoundScene 3

On the one hand, stereo sound is projected from the speaker system in a 270 degree spread pattern that enables the listener to experience a stereo sound field (albeit a narrow one) from a variety of listening positions, and is provides sound that can fill a large room or outdoor area with getting lost in the environment.

Also, with its built-in handle, it is easily portable from room to room or from one outdoor location to another. To make portability even more practical, it can run for up to 8 hours on its built-in rechargeable battery, or, if used in a more stationary setting, you can also plug it into standard AC power using the provided detachable power cord. Also, when it is plugged in, the internal batter can recharged.

As far accommodating source devices, you can easily pair the SoundScene 3 with a compatible Bluetooth or NFC-enabled source device, or you can plug an external physical source using the provided 3.5mm input connection option.

However, there is one thing to point out, you cannot have both a Bluetooth and physical source connected to the SoundScene 3 at the same time. If you want to play your Bluetooth source, you must unplug anything that is plugged into the 3.5mm audio input. In other words, SoundScene 3 does not provide an input switching function.

As far as sound quality goes, the emphasis in definitely on the mid-range, and does well with vocal-heavy music content. However, I found the bass to be subdued (audible down to about 70Hz - usable from about 80Hz) and it lacks​ detailed presence on the high-end dropping off in output level starting at about 12kHz.

What I Liked

1. Heavy duty weatherproof construction for both indoor and outdoor use.

2. Built-in flexible carrying Handle.

3. Incorporation of wireless streaming from compatible Bluetooth playback devices.

4. Can be paired wirelessly or via NFC with compatible source devices.

5. 3.5mm audio input connection

6. Well-spaced and clearly labeled onboard controls and rear panel connections.

7. Very quick to setup and use.

8. Multiple speakers can be paired together for large room or backyard environments.

What I Didn't Like

1. Average sound quality, good midrange but subdued bass and dull highs.

2. No Bass, Treble, or manual equalization controls

3. Narrow stereo sound stage due to vertical form factor.

4. No input switching.

5. USB port is for portable device charging only - no ability to access music from Flash Drives or other USB-connectable devices.

6. You can't link two SoundScene 3's together for use as a stereo pair.

7. When using a multiple speaker setup you can't raise or lower the volume level of the entire group together.

Final Take

Overall, the Bayan Audio SoundScene 3 provides an average listening experience for music, and is very practical in that it is easily portable (can run on its built-in rechargeable battery for up to 8 hours or plugged into AC power).

Also, for outdoor movie nights, you can link up to 8 speakers together and place them around your seating area (in fact, you can use the built-in carrying handle to hang the SoundScene 3 from a hook fastened onto an awning for even a sturdy tree branch) for a better outdoor sound experience (keeping in mind that all the speakers will put out the same sound - no surround sound).

On the other hand, the overall sound quality was not of home theater or serious music listening quality, as although the mid-range was solid, the bass was subdued and I thought that higher frequencies were little dull.

However, the SoundScene does project a 270 degree sound field around its exterior (although stereo imaging is very narrow), and the sound output level capability can easily fill a medium-size room or outdoor patio or pool-side setting.

I liked the visual look of the vertical design of the SoundScene 3, but, in terms of music listening application, I would have preferred a horizontal design with matching horizontal placement of the main speaker drivers, as that would produce a wider stereo soundfield.

Also, connection limitations (not allowing the USB port to accept music content from flash drives, and not having the ability to link two speakers together in stereo pair) could be improved.

However, the weatherproof construction, built-in flexible carrying handle, battery and AC power option, and the ability to link multiple speakers together are all practical features. The Bayan Audio SoundScene 3 also delivers strong audio output levels that are suited for either a large room or outdoor listening environment.

For casual music listening indoors or outdoors on a patio or poolside, and for use as a possible multi-speaker setup for outdoor parties or backyard movie nite, the SoundScene 3 is an easy-to-place and use wireless Bluetooth speaker system solution that can stand up to rigors of outdoor use.

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