The Geneva Touring series comes in many sizes. The Touring/XS is a portable Bluetooth speaker with 2 active drivers and bass radiator, the Touring/S has an additional DAB+ and radio function but no bass radiator. The Touring/M is larger Bluetooth speaker with retro handles, while the Touring/L adds the DAB+ and radio function.
I choose to review the Touring/S because of its affordable price point and the radio function. The retro design exudes durability, style, class, unlike most portable speakers.
Is radio passe? My daughter certainly does not think so. Every day when I drive her to school, we listen to the radio – Class 95 FM to be precise – and enjoyed the mix of music and talks. After I dropped her off, I switch to Symphony 92.4 FM. I used to listen to 93.8 but after they changed the format, I totally hated it. 93.8FM used to read half and hour worth of news which gave me loads of information around the world. Now they condensed to less than 5 minutes.
At home, we usually listen to Spotify for music streaming. But during the review period with Geneva Touring/S, the radio is turned on very often. I suppose we like the element of surprise, letting the radio DJ decide the music mixes, plus some conversations. Naturally, when the channel started to sound boring, we can turn to Spotify.
The upper metal grille is actually the retro LED display panel and shows the radio station name and other information. The battery is quite amazing, lasting for over 20 hours, though I never do battery test. I reckon battery consumption for radio is a lot lesser than using as Bluetooth speaker. The charging duration, though, is quite long, about 5 hours, ending only when the red LED indicator turns off. So I usually charge overnight.
The audio quality is lovely. Though there is a lack of deep bass since there is no bass radiator, the other frequencies are forthcoming and transparent. The mid bass is sufficient to give bass presence in pop music, the midrange adds the warmth without muddying up the sound, and the treble is surprisingly transparent that you can hear some highs details. The speaker is to be enjoyed as an intimate music machine next to you, or played in the background without intruding into your life, something that radio does best. But if you want, you can turn up the volume to the max, and the sound is still well balanced without sounding harsh, noisy or distorted.
Radio never sound so good in a portable speaker. Even my daughter could tell, as she complained that her own radio alarm clock did not sound nice. We told her that after she had woken up by the clock radio, she could switch over to the Touring/S manually. If you try to connect your smartphone to a portable speaker and play radio, the sound is harsh and thin, because radio receivers are not of good quality, and no one cares anyway.
Besides radio, the Touring/S can support Bluetooth 4.1 audio and line-in using 3.5mm audio cable. These are secondary functions, and the Touring/S does not have any buttons to control the Bluetooth source.
The Touring/S is not comparable with other specialised portable speakers in the bass delivery, but the product makes a compelling entertainment solution. It is portable, looks great, feels durable, the speakers deliver balanced sparkling sound. And they make radio sound good.
It retails for S$369 at authorised Geneva Lab dealers such as AV Intelligence (Millenia Walk), Changi Airport (all terminals) by e-Gadget, Isetan (Scotts & Tampines Mall), Nubox stores, Robinsons (The Heeren), TANGS (Orchard & Vivocity) and TwoBros Lifestyle & Gadget Store (Novena Square).
- Driver Type: Neodynmium speaker driver
- Amplifier: Class D
- Frequency Range: 100 – 20000 Hz
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1 A2DP, 3.5mm Line-in
- Weight: 0.8 kg
- Dimensions: 17 x 4.5 x 10 cm
- Radio: DAB+, FM tuner with 6 stations presets