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Nexum Memo

Rating:
3.5/5,
  1. Cinder
    Nexum Memo: Life Integration
    Written by Cinder
    Published May 21, 2018
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Magnetic backing, high max volume, vocal separation, low noise floor, good accessory set, Alexa integration, DNLA,
    Cons - Distortion in the upper midrange, average battery life for its size, no 802.11 AC WiFi support
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    Nexum Memo Bluetooth Speaker Review: Life Integration
    The Nexum Memo is an interesting product. Born from the “smart speaker” trend, it differentiates itself from the common Bluetooth speaker in a number of ways. Featuring Amazon Alexa built in and a magnetic housing, it has features that make it much easier and more useful to integrate into your life. The MEMO is a true Internet of Things device through and through. In spite of all its tech, is it a good speaker though?

    You can find the Memo for sale, here, on Nexum’s website, for $100.

    About My Preferences: Heads up, I’m a person! As such, these words are my opinion, and they are tinged by my personal preferences. While I try to mitigate this as much as possible during my review process, I’d be lying if I said my biases are completely erased. So for you, my readers, keep this in mind:

    • My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass.
    • I have a mild treble sensitivity.
    Tech Specs
    • Speaker count: 2
    • Battery capacity: 2200 mAh
    • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
    • Bluetooth: v4.2
    • Speaker Output: 3W*2
    • Freq. Response: 80~20 KHz
    • SNR: ≥80dB
    • Dimension (L*W*D): 142mm*70mm*24mm
    • Weight: 238g
    Sound Signature
    Sonic Overview:

    The Memo is a treble-focused speaker with a peaked upper-midrange. Bass response is mild, though audible. The extension is decent, but definitely nothing to write home about. There appears to also be some mild distortion or resonance within the upper-midrange that can wash out busy choruses in rock and alternative songs. My electronic songs and classical songs remained mostly unaffected.

    Due to its 2-speaker configuration, the Memo is front-directional. The zone of ideal sitting space is about 100-degrees from the middle of the speaker grill. As far as volume goes, the Memo can get loud and competes well with other loud noises in public spaces fairly well due to its elevated treble and upper-midrange.

    Features
    The Memo is packed full of features, mostly pertaining to its WiFi capabilities. In this small box you have compatibility for:

    • Spotify
    • Alexa
    • DNLA
    • Airplay
    • And a bunch more!
    These are all accessible after you set up the Memo through the companion app. It works reasonably well, and I was up and going in about 10 minutes.

    Furthermore, via the app, the Memo can play in a WiFi-based multi-room mode, if you have more than one of them. This is a pretty cool inclusion, and while I haven’t tested it myself given my startlingly low number of individual Memos, I’m sure it works as well as the other features here.

    Packaging / Unboxing
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    Build
    Construction Quality

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    Starting on the top of the device, we find an Alexa mic button, a volume and volume down button, a pause play button, and a “like” button that is compatible with various streaming services such as Spotify. These buttons are mechanical and placed underneath the soft rubber their legends are printed on. Each button yields a satisfying click.

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    The side holds the Wi-Fi mode button and the power button. Much like the top-side buttons, these are satisfying to click.

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    Below the Nexum logo is the Micro-USB charging port. It is firm and holds the charging cable well. No wiggle at all.

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    The back of the device looks rather unsuspecting, but hidden underneath that rubber panel is a strong magnet. It is definitely powerful enough to keep the Memo firmly attached to a variety of metallic surfaces.

    Altogether, the Memo is a really well put-together device. There’s no flex, either from torturing or bending, and it can definitely handle its fair share of drops. The use of rugged plastic and rubber means that it won’t easily crack or dent either. While this wasn’t designed with durability as a priority, I’d still say that the Memo can be used as an outdoors speaker as well as an indoors one (provided it’s not raining or snowing).

    Connectivity and Battery Life

    I was able to easily connect the Memo to a variety of devices via Bluetooth. It was also fairly simple to get it connected to my Wi-Fi. The range was a standard 30ft unobstructed, roughly 17ft obstructed for Bluetooth, though my WiFi reception was worse with the Memo than it was on my other devices like my HTC U11 and Asus laptop.

    Battery life was a little higher than Nexum predicted, with an average lifetime of 20.2 hrs on Bluetooth, and 8.8hrs on WiFi. This test was done at half volume.

    Accessories
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    The Memo comes with only three accessories, but they’re both pretty useful. The first it the charging cable (haha, I know), and the second is an adhesive magnet. This lets you create a magnetic mount of the Memo on any surface, even those not made from metal. I used mine on my bedroom’s door and it works quite well. The third is a USB to 3.5mm adapter that lets you plug in a wired device to the Memo. Pretty handy.

    Summary
    The Memo represents the forward-thinking nature of Nexum. While it misses some of its goals sound-wise, it works flawlessly in terms of connectivity. As my first run-in with an IoT device, the left me with a good impression of what’s to come. While it doesn’t give you the best sound for $100 in a Bluetooth speaker, it definitely competes very well with any other smart-speaker in this price range or at least those that share its feature set. So if you’re looking for an exceptionally smart speaker, or are just a fan of Alexa, definitely give the Memo a look.

    As always, happy listening!