WNYLRC is starting a gadget-lending program. This is a way for member libraries to borrow various devices to try out for themselves before deciding to purchase.
The program will officially kick off during the two sessions of our Gadget Update workshop: Tuesday, April 26th in the afternoon, and Thursday, May 5th in the evening. Those who attend either session will have first dibs on borrowing an item. (Although if you borrow something at the April 26th class, we’ll need it back in time for the May 5th class.)
In the meantime, to whet your appetite, I’ll be posting some information about the devices we have purchased for this program. Previously I posted about our LibraryBox, and today’s post looks at another gadget.
The UE Boom 2 is a Bluetooth speaker, meaning it can play audio from phones, tablets, or computers via a Bluetooth connection. Like many such speakers, it also has a microphone, allowing you to use it for webinars or conference calls too.
There is no shortage of Bluetooth speakers to choose from these days. They are available from almost every tech company you can think of, in a variety of sizes and prices. The Boom 2 from UE (Ultimate Ears) is one of the top-rated models due to its 360-degree sound projection, so we decided to try this one.
The Boom 2 is small, about the same diameter as a pop can and just slightly taller. It looks sleek and unobtrusive, at least when it’s not plugged into the neon-yellow charging cable. But you only need to do that until the battery is charged (about 2 ½ hours), and then it’s supposed to last for 15 hours.
To play audio, turn on the Boom 2 and then turn on Bluetooth on your computer/phone/tablet. Here I used my Android phone.
I tapped and held the Bluetooth button to access the settings. Here I could see other devices that were already paired with my phone, as well as the Boom 2 listed under “Available Devices.” I tapped it to pair with my phone
Once it was connected, I started up my music player and Adele’s voice was coming through the speaker. But it doesn’t have to just be music – any sound from the phone will go through the speakers as long as they are connected. That includes YouTube videos, Skype, or even regular phone calls.
All of the controls are fairly minimalist, and as you can see, the volume controls almost look like part of the device’s design.
You may be wondering, can this work with non-Bluetooth devices? Yes, there are 2 methods for this, but to learn how, come to one of our Gadget Update sessions. We’ll also discuss ways to use it and why a library might want a speaker like this.