Bookshelf Speakers

Blaupunkt Velocity 2 Go Powered Speakers for Portable Players

ARTICLE INDEX

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Introduction

Blaupunkt is a subsidiary of Bosch and is headquartered in Hildesheim, Germany. Since the 50's the name has been associated with quality car stereo electronics, and the company has sold millions of products over the years. As times have changed, Blaupunkt now continues to innovate with advancements in navigation systems as well as stereo products.

One of Blaupunkt's newest loudspeaker products, the Velocity 2 Go (V2Go), is an example of this innovation. The company must have thought of the saying "killing two birds with one stone" while designing it.

The Velocity 2 Go is an indoor stereo system designed for use with MP3 players, and it can also be used as a subwoofer to be placed in a vehicle, and finally it's a portable battery-operated stereo system that provides musical ambiance for any outdoor get together, be it afternoon picnic, backyard party, or summertime barbeque. Actually, that's three birds with one stone, so let's get a better look.

Specifications

  • Design: Two-way
  • Drivers: Two 1" Silk Dome Tweeters, Two 6.5" Woofers
  • Amplifier: 80 Watts RMS
  • MFR: 40 Hz - 120 Hz Sub Mode; 40 Hz - 20 kHz Full Mode
  • Inputs: 1/8" Mini-jack, RCA
  • Dimensions: 8.7" H x 18.9" W x 9.4" D
  • Weight: 15.5 Pounds
  • MSRP: $449 USA
  • Blaupunkt

The Design

The V2Go is a portable active stereo system that can run off of 8 AA batteries or AC power from a wall outlet or DC power from a car battery. It measures 8.7" H x 18.9" W 9.4" D and weighs 15 ½ lbs. The model I was sent for review is called the Velocity 2 Go 6, but there is also a Velocity 2 Go 5 model available that has the same kinds of features using smaller woofers and tweeters and costing a little bit less.

The amplification inside can provide 80 watts RMS and 160 watts of peak power while connected to either an AC adapter or a car battery; however when the system is running on rechargeable batteries, the power is cut to 30 watts RMS and 60 watts peak.

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The system features two 6.5" woofers and two 1" silk-dome neodymium tweeters, and there is a bass reflex port built into the back that's designed to provide additional cooling as power levels increase. The cabinet structure is made out of mostly aluminum, and MDF is used for the interior walls.

The V2Go has two modes of operation. Full mode has a frequency range of 50 – 25 kHz, and this is the mode used when one plays music from a portable music player such as a Zune or iPod. The second mode, called Subwoofer mode, has a frequency range of 40 – 120 Hz and is designed so the V2Go can be connected to a car stereo and placed in the vehicle's trunk or interior to enhance the bass response of the music. There's a switch on top of the unit so that one can manually set the mode, but there's also an automatic sensing feature built in that can change the mode, depending on how you are using it.

I was impressed with the fit and finish of the Velocity 2 Go. It looks great indoors or outside with its high quality brushed aluminum finish, glossy black face, and logo on the front that glows neon blue when powered on. The quality of everything is top notch, and this is one of the more attractive active stereo systems I've seen.


Setup and Installation

I especially liked that the system is relatively light, and the setup for home or outdoor use takes only minutes. Just plug in the audio source and plug in the power source, or use batteries, and you are ready to go. I also thought the handle was especially helpful in carrying the unit indoors from my truck or out to the backyard. I would like to see a grille on the unit that protects the woofers, so bumping into things as the unit is moved around from place to place doesn't get costly. I'm pretty careful though, so that's not a huge deal for me.

The V2Go has two types of connections available for portable players: a 1/8" mini-stereo jack on the top of the unit and a set of RCA jacks on the back. There is one dial that is inset into the back panel that adjusts the gain of the full range mode and then three dials that adjust the gain, frequency, and phase of the subwoofer mode. Because these dials don't stick out from the paneling, adjusting them is a just a little bit tedious. I had to press my fingers into them and turn them repeated times to get the setting I wanted. On the bright side, it's designed this way so that the gain of the device is set up once to match the level of the signal source and then any volume adjustments can be controlled directly from the portable player. This also might prevent a bystander who is itching to crank the volume knob from potentially causing some distortion on the unit.

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There is a power switch on the top which can be set to On, Off, or Automatic. The auto setting will keep the unit powered on so long as there is an audio signal being sent to it, thereby conserving electricity when nothing is being played. I tried running the system using rechargeable batteries and it lasted a couple of hours at medium volume.

The Velocity 2 Go can be set up in a car with the included wiring harness, but it's a lot better to purchase the optional QuickOut dock for $99 and attach it to the vehicle. This mount holds the device steady, and it allows the V2Go to be installed or removed with one easy motion. Also, if you have the audio mode set to Auto, using this dock will automatically change the system to Subwoofer mode when it's connected.

Fortunately for me, my Toyota Tacoma already had power wires and RCA wires running from the dashboard to the rear compartment of the vehicle for a 10" subwoofer and power amplifier I previously installed. This made installation of the Velocity 2 Go easy for me, and it was only a matter of choosing a good location for it. If your vehicle doesn't have anything like that installed, then there is a bit of work to do, as there needs to be both a power and a signal source routed to the location you decide to put the unit. I'd say that If one is uncomfortable getting in the dashboard and working with the wires of a car stereo, hire a professional installer to run the harness wires.

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The harness has connections for power and ground, and one has the choice to use either RCA line level input wires or four high-level speaker wires for connecting the sound. You only need to connect one or the other, and connecting the harness to separate RCA subwoofer outputs would be preferred here because it gives receivers that have subwoofer features more control over the equalization and crossover settings of the subwoofer output.

I found a location in my truck to install the QuickOut bracket, and this part was attached very easily. I simply fixed it in place with four threaded screws and then attached the wiring harness panel to the base using some Allen screws. Placing the Velocity 2 Go in the trunk of a car will also yield good results because the unit is also designed for this use.

The Velocity 2 Go has metal feet on its base that slide and lock into slotted grooves in the QuickOut base plate. Once everything is installed, it's very easy to install and remove the unit from the vehicle. The ability of this device to go from portable stereo system to car subwoofer in a matter of seconds definitely puts its flexibility level miles ahead of other portable stereo systems on the market.


The Sound

Outside

I used the Velocity 2 Go to provide musical entertainment for a backyard evening party celebrating graduation of some soon to be Air Traffic Controllers. Remarks from my attendees were very good - some commented on the sharp appearance of the unit and the blue ambient glow coming from the logo that accentuated the lighting of the backyard. Most often heard, "Hey, that stereo puts out some pretty good tunes." In general, the V2Go provided enough volume to give the party the right kind of ambiance it needed. Music was rich, with a bright and forward midrange and treble, and the bass was loud enough to give the music a nice strong pulse.

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In the Car

I already have a 10" subwoofer and 600 watt amplifier installed in my truck, so I had a very good reference point for comparison. What I found was although the Velocity 2 Go wasn't going to match the output of a dedicated subwoofer and high power amp installation, it was fantastic at supplementing and enriching the bass response of the already installed stereo system. I imagine that there are many people who want additional bass for their car without going into noisy boom-box territory so often heard on streets today, and the Velocity 2 Go is perfect for that.

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There is a frequency and phase adjustment on the back panel of the Velocity 2 Go so that one can adjust the bass response to either higher in frequency, making the sound more percussive, or lower in frequency making the sound more bellowing. The bass output was loud enough so that it could be just heard outside the vehicle. When I listened to music, I liked that the bass response was clean and able to keep up with fast moving bass lines like those of funk band Jamiroquai, and it also had a very tight and strong delivery when playing the Michael Jackson classic, "Billie Jean."

The sound is articulate and even, and sounds like that of a very well tuned ported subwoofer system, not quite as sharp an attack as a sealed subwoofer system but fairly close. The Velocity 2 Go's in-car performance is very good and especially suited for somebody that wants moderate amounts of bass.

At Home

The performance of the Velocity 2 Go was also solid indoors, providing clean sound and ample bass response. Its biggest strength was that music could be played at loud volumes, filling up the entire room with sound. The bass response was also quite good, no surprise there, and it enhanced many styles of modern music. It certainly could get the limbs of your guests shaking and grooving. I feel the tonal quality of the V2Go is in the top tier of active stereo systems, providing balanced response and a full frequency range, but there are systems out there such as the Audioengine A2s which I recently reviewed that have a little bit more of a refined upper range than the V2Go. You can't top the flexibility of this unit though.

Conclusions

The The Velocity 2 Go is an innovative new product that's just plain fun. It combines three elements of music listening into one compact, highly fashionable unit. It strikes a good balance between sound quality and functionality that you just can't find in other portable players. If one is in the market for a portable stereo system for a MP3 music player that can be used either indoors or outdoors, and that also has the added bonus of the ability to beef up the bass response in a car stereo, then the Velocity 2 Go is a winner in all of these categories and its solid performance makes it a very desirable product.