The Azatom STORM is something rare among audio equipment, it holds the iconic title of being the very first right decision I’ve made when buying anything audio related.
I know this is geek blog leaning heavily on tech influence, but those of you who know me and who get to know me will know that that’s not entirely my angle.
Yeah, I love tech and I’m as geek as the next man (except maybe Darrell. And Ash. Oh and I guess M, Jassen, Olly, Chris, the list goes on. You get my drift) but I’m no audiophile.
Every piece of equipment I have ever bought has been based on one criterion – cost. And every piece of equipment I have bought from speakers to headphones has been catastrophically bad. So when I came to wanting to buy a Bluetooth speaker for a family trip to France, I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to look at specs as well as shekels, so I did a little research and found the Azatom STORM.
Azatom are a British outfit and this unit has been designed and developed here in the UK which was a real draw for me and one of the factors that made me decide to pony up for it in the first place.
I’m very pleased with it. Finally I did my research and bought a pearl of a product, sure I have a few niggles, it wouldn’t be a balanced review if I didn’t, but they are few and minor.
Come dear friend, let me tell you all about it.
The Azatom STORM is deceptively small, beautifully made and reassuringly heavy with a lovely matte finish. When the parcel came in the post I was instantly disappointed, thinking that I’d made a mistake again because how could a speaker this small be any good, so from a low base my expectations could only go up.
Once I actually opened the box and got my grubby paws on it I was pleasantly surprised, this little matte lozenge has more weight to it than I would have expected and as I’m from the old school where weight is a reassurance, I was pleased.
It’s a lovely shape and a very portable size, its black and silver design is familiar and the extensive use of grills makes you think you’re getting a whole load of speaker for your quids (it cost me £41).
It only has 3 buttons, perfect for me, Vol+ Vol- and pause/answer as the speaker also has a built in microphone so it can be used to answer calls.
This speaker is really easy to set up and as it is Bluetooth 4.0 you can pair it with two devices and it feeds back to the unit you are paired with. Not only does it have it’s own volume control but it feeds back and controls your devices volume too, which can be a problem if your device starts at a low volume when you first connect, as the speaker will increase its volume and your devices, but only as long as its volume can increase. If you max out the STORM’s volume setting and your device is still only halfway to the top, you’ll have to go and increase the volume on your device manually to get all the decibels, not much of a hardship but notable.
Now, lets talk about those decibels.
As I stated, I’m no audiophile so my point of reference is likely not that demanding, but boy was I impressed!
As soon as I turned it on I knew I’d finally backed a winner. The top volume is uncomfortably loud in your average sized living room and more than adequate to fill an outside space like your average garden or park meet-up with good, strong , bass rich sound. I’ve not yet been disappointed by the sound quality and each time I turn it on I’m surprised by how loud the Azatom STORM can go with no discernible distortion!
The Azatom STORM is advertised as having a 10 hour battery and whilst I’ve not had it on for 10 hours straight, charging has been few and far between, I guess I’ve had 7 or 8 hours of continuous playback which is more than enough. It’s loud and rich and does exactly what you’d want from it!
The range doesn’t give you the 30 meters advertised and I’ve had issues when my phone has been in one room and the speaker in another, even standing between the speaker and the source can cause issues but I am particularly large and its easy to avoid.
Should You Pony up?
Definitely. It’s a great bit of kit, solidly made providing decent sound for not many pennies.
- Portable with built-in Rechargeable Battery
- Latest Bluetooth 4.0 Module
- 24 Watts of Superb Stereo Sound
- 2 x 52mm Wide Frequency Drivers and 2 x Passive Subs
- Balanced Sound with Genuine Bass
- Easy to setup & Easy to use
- Voice Mode Alerts
- Compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled Phone, Tablet or Laptop
- 3.5mm Input with supplied cable for connecting other Media Devices
Max Power Output: 24 watts
Product Dimensions L x W x H: 215 x 70 x 65mm
Product Weight: 490 Grams
Speaker Configuration: 2 active XL drivers, 2 passive subwoofers
Box Contents: Storm speaker, mains adapter, manual, 3.5mm jack cable
Additional Features: 2 larger 52mm drivers with twin passive subwoofers
Input Types: 3.5mm jack input, Bluetooth streaming
Built-in Rechargeable Battery: Yes
Battery Capacity: 2, 200 mAH long-life battery
Charging Time: 3 to 8 Hours for full-charge, depending on whether
music is playing at the same time
Music Streaming: Yes- through Bluetooth
Speaker Dimensions: 2 x 52mm drivers
Frequency response: 150Hz – 18kHz
Bluetooth® Module: Latest 4.0 CSR module