The August SE50 Bluetooth speaker offers all the connectivity options of a portable Bluetooth speaker in a stylish Home Hi-Fi package. Featuring a powerful onboard stereo amplifier and two speakers, this unit delivers a high-quality audio performance with plenty of gain, and there’s an FM radio with 10 preset options, plus NFC compatibility for smartphones.
With bases in the UK and the USA, August International specialise in home- and portable audio products including digital TV, Bluetooth speakers and headphones. All August devices are designed to incorporate the latest technologies and the company seeks to deliver competitive pricing coupled with unrivalled customer care.
Offering a restrained alternative to the plastic-and-metal creations favoured by portable audio devices, the August SE50 Bluetooth speaker features a glossy wood-grain finish available in black or brown oak.
The SE50’s plain rectangular cabinet has a rounded profile with a traditional cloth grille at the front to protect its two speakers, and a prominent LED display area.
The top-mounted control panel is centrally positioned and angled slightly upwards to improve access. A power switch, aux-in connector and FM radio aerial are stowed away on the rear panel.
Equipped with two full-range 15-watt speakers, the August SE50 review model offers a very acceptable sound quality. Music can be played distortion-free to a good volume level, and the audio sounds suitably detailed with crisp treble, plenty of mid-range presence, and a more substantial bass character than might be expected from an enclosure measuring 30 x 10 x 9.5 cm.
The SE50 lacks dedicated onboard tone controls for shaping the sound, though, of course, this can be achieved at source on many Bluetooth streaming devices.
The SE50 is compatible with Bluetooth audio streaming from iPhone, Android and similar smartphones and tablets and includes the latest ‘one-touch’ NFC pairing feature.
A 3.5-mm aux input allows connection to older non-Bluetooth devices too. In addition, the 10-preset FM radio is easy to access from the control panel and adds a welcome extra feature wherever the unit is used as a home hi-fi.
- Bluetooth: range 10 metres.
- NFC enabled.
- Audio output: 2 x 15 watts.
- FM radio: 10 presets.
- Aux input: 3.5-mm stereo audio.
- Track Control Panel: direct control of music input.
August SE50 review
The August SE50 is very solidly constructed and designed to fit into any home environment. A wood cabinet, rather than plastic, gives this speaker a slightly more retro look which seems more suitable for a mains-powered unit which won’t be subject to the same stress as a portable unit.
There’s an FM radio built in which has a total of ten pre-set stations, and there’s also a line input for a cabled connection to any non-Bluetooth device.
Bluetooth itself pairs easily and provides a reliable connection up to 10 metres, which should be plenty enough for home use. Pairing can also be achieved with NFC if you have this feature on a newer smartphone or tablet, and in addition the volume of your music track can be adjusted from the SE50 itself.
Having now put this unit through its paces on a variety of different music styles and genres, I can report that it handles everything with clarity and a surprisingly resonant bass. A great little hi-fi package.
Pricing and Availability
At time of writing the August SE50 Bluetooth speaker was available at Amazon.co.uk for £38. Click here for current price and more August SE50 Bluetooth speaker reviews.