The 21st Century has definitely perceived the tech genre reach a new zenith. In the last of a couple of years, the world has witnessed quite a lot of significant innovations, serving mankind, bringing the smile, ease, and relief to their lives. Well, today let’s talk about another such innovation, rather a blessing to the mankind, which is definitely worth buying.
Today’s story is about The Carvaan. This is a new Bluetooth speaker released by the well known Indian music label Saregama. Now, before jumping on to any conclusion, this Carvaan is not just any ordinary speaker. It has got a number of interesting inbuilt features like a collection of around 5,000 classic Hindi songs, which the users would be able to listen anytime whenever they would want to, and that also without any Internet connection. The other thing that really stands out is the design of the speaker, which looks like a classic portable radio. While B&O’s A2 is a modern and refined take on the concept, Saregama had gone for a chunky and boxy design for the Carvaan, which is decidedly retro.
The unique look and the entire concept are definitely an eye catcher and arouse the interest to delve deep. So, let’s take a look at the other intricate details and feel amazed.
Design and features:
The USP is definitely its design. Talking of specs, it is a 1.5kg stereo speaker having an audio wattage of 6W and that makes 3W to each individual driver, and though being pretty close to each other because of the design, there’s not much of a wide stereo separation.
Along with this, the Carvaan supports USB playback, Bluetooth,FM Radio, and there’s also a Saregama mode which enables the user to play the stored and vintage collection. For instance, the Radio Geetmala commentary by Ameen Sayani included in the device dates back to 1952.
The look bears a close resemblance to the classic portable radio. The plastic finish looks like something which was made in the 7Os and 80S and is clearly detected from a couple of large metal buttons on the front face that lets the user switch between the stored content modes. With this, there’s also a huge and shiny tuning knob like a real radio would have. A black band runs just under this knob, where a real radio would have the frequency details. In the case of the Carvaan, this space is used for a simple LCD display. There are a metal and plastic handle that can be turned out of sight, and on the left, there are four buttons, for the different sources like, Saregama, USB, FM, and Bluetooth.
On the right, the Carvaan has a plastic vertical volume dial, and below that a 3.5mm port that can be connected with headphones, when needed. On top, there’s a big power button and a small battery indicator light. The lower half of the front face has a simple grille, covering the two speakers, and the back is mostly plain, apart from a USB port (for playing music), Micro-USB (for charging), and a tiny Reset button to reset the device.
Usage of the Carvaan:
After switching on the Carvaan for the first time, it starts off in Saregama mode, on Geetmala. The tuning knob can be then used to move forward across the years, from 1952 to 1979. The forward and back buttons under the tuning knob lets the user to move forward between the different tracks on the record.
The Moods button can also be used to switch between different genres using the tuning knob, and the Artistes button lets the user do that for different singers. Here, it’s worth noting that the organization of tracks is a little confusing, for instance, turning the knob moves the user from Asha Bhosle to Mohammed Rafi, and if the dial is kept on turning the users would get Jagjit Singh and then SD Burman. The songs themselves are also not seemingly organized, but it’s a minor quibble.
Then the same knob is used to move across tracks on a USB drive, and to tune the FM radio. Using the FM radio again involves a lot of fun. This states of simply turning the knob to tune through the various frequencies. Of course, it’s not an analog knob like a real old radio would have, but users would still get to experience some of the same feeling, of physically tuning the radio.
Regarding this Carvaan Radio, Vikram Mehra, Managing Director, Saregama India, stated that “What Carvaan is able to do is to give a complete set of memories that your mom and dad may be having right now about their younger days”.
— svetleena (@svvety) June 26, 2017
Battery life and Audio Tone:
For a price of ₹5,990 and above, the audio quality is fairly decent. It works best with the stored music, delivering the classic tones of the old tracks and the radio commentary cleanly and loudly. The speaker is loud enough to carry to the park for a picnic, for instance, and it’s very mid-centric, making it good for tracks led by vocals.
Also, the FM works easily as well, and with the simple tuning knob. So, even people who aren’t very comfortable with technology would be able to go from listening to retro music to listening to the latest hits with ease.
But one big issue here remains that there’s no Aux-in, so if users wish to listen to music from phone on the big speaker, then it is mandatory to use a Bluetooth.
This Carvaan, which charges via a standard Micro-USB charger included in the box, lasts over 4 hours of playback at full volume, while it lasts for around 6 hours at a more comfortable level.
In conclusion, this Carvaan really isn’t for power users who want to tweak all aspects of their gadgets. Rather, this is a fairly simple device that’s best used for listening to Radio Geetmala or tuning that radio knob and reviving the good old days that were. So, for that get one from Amazon today.