1byone Plasma Ball Music SpeakerIn retrospect, this is a review that should have been posted pre-Halloween as the mad-scientist looking 1byone Plasma Ball doesn’t particularly fit anywhere else except at a costume party.

The 1byone Plasma Ball is a Bluetooth speaker, a Micro-SD card player, and a plasma lightning ball that responds to touch. In each aspect there’s a level of neat, but combined there’s something to nitpick at every level.

The plasma ball by itself is very neat, but in conjunction with music it doesn’t have any wow effect. The lightning shuts off when the music is at a reasonable volume and only pops on at the top 10% or so of the range. This means unless you’re listening to a solid wall of sound (or have it cranked to 11,) the ball stays off most of the time. Fortunately there’s a switch to lock it on and keep it on.

The speaker is loud, but not particularly clear. Perfect for playing The Monster Mash or such, but at low volumes it’s not particularly amazing.

One of the things you think when you think “Bluetooth” is wireless. Well, you can forget about that. This needs to be plugged into a USB power supply at all times. It doesn’t appear to support USB audio so you’ll still need to pair it if you want to use it from your computer.

Speaking of pairing, I paired with no issues last week, walked in expecting it to work with no issues today, nope.  A weekend of being plugged into a consistent power supply that’s powered by a computer power supply behind two UPSes and a line conditioner (I’m saying there were no power fluctuations,) and the device was brain dead. I had to physically remove power from the device and plug it back in in order to re-pair it.

It may sound like I hate it, but I don’t. It’s just a little bit of a disappointment as a speaker (except it is very loud, I do give it that.) As a Plasma Ball it’s pretty cool though.

The 1byone Plasma Ball Music Speaker is currently out of stock at Amazon