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Native Union Moshi Moshi 04 Bluetooth Phone / Speaker

As with the Logitech Wireless Headset (see previous post), wireless connections let us make things more interesting and more useful -- Start with a corded music headset, and then go wireless to work with multiple mobile phones and portable players. And since the headset talks with mobile phones, it only makes sense to add a microphone to work for phone calls as well.

The Moshi Moshi 04 Bluetooth Phone / Speaker follows this same kind of progression, but in the opposite order -- and with some serious design styling.

First, convert a telephone handset for use with a mobile phone, as with the Moshi Moshi POP / Retro Handsets (see post from last year), providing the comfort and convenience of a traditional hand-held handset for conversations.

Then go wireless, so you can park your mobile phone by the window or wherever you get the best reception, and then use the handset at your chair or desk, up to 30 feet away.

Then the real clever step -- since Bluetooth supports music as well, enhance the headset with speakers at both ends, so it also serves as a stereo speaker. After all, telephone handsets are typically symmetric at each end, so why not take advantage of the design? (And as a bonus, add an audio jack on the back of the handset to play directly from other devices.)

Finally, take advantage of these features by laying the handset down on a charger / base, where it also can serve as a conference / speaker phone, with the two speakers plus an additional secondary microphone with noise reduction for conference calls.

The resulting Moshi Moshi 04 has a sexy design for the handset plus base, with brushed aluminum face and soft-touch surfaces, available for $179 in taupe and copper or black and silver.

But there's one more step -- the Moshi Moshi 04i extends this design by adding a slide-out iPhone dock/charger in the base for $199.

This is a really interesting idea, executed with a clear design style, albeit with some idiosyncrasies -- including the non-obviousness of which end is which for the ear vs. the mouth...

But if you're interested in extending your mobile phone with fun and functional handset designs, do check out the Native Union Moshi Moshi line.

See my Audio Accessories Gallery for more on portable speakers and headphones.

Find the Native Union Moshi Moshi 04
and Moshi Moshi 04i on Amazon.com

Some other nits:

The volume is automatically limited to 75% when off the base, which limits the speakerphone effect.

The buttons are tiny and recessed, and are tricky to press correctly (especially for single-press vs. double-press vs. long-press).

And the operation and associated documentation can be somewhat disjointed -- For example, you sometimes press the power button and sometimes the function button for the same purpose, and the colored LED that indicates the phone mode (handset vs. conference vs. speaker) is visible only through a tiny hole in the front of the handset, while there are other larger LEDs glowing around the power button and phone controls.

Manifest Tech Site


This entry posted on October 23, 2011.

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