Hidden Radio Review - A Kickstarter Project
Hidden Radio has come a long way since its grassroots days of being a Kickstarter Project back in Nov 2011. This little radio/Bluetooth speaker is finally ready for its close-up. John Van Den Nieuwenhuizen and Vitor Santa Maria were successful enough to collect nearly a million dollars in funding thanks to their Kickstarter campaign. With those extra funds they were able to bring their concept to reality and along with it, a unique device.
Hidden Radio has held on to its sleek lines and innovative design. What makes Hidden Radio so special, is the ability to twist up and down the cap. As you twist it up or down you are not only controlling the volume of the speaker but also how the 360 degree sound is spread throughout your home or office. The Hidden Radio is super easy to take with you and is powered/charged by an included Micro USB cable.
While the design and aesthetic of the Hidden Radio is certainly one-of-a-kind, its too bad we can’t say the same for its sound quality. In fact, some cheaper clock radios sound better than this ‘speaker.’ While I certainly appreciate a good looking gadget, I also like them to perform as good as it looks. Whether in Bluetooth mode or even using the included Line-In cable, the sound quality was just OK. The radio feature of the Hidden Radio is also cumbersome. In order to scroll through channels you need to press the tiny directional arrows on the bottom of the speaker. There is no display on the Hidden Radio, you are basically scrolling in the dark until you find a station you like and there isn’t an option to save the channel once you landed on it. So good luck finding it again!
On the positive side, hands down, Hidden Radio is one of the most unique Bluetooth speakers we have ever had the pleasure of setting our eyes upon. The innovative design of twisting the cap up and down to control the volume as well as turning it off, is something that has never been done before. On the bottom of the Hidden Radio there is also a rubber base that somehow magically grips to any surface it is placed on. This allows users to easily twist up and down the cap on the speaker without it flying off a table or out of your hands. Lastly, it also paired very quickly with any Bluetooth enabled device… streaming music within moments.
The Hidden Radio is certainly a hidden gem in the Bluetooth speaker world. Its looks alone are a testament to the types of ingenious ideas that are born thanks to Kickstarter. It is unfortunate however that the quality of the sound and functionality doesn’t live up to its exterior. The steep price of $149.95 would be acceptable if it didn’t feel like you were just buying a decorative tchotchke rather than a decent piece of audio equipment. The Hidden Radio is available now.
The Good: Such a sleek and minimilist design, that you would never think it is a speaker. Operating the volume and power by twisting the cap on the Hidden Radio is a one-of-a-kind feature. Paired very quickly via Bluetooth with all our devices.
The Bad: Overpriced. Sound quality doesn’t live up to its looks and price tag. Searching for radio stations is clumsy.