the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Dear Bluetooth speaker manufacturers. Shut the hell up.

Button your lipIt’s 2am, you hear from your baby monitor the voice of an adult man talking loudly in your baby’s room, you see your child wake up and roll over and in slow motion you’re out of your bedroom and flying down the stairs. Or tonight, let’s say that was my tonight because it was.

Now to give a little background here, for reasons unknown to me if Willie’s Roadhouse on SiriusXM is on, my baby sleeps like a log. We discovered this in the car and moved it indoors with the app version of XM and play it for her at night.

It usually lasts for an hour or two and then disconnects due to one reason or another (inactivity timeout, internet connection issue, etc.) Tonight it ran like it was supposed to and the music kept playing on the bluetooth speaker for several hours.

Previously my only complaint about the speaker was that the Bluetooth indicator light flashes non-stop, but tonight I discovered that it also very loudly informs you that your battery is low. The music was at about a two, the announcement for recharging the battery was about a ten.

I understand that the guided audio feedback is pretty nice, but there’s never a situation I can think of where I want a loud voice over soft music informing me my battery is in need of charging.

I also understand that there exists a demand for audio feedback and some people wouldn’t know the device was working without an indicator that it’s on, but that’s not most people after they’ve used the product for a while.

Now, the device I’m using isn’t the only one that does this, and I’d like to point out I love the thing and use it to put baby to sleep as well as rock out to tunes. Most Bluetooth devices this year it seems, are going to start speaking to you. That is if my experience at CES 2014 is any indication. And they all need the ability to not speak. not blink, just work.

While my situation scared the crap out of me and baby, any other situation involving soft music and loud battery announcement is going to work as well. Imagine that perfect date, the music’s low, the lights are dim, things are just perfect and then “LOW BATTERY RECHARGE IMMEDIATELY”.

There’s got to be an end to the pestering lights and the ability to shut off notifications obvious to the user built in. Previously with the lights you could simply black tape them, but if the music’s down on the source device and the audio’s up on the speaker, it’s horrible.

Anyway Bluetooth Speaker manufacturers of the world, please stop adding these features without an easy intuitive way to disable them. Thank you, and goodnight.

As a PS to this, I did discover in the manual that there is a way on this particular device to turn off the audio guidance by power cycling and pressing two buttons as it comes back on, but it’s not a switch, not intuitive, and won’t stop the nonstop blinking. Why is a switch so hard? Why do we need to overly complicate this?

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.