Sharper Image Bluetooth Speakers

When you think bluetooth speakers, you likely don’t think of the high fidelity sound these fine speakers produce.

In a time when consumer electronics device sales are on fire, it is almost impossible to keep track of all the peripheral products which are designed to work with devices such as Blackberrys, iPhones, iPods, etc. To that end, I recently decided to purchase a pair of bluetooth speakers to work with my bluetooth-enabled phone. The idea being that I would like to listen to music without having to plug my phone into a dock.

In this way I am free to still use the phone for other purposes while I enjoy music.

The specific product I purchased was the Sharper Image Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless Hi-Fi Speakers #KO500. I was initially hesitant to buy speakers which at 40 watts for the pair seemed underpowered. After a listen in the store, I was impressed at the sound quality and the dynamic range of the speakers and decided to pick them up and try them at home.

Configuration was easy as I plugged the speakers in and pressed the bluetooth button and the blue light indicated it was pairing. My phone picked up the signal a few seconds later and I guessed correctly that 0000 was the passcode. (Manuals?? – who needs manuals 😉 )

I must mention the weight of the speakers is quite substantial. They feel solid and sound it as well. I listened to a wide variety of music from classical to dance and rock. I was not disappointed at all with any of the titles I sampled.

In addition, the bass sounded and felt quite substantial for what I consider to be a budget price to pay for an amplifier and two solidly constructed speakers.

It is also worth noting that with the speakers and bluetooth device turned to maximum volume, there is no discernable distortion.

The speakers are currently on sale for $99 and at this price they are a very good deal. The retail price of $199 is a bit tougher to swallow but then again, this is a wire-free solution to listening to music and there are music docks which cost more and sound worse.

Of course the speakers do need wires from the right speaker into a power outlet and from the right to left speaker.

Even though wires are needed, one benefit of bluetooth speakers is that you could position them on a bookshelf while your bluetooth-enabled device is in your hand or on a nearby desk. In addition, no receiver or ancillary power amplifier is needed.

I found the range of the speakers to be less than satisfactory meaning that even when I was 15 feet away with a door in-between, the sound degraded rapidly and became choppy. However within 15 feet, my line of sight tests were fine.

This could be seen as a positive actually as you could have a few pairs of these speakers throughout the house with a single portable device powering them all. In this way, you would not have the concern of having the wrong speakers picking up the signal.

If there is a downside, it is that there is a bluetooth dongle is included. Nowadays it seems like most products have bluetooth built-in making this an unnecessary addition to the cost. Moreover, there is no speaker grill. This is nice from an aesthetic perspective – as the sound drivers look very modern, but if the speakers are on the ground and you have kids or pets, you might worry that a pen or other sharp object (a claw for example?) will find itself piecing a woofer. It is for this reason you may want to consider the extra $20 cost for a 3-year warranty.

In the end, I wholeheartedly endorse these speakers at $99 and even at twice this price they are a wonderful way to have the flexibility of optimal speaker placement with the potential of putting your bluetooth device wherever you like.

  • Paul Schrum
    January 12, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    I am considering purchasing these, so your comments were helpful. Regarding the included dongle, that was a plus for me since none of my computers have bluetooth built in.

  • Ray
    March 6, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Actually, these speakers are not bluetooth 2.0 but bluetooth version 1.2. I was about to buy them at the store (as it advertised them at 2.0) but when they had the box ready for me it said in big black letters bluetooth 1.2. That’s what did it for me and perhaps that is why you only get 15 ft of range on it.

  • Chaz Whitbourne
    April 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    i bought this speaker at sharper image for 69.00. honestly? one of the best speakers ive used.. i use them on my computer and its amazing! even at 100.00+ this is a great speaker. HOWEVER some of the treble and some bass can come out a little shaky. but even so…amazing speakers!! invest if you get the chance. exp at the price i got them!

  • Anthony Micari
    May 6, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    You forgot to mention that these speakers have an additional wired input for an auxiliary input, which I have hooked up to the output of my High Def TV, and the sound being directly wired is outstanding for the sale price of 100$ which I also picked this set up for.
    I even shut off my TV speakers because of how much better they sound.
    As for the bluetooth…….it’s good at best.
    Theres a noticable delay if you have your PC speakers running at the same time.
    Also the highs crakle alot, I use the EQ in my Windows Medie player to reduce that as much as I can.
    No big deal to me as I plan to use em just outside my door for evening events with litte lost time for setting em up.
    Over all they are with out a doubt the best bang for your buck!
    Did I forget to mention that when you get them set up correctly they are pretty damn loud!??????

  • sheryl kelly
    July 19, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Anthony,
    I just got my Bluetooth speakers today from The Sharper Image. It didn’t come with a manual since I bought the display. Could you tell me how to set up my speakers?
    Currently, only the left speaker works- I just used my old speaker wires that are hooked up to my stero and plugged the speaker wires to the speaker. The right one, the one with the volume and the pairing button doesn’t work. I have plugged in the electical plug, but haven’t plugged the axillary plug into anything at this time.
    Also, I believe the axillary plug is what you plugged into your HDTv? Right? Let me know where in the back of your TV that you plug that into. Sorry about so many questions. The guys at The Sharper Image were not very helpful.
    Thank you so much for your posting.
    Regards,
    Sheryl Kelly

  • Gigi
    November 28, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Anthony,
    I read your remarks about the Sharper Image Blue Tooth speakers and hope you can enlighten me regarding using the speakers with a none Blue Tooth TV.
    Were you able to hook them up so the TV remote adjusted the volume? When the speakers were connected to my TV, I was told the TV could not control the volume and one would have to adjust it on the speakers. That is kinda stupid, doncha think??
    I hope you can help with a solution. I would love to use them. Besides, I have two more pairs still in their boxes that would be nice to use. BTW, I am not Blue Tooth literate and have no other BT devices.
    Thank you,
    Gigi

  • Brandon
    December 3, 2008 at 12:23 am

    I recently moved and lost my software for the Sharper Image Bluetooth speakers. I placed the dongle in my new laptop assuming the internet and windows would do the rest. Much to my surprise windows recognizes the speakers, but the bluetooth isnt pairing. Could you let me know if this is do to me not having installed the software? And if so, is there anything I can do in order to get a copy of said software so I may install the dongle correctly?
    thanks
    brandon

  • alex
    December 16, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I bought these speakers with a 3-year warranty pretty recently and they are great. The only thing is I lost my unlock code and SHARPERiMAGE’S website is down…any suggestions?

  • Tom Keating
    February 5, 2009 at 11:45 am

    You should check out the BlueAnt UNOTPBASN3 Sonic Bluetooth Speakers. It sports a microphone so you can use it not only for music playback, but also as a hands-free speakerphone. It even supports VoIP applications such as Skype.

  • Anthony
    June 16, 2009 at 8:21 am

    I don’t see these speakers for sale on The Sharper Image web site. Do you know where I could buy them online?

  • Karl Gehrman
    August 24, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I have been reading all the posts about these Sharper Image BT speakers with great interest. I also bought a set from a SI that was closing down and is not gone as is the rest of the entire company. I did not discover until to late that the software disc in the box with my speakers was cracked and I cannot install it and have ben unable to hunt it down anywhere to download. I hooked the speakers up to my plasma screen tv with the line cables and they work great, but I cannot get my Mac computer to “discover them as a Bluetooth device without the software. Anyone want to sell me a downloadable copy of the files from your
    software disc? I’ll send you $5.00.
    Karl

  • Andrew
    October 5, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Here’s where to download the driver for KO500 USB Adaptor =)
    http://www.cirago.com/support.htm
    scroll down

  • In car holders and cradles
    October 26, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Fantastic. Been researching all over the net for a bluetooth speaker and so far, this is the one that meets all my requirements. Is there somewhere we can get these here in the UK?

  • Rich Tehrani
    October 27, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Sadly Sharper Image filed for bankruptcy a while back. I have no clue where you can get them now other than perhaps eBay at some point? I should mention these speakers do not seem to work with the iPhone.

  • alex
    January 24, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    NEED ko500 DRIVER FOR THE SHARPER iMAGE SPEAKERS, ANYONE OUT THERE WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE?

  • Bob
    March 17, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Have enjoyed same satisfaction with speakers linked to Internet Radio radio in my office. Recently ; however, the primary speaker with pairing and volume controls lost power. The fuse is fine & even replaced w new but appears to be nothing. Anybody with similar experience; idea on repair availability; system repair diagram, suggestion?? Help appreciated Bob

  • Issi
    July 26, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I purchased the SI just before it they went out of business, Unfortunately I took the speakers with me to Africa, and using it with a step down electric module which eventually fry the power unit and the bluetooth tranceiver, I have replaced the power unit, but could not find the bluetooth transceiver. anyone with information where I can find a replacement for the tranceiver, please contact me at imoyo@sitelnetwork.com.

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