I love Bluetooth speakers that have a vintage look, whether they're dressed up like a prewar radio, hi-fi system or '70s-era guitar amplifier. Electrohome's Birmingham Bluetooth speaker is similarly retro, styled to look like a classic Fender guitar amp. But here's the twist: It has a 1/4-inch input for your guitar, meaning it can do double duty as an actual practice amp. The speaker usually sells for $150, but Electrohome is currently offering it for 33% off. Right now you can get the Electrohome Birmingham for $100 when you apply discount code RS61CNET at checkout.
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First and foremost this is a Bluetooth speaker, so you can connect it to your phone or any other Bluetooth device to stream audio or play music from your library. The top panel of the speaker has a volume control and treble/bass dials, along with a power toggle and authentic-looking amber power light. You can also plug in headphones for private listening. Inside, a 30-watt amp drives two 4-inch drivers with a tuned rear port for the bass. The speaker measures 9.5 by 13.4 by 7.1 inches and weighs just shy of 12 pounds.
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If that were all there was, I'd be charmed, but it wouldn't be especially remarkable. Here's where it gets cool: The 1/4-inch input for your actual guitar means you can play through the speaker dry, or play along to whatever music is already playing, making it a solid practice amp. The top panel also has gain and volume dials to control how clean or distorted your output is. If that's not enough, the speaker has a standard 3.5mm aux input as well.
I can't tell you how much this speaker tickles me. It's a case where form and function live in unexpected harmony. Can you get a cheaper Bluetooth speaker? Yes. Are there dedicated practice amps out there that might be better for private guitar practice? Yep. But I love the way this one combines both roles, and I suspect it'll appeal to a lot of guitarists out there as well.
First published earlier this year. Updated with new details.
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