If you’re like me, you like audio. I love listening to good, crisp (and sometimes loud) music. Loud music can be attained through just about any set of speakers. Good music can be attained through any decent pairs of headphones, but that doesn’t help you when you’re trying to listen to your friends; or just not get a headache. To get good, crisp, and loud sound out of speakers, though, it normally takes a quite expensive speaker (or two of them as they’re normally sold individually). Thonet & Vander isn’t like that, though. They offer premium, German made speakers in pairs at affordable prices. One of those sets of speakers they call the Hoch BT, with BT standing for Bluetooth. Let’s take a look at those.
When you first unbox the Hoch BT speakers, you’ll be greeted with the cables for the speakers. They come with speaker wire, a power cable, and a RCA to 3.5mm cable so you can plug in your phone, computer, or other device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Hoch BT also comes with an awesome IR remote that gives you an easier way to control volume, bass, and treble. Next, you take out the speakers; one having all of the inputs and controls on it, the other having nothing but speaker in (through speaker wires). On the rear of the right speaker, you have power in, RCA in, and a 3.5mm in. You also have Bluetooth in, which, of course, is wireless. You can switch between “PC,” “Mobile,” and “Bluetooth” on the right side of the right speaker. On that same side, you also have the power button (when you hold the source button), volume up and down, and the bass and treble controls.
There is no power input on the left speaker, as it pulls all of its power from the right speaker through the provided speaker cables.
When you first go to setup the speakers, it’s quite easy. Plug power into the right speaker, make sure to insert the speaker cable, though not too far, into both speakers, and boom, you have sound! Well, after you either pair your phone over Bluetooth, or plug something into the back of it.
Now is when you set your treble and bass levels. I chose to use the remote as it’s easier to fine tune it without pushing a ton of buttons. I like to run the treble at 100% and the bass at around 75-80%, as too much bass can make these speakers distort. The volume I normally run at 100%, and use my computer (or phone) to control the volume.
These speakers have fantastic quality, as long as they’re not driven too hard. They have about 75 watts for each speaker, giving them a collective 300 watts over all 4 main speakers. I normally keep the speakers at around 100% with my computer at around 25-50%, and that’s plenty loud. If I am walking around the house, or doing stuff in my room (like cleaning, shooting b-roll, taking pictures, etc.), then I run my computer at around 75%. But much over that (as in running the input device at 100% with the speakers at 100% with bass at 100%), the speakers get quite distorted. Honestly, that’s not a surprise to me, as these speakers are sub $200/ea coming in at around $250 for the pair.
With the feature set these speakers have, paired with the price, they’re hard to beat. A friend of mine was able to get some better quality speakers, though they only had one woofer cone (vs the two that these have) and they have individual power. Additionally, you have to buy special cables in order to tie them together, versus the normal speaker cable that the Hoch BT uses, and he paid $150 total on Black Friday for them at 50% off. He already had one speaker break on him, and had to have the company replace his speakers. I’ve run the Hoch BT speakers quite hard over the past few months, and have not been able to get them to break at all, even when running heavy bass through them just to watch the massive yellow cones move. Oh, speaking of the yellow cones, you can choose to either look at the cones or not. The Hoch BT speakers come with included (and pre-installed) dust covers over the front of the speakers to keep things tidy. I personally love the black and yellow look of the speakers, so I opted to not have the dust covers on and to look at the beauty that Thonet & Vander designed.
Are the Hoch BT speakers worth the price?
If you’re looking for a beautiful set of bookshelf speakers that you can place anywhere in your house and be proud of without spending $200+ a piece on each speaker, yes! With the built-in Bluetooth, they’re perfect for the urban couple that doesn’t have a ton of room in their house but want good audio, and to do so without wires. At right between $279.99 on Amazon, they’re a great value for the price, in my opinion. Offering 3 means of input, and individual control over the bass and treble, not many other speaker sets in this price range can boast that.