Boring old Bluetooth is being spiced up with some genuinely useful new technology inside the new Motorola Moto X4 smartphone, as we find in our Tempow Audio Profile review. While the vast majority of other smartphones connect and play audio through a single Bluetooth device at one time. On the Moto X4, a world-first software feature lets you connect up to four devices simultaneously, and the same music will play through them all, with no loss of quality or range, and perfectly in sync.
That means you can have room-filling audio without splashing out for speakers that connect up to one another, or for a multi-room system like Sonos. With the Moto X4 you can call any Bluetooth speaker into action, new or old, regardless of brand, because the technology is built into the phone itself, and doesn’t require any alteration to the speaker at all. It’s easy to adjust the volume level on each speaker too, tailoring the sound profile to the room or personal taste.
Instead of connecting just one product, four can be connected at the same time.
To bring this technology to the Moto X4, Lenovo, which owns Motorola, signed a deal with French startup Tempow. We met with Tempow co-founder Vincent Nallatamby to see and hear the Bluetooth technology in action. Initially starting as an app idea around 18 months ago, it rapidly became clear this method would be impossible due to restrictions in smartphone operating systems — leading Nallatamby to take a whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley and Asia in search of a hardware partner. It only took a short demo meeting to convince Lenovo to sign up.
The result is a seamless experience that’s very similar to using the existing Bluetooth setup. This is imperative. We’re all familiar with the process, after all. Instead of connecting just one product, four can be connected at the same time, and managed under the Bluetooth settings. There’s no additional app or widget to make life complicated. Volume is adjusted individually under the usual Android volume control box, and each speaker is clearly marked so it doesn’t get confusing. It doesn’t only work for Bluetooth speakers either, it also connects up to four different pairs of Bluetooth headphones too.
Interestingly, more than four devices could in theory be connected; but four is the maximum before sound quality suffers. We saw a demonstration with speakers placed several meters apart without any connection issues, so range is no problem either. Listening to two pairs of headphones revealed there are no problems with syncing up together, so you and any listening friends will be at the same point in the track at the same time. Tweaking the volume controls of each adjusted the soundstage nicely, plus there’s the option to assign a speaker the left or right channel, for stereo audio.
At the moment, Tempow’s Bluetooth audio technology is only found in the Moto X4; but it’s not an ongoing exclusive deal. Tempow’s actively looking for new partners. When it finds them, all it would take is a software update to bring the feature to existing devices. It’s not certain this will happen though; but we’re happy with the thought of seeing Tempow’s tech on a number of new phones released in the future. Additionally, Nallatamby told Digital Trends the company is also developing a version for smart TVs, where connected Bluetooth speakers could act as a soundbar or surround sound system.
On the Moto X4, Tempow’s audio technology is a slick, simple to use, and genuinely a useful feature. Many people have more than one Bluetooth speaker, yet only end up using one due to Bluetooth’s single-device restriction. Now, they’ve all become useful again. We’re excited to see it come to more smartphones.