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Item: Roland Mobile Cube
Price: US $159.00 – $169.00, UK £102.56 – £119.00
At a Glance: The Roland Mobile Cube is an ultra-small portable PA-system that can run on 6 AA batteries and be easily transported wherever you need it. Its stereo amplifier powers two 2.5 Watt speakers and provides simultaneous inputs for microphone, guitar or keyboard and aux-in for connecting a MP3 player.
High Notes: The Mobile Cube is very easy to carry around and runs on batteries for up to 15 hours (or can be powered by an AC adaptor). It has built in chorus, delay and reverb effects, as well as a basic EQ for shaping your tone. The unit also includes a centre cancel button which, when you plug in your mp3 player, takes out any sounds panned down the middle (i.e. the vocals) leaving you (in theory) with a vocal-less backing track to sing along to. The Mobile Cube also includes a selection of guitar amp simulation tones enabling you to plug your electric guitar straight in and play.
Off Pitch: Battery life on the unit is reduced at higher volumes, with some users claiming only to get around 3 hours if run at its maximum level. Also, if you run the Mobile Cube too loud, instead of just distorting like most systems do, it cuts out and goes silent if a peak suddenly gets too much for it. Finally, when you are using both the microphone and an instrument inputs, you are stuck with having to use the same reverb/delay on both.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Its impressive volume for its size combined with simple operation and effects makes the Mobile Cube perfect for those who want cheap and space saving setup for practicing at home or for going busking. The onboard effects are reasonable enough and singers without instruments will find the centre cut function very useful for creating instant backing tracks to sing along to. If you need more volume than the Mobile Cube can provide (bear in mind it is a small device with only a 5Watt output) you might want to look at the Roland Street Cube or the Crate TX15 Taxi.