Online streaming has changed the way people listen to music. More and more users now rely on mobile apps like Apple Music, Spotify, Gaana or YouTube Music for their daily dose of music. The good old music players and iPods are rarely visible in the public space.
But that doesn’t mean there are no takers for them. Indian music label Saregama has managed to strike cord with the music enthusiasts reminiscing about the good old radio days with a portfolio of multi-purpose speakers with thousands of pre-loaded melodies from the past.
The Carvaan and Carvaan Gold are the bigger pieces of the puzzle, offering louder, room filling audio, and a design that takes one back to the 90s when transistors used to be more commonplace. For users looking for something more compact and handy, there is Carvaan Mini, a trendy looking handheld speaker designed on the lines of the JBL Go and with slightly limited by a solid collection of old songs in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu.
Saregama has now added a new device to the their hand-held portfolio. Its called the Carvaan Go and it looks more like a handheld MP3 player from the 90s.
It doesn’t look as polished as the iPod Shuffle, but does feel solid and well-built with its full metal casing. The rounded edges, matte finish makes and light form-factor (88g) makes it handy and reassuring to use. There is a hook at the top right corner so one can string it up with a small strap and hang on a bag.
Also, unlike the Mini, the Carvaan Go has an expansive physical control panel with a circular scroll and several other buttons that let users quickly access their playlists, specials and artists. The front panel has a LCD screen showing what track or radio station its playing, so users can navigate it with much more ease than speakers that do not have a screen.
It also has a favourites button above the scroller, which automatically adds a liked song to the playlists. All the controls on the front panel look prominent and intuitive to use. The ones along the side panel like the volume, Bluetooth, and the button for FM/AM radios are quite small.
The Carvaan Go has a 1 W speaker and feels very underwhelming, leaving users with no option but to connect it to a standalone speaker via Bluetooth or the 3.5mm jack. The audio quality in the headphone is clear and loud enough. There is a microSD slot, in case a user wants to play any of their MP3 collections with a different set of music and artists. This can make it appealing for users who like to listen to new songs as much as the old ones.
Users can also build their own playlists in the Carvaan app (free; Android, iOS) after connecting the speaker with the phone via Bluetooth.
Charging the speaker can take about 2-3 hours, but one charge allows up to 7 hours of runtime, which is good enough. As far as content goes, the Go has plenty to offer, including tracks from popular artists like Kishore Kumar, RD Burman, Lata Mangeshkar, Md Rafi and more.
Just like the bigger siblings, the new Carvaan Go has that touch of the past about it. At ₹3,990, it’s not very costly either. While it may not get the younger audience excited, it is quite viable for older users who have a soft spot for old Hindi songs (as of now it is only available in the Hindi version). The fact that it offers up to 3,000 songs for free and without interrupting users with advertisements, unlike most of the free music streaming apps, adds to its appeal.