The SmartCast Crave Go Wireless Speaker is Vizio’s latest addition to their home entertainment line. In exchange for an honest review, Vizio has given me the opportunity to check out this small but mighty speaker and see how it works with the other Vizio products I own. The speaker’s biggest selling point is Google Chromecast built-in and multi-room pairing, which allows you to daisy chain speakers together for a seamless home sound system.
Crave Go is Bluetooth- and wi-fi-capable and has one USB port and one AUX port. The USB port can be used to charge your phone while the AUX port allows you to plug your music device indirectly. By utilizing the AUX port, though, you are skipping over one of the biggest selling points of the speaker, which is the SmartCast and multi-room pairing capabilities.
Using the SmartCast app, the setup was the same as my soundbar and TV. I give it a 5 out of 5 for user-friendliness.
After the initial setup was complete, I went ahead and dove right into the world of multi-room pairing.
Real quick, multi-room pairing works if you have more than one Crave speaker or if you have other SmartCast devices in your home, such as the SmartCast 36″ 5.soundbar or the M50-D1 TV that I previously reviewed here on GeekMom. It also works with non-Vizio products with Chromecast built in, such as the Chromecast Audio dongle.
Going through the Google Home app, I was able to hook my Crave Go up to my Vizio SmartCast 36″ 5.1 soundbar and combined them into a group. Now when I Cast, I can choose to Cast to my TV, sound bar, Crave Go, or my sound bar and Crave Go via the group.
How well does it work?
The advertised battery life is six hours of play time (no advertised standby time), which isn’t bad for a speaker of this size. I haven’t been able to test this one out to the max, but I have played it for a few hours at a time and it holds pretty well. When it’s low on juice, just plug it into an outlet with the included AC adapter.
Sound quality is great and comparable to the other Vizio products I own. My music comes through crisp and clear at a maximum volume level of 88 dB.
It weighs in at a modest three pounds, which makes it light enough to take with you wherever your beats take you. The sleek metal design makes it easy to grab and carry, or tough enough to toss in your bag.
And you don’t have to daisy-chain all your devices together. This makes it possible to play different things in different zones (for instance, Pandora in one room and Spotify in another).
I only have one kvetch with the Crave and it’s that the kickstand could also use a little bit of a revamp. I wish it had some kind of locking feature as well because if the speaker gets bumped, the kickstand has a tendency to give out. If this happens and you continue to play the speaker without the kickstand in use, it will be a very hot potato when you pick it back up.
To sum up…
Overall the sound quality and multi-room pairing feature make this a nice addition to my home. My husband enjoys listening to the same music we have running inside the house while he works outside on costuming projects, and the Crave Go gives him that ability with quality sound. The small size makes it easy to move around the house as you need it and the decent battery life lets you continue to listen when plugging it in is not an option. I wish I had a non-Vizio device to test this out with because I’ve heard it works well with other Chromecast enabled devices as well.
VIZIO’s Crave Go retails for $199.99 and is available at select retailers including Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Costco. Currently, you can nab the Grave Go on sale for $149.99 on Amazon.
Disclaimer: GeekMom received a review sample.