Motorola Stream

A mere $50 gets you a good Bluetooth music streaming device from Motorola

This, folks, is the Moto Stream. It's a Bluetooth device that kicks music from your phone into a proper set of speakers. And that's all it is. It's not the Nexus Q reborn. For one, it's much smaller. And while it's cute in that icosahedronic sort of way, it just doesn't have the same feel that the Nexus Q did. Yes, both flash lights at you, but the Motorola Stream does so in a more muted, understated way. Not in that same sort of "Take me to your leader" way.

What the Moto Stream is, we'll tell you, is about $250 cheaper than the Nexus Q — which by the way was never actually sold — and is available now from Motorola for $49.99.

Motorola Stream
When one device takes over for another, the colors change.

Never mind the design — there's really no reason to overthink this device. It's a basic Bluetooth streamer that allows up to five devices to pair at once. (If you've ever used the BlackBerry Music Gateway, it's sort of like that.) Each gets its own color code, and each can interrupt the playback from any of the other connected devices. When they do so, their color will flash on the four front-facing panels. (Or five once you peel off the NFC sticker — and it's made to come off.) You'll have to know what your color is if you care about who's streaming, of course.

Pairing is easy enough — tap to initiate via NFC. Tap again to unpair. To kill the party outright, there's an on/off button.

Motorola Stream

The Moto Stream is powered by microUSB — and the included cable is nice and long. Music gets to your speakers by 3.5mm jack. That cable's not included, but Motorola was kind enough to slip one in for going from 3.5mm to RCA, which is nice. There's nothing in the way of documentation in the box (at least there wasn't in ours), so you're sort of left to your own devices to figure out all this. On the bottom of the box, however, you will learn that it supports A2DP, HF and AVRCP profiles. (No mention of aptX anywhere.)

The other spec of note is that Motorola claims a 300-foot working distance for the Stream. That is, you could be a football field away and still keep the party going. That'll vary a little bit depending on your phone and any interference (if you're indoors, expect things like walls and other devices to get in the way, perhaps). But for all intents and purposes in our limited testing, range seemed to be pretty good.