So for the last few days, I’ve been playing around with a Bluetooth speaker. I’ve been somewhat intrigued by the concept for some time, so I was excited to check this out. Here’s how this one shook out for me.
In a word, this things looks NICE. It’s a gray cylinder, with a faux metallic appearance. There’s a reflective, chrome like ring around the top of it, and an LED ring that set along the bottom of the cylinder, with the speaker projecting its sound directly up, through a “grill” of sorts located on the top of the device. The LED ring lights up all the way around in two different colors: red for when it’s charging (which turns off when the battery is full), and blue when it’s connected (and that color blinks when it’s pairing). It has a very stoic and minimalist feel. If that’s what they were going for, they nailed it. I feel like I could leave this out just about anywhere, and it wouldn’t stick out (visually) like the proverbial sore thumb. It has two ports along its base: one for charging via micro USB, and an aux in port; the device comes with a micro USB charging cable, a well as a micro USB to 3.5mm jack converter, so the unit can work just like conventional headphones would. Phones don’t charge through their aux ports, so I can only picture this being a backup if the Bluetooth doesn’t pair, or someone with an unpaired phone would like to use it briefly. Either way, for those reasons or others, it’s not bad to have this cable included. Lastly, in keeping with its look, the controls are placed on the bottom, which is covered in a slip resistant surface, akin to a soft plastic or rubber. There’s a play/pause button, which when pressed and held doubles as a power and pairing toggle. There are a pair of volume buttons on either side of the play pause, that when pressed and held will skip tracks. While picking up the unit to access the controls isn’t the most convenient, placing them there keeps with the overall visual design.
The battery life on the included manual indicates a wide range for battery life, from anywhere between six and fifteen hours. I paired the unit with my tablet, to test out while doing some gaming, and over the course of three sessions, I got around 7 hours and change of out the unit, which showed no signs of wearing down. I kept the volume relatively low mind you, but getting north of several hours was encouraging, and showed that the unit had practical use for social functions. The volume that this speaker could put out was decent for its size. I’m not sure how to quantify that further, but it was able to handle the volume needs that I have. The range of the device was pleasantly surprising. When testing music, I was able to easily distinguish the bass guitar, which in cheaper headphones always seems to be the first instrument to go unheard for me. You’re not going to mistake this for being live at the symphony, but given its small size, I expected less than I got.
At the end of the day, this unit is easy for me to recommend. It looks GREAT, performs well, and has solid battery life. It performs better than I’d expected, for its size. So if you’re looking for something small and isn’t an eye sore, this one is definitely a solid option. In light of that, I’m giving it a nine.