You can take a look at my video review before reading the article if you like:
Inside the box you get the speaker itself, a micro-USB charging cable and the instruction manual. There’s no wall charger so you’ll need to use your own, or charge via a laptop.
I wasn’t bowled over by the build quality or appearance of the speaker. The glossy plastic feels a little cheap, and the grill inset design covering the two 3W speakers, is not to my taste. But considering the price point, it’s more than adequate.
Starting at the side, there’s a power button switch, a micro-USB charging port and an Aux-in port. There is no means to pair two speakers.
Along the top, there’s a useful selection of buttons for volume and track selection and there’s a function button that has several uses. It’s used for Bluetooth pairing, pausing music and handling the speaker phone function.
In use and sound quality
The instruction manual is clear, and you should be up and running in minutes. When you turn the device on, the blue LED flashes ready for Bluetooth pairing. Select the speaker in Bluetooth settings on your device, and a few seconds later the LED will go a solid blue and you’ll hear a confirmation beep. You can pair the speaker to another device by holding the function button down for a few seconds until the LED flashes again. You can have a number of devices paired, but only one can be connected at any time.
I tried some music tracks streamed from Deezer, and the speaker has a good range and volume for its price point. There’s isn’t much distortion even at full whack.
If you get a phone call while you’re connected, you can answer the call by pressing the function button. This is not something I’d personally use, but a feature that a lot of these speakers have. And it seems to work pretty well.
Battery life is quoted as 8 hours which I think is optimistic, and probably assumes a wired connection. Bluetooth is certainly less, but I’ll try and report back shortly with an exact measurement. A red light flashes whilst charging and switches off when fully charged. (Update 24/12/15 – I tested battery life and actually got over 12 hours at half volume, connected via Bluetooth, which is impressive).
You get a battery life icon with, Apple devices at least, when connected via Bluetooth which is a nice feature. Although this only has two indications: full or empty. When it’s empty, the LED light on the unit also flashes red (with a strong hint of blue).
The biggest disappointment with the speaker is the range when connected via Bluetooth. The manual recommends keeping within 30 feet of the speaker, but I found the audio broke up beyond 10-15 feet (3-5m). This is around half what I’ve experienced from other speakers. I demonstrate this is the video at the start of the article.
I’ve been fairly hard on this speaker, but it’s actually a decent speaker at a good price. It’s a big step up from the audio on your phone or tablet, and if you’re after a speaker that’s no going to break the bank, it’s definitely one to consider.
- Good value speaker with decent sound
- Useful range of controls including volume, track selection and a multi-purpose function button
- Micro-USB charging
- Aux input
- Bluetooth range is very limited
- Average build quality – a little plasticky
- No wall charger or 3.5mm cable supplied
- No sync of volume between speaker and device
- There’s no way of pairing two speakers
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