78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2014
This review is for the AmazonBasics Large Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($79.99 model). I had been debating for several weeks whether or not to buy with this speaker or one of the more popular $199 models (JBL Pulse or Bose Soundlink Mini, specifically). I had also considered the Sony SRS-BTX300 which is currently selling for $99, but soured on it once I saw that it becomes neutered when running off of the battery.
Anyways, after reading several reviews and watching countless YouTube videos comparing various different Bluetooth speakers, I began looking at the AmazonBasics model once again. I think the one video comparing this speaker against the Jawbone Jambox convinced me to give it a shot. I've had positive experiences with the AmazonBasics brand in the past, though admittedly, that was limited to just USB and HDMI cables. I decided that between the low price and the many positive reviews, I'd go for it.
My only other experience with a Bluetooth speaker is the JBL Charge that I had bought as a Christmas present for my GF. She loves it. I thought it sounded good for it's size but seems to focus more on the mids and highs, leaving the bass a little thin. This AmazonBasics speaker seems to be better balanced, which is impressive considering the price (almost half of what I paid for the JBL Charge). The mids and highs sound good and the bass has more punch than the JBL speaker. It's not going to blow you away or make the floor pound with thunderous bass or anything like that, but if you are looking for a great sounding speaker to fill a medium-sized room, look no further because this is the speaker for you.
My sole purpose for buying this speaker was so I could have something to listen to while I do housework without having to use my home theater receiver or computer to play music. It's portable and I can carry it from room to room, as needed, which is another plus. Overall, I'd recommend giving the AmazonBasics brand a shot before you decide to spend more money a speaker that may or may not sound better.
Edit: I've seen a few negative reviews that say there were pairing issues between their devices and this particular model. I was able to pair this speaker with my Samsung Galaxy S5 and my Mac with no problem at all. It took a few seconds longer than other BT devices to show up when my phone and computer were scanning, but they paired up just fine.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2014
Right out out of the box, I was a little underwhelmed by the design of this Amazon Basics BT speaker. There's nothing "fun" about it. But, when you look closer, you'll see the finish is actually really nice - it's black with kind-of a metallic, subtle glitter finish. It's actually pretty classy.
It's a nice looking unit - no flair, no funk - just a simple design. It's fairly solid. This unit comes in three sizes - small, medium and large. This is the "large" version, but it's not huge. It's definitely portable!
I easily paired it with my iPhone and was off listening to music. I initially thought the sound was kind-of muddy, but then realized I had the unit facing backwards - LOL. I turned it around and problem solved! It's hard to tell the front from the back on this device when looking at it from a distance.
The sound is good and clear. I am not an audiophile by any means, but I was more than pleased with the sound from this unit.
The controls are pretty simple - on/off, volume up/down, answer call and a menu button. I like that there's an AUX jack, too. I may end up using this for my computer speakers, too.
I took a few calls on this unit as well and the voices were clear and easy to understand. The caller on the other end said my voice was easy to hear and not muddy at all. The unit has a microphone built in, so even with my phone in the other room, I was able to take a call and have a conversation with the speaker.
Honestly, I have no complaints!
39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Large
Category: Portable Audio & Video
...Always on the look-out for state-of-the-art tech devices that are wireless, portable and Bluetooth 4.0 compatible.
Notes after using the AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker for a couple of weeks:
Shipped in Amazon's Certified Frustration-Free Packaging, In the Box one finds the AmazonBasics (Large) Portable Bluetooth Speaker, an AC adaptor with 5' cord (which has a polarized plug -- one blade is wider than the other) for charging and constant play time, and an instruction booklet (in various languages). note: this Speaker supports Bluetooth 4.0
Weighing in at a mere 1.6 pounds, the (10.2 x 2.9 x 3.1 inches inch) black AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker is made of a sturdy plastic with a high gloss finish along the top, sides and bottom. The front and back, of the unit, are of a sturdy metal mesh covering the speakers, microphone and bass port tube. The light weight and size, of the unit, make make it easy to grip and carry from one place to another with minimal effort. The bottom, of the unit, has four little slip-resistant feet -- which work out very well on a (dry) smooth surface.
The instruction booklet is easy to follow -- graphics are large, clear and bright. Wording is concise. Languages include English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.
The (included/built-in) rechargeable battery delivers up to 4 hours of play on a single charge. The speaker will automatically shut down (to save battery power) if there is no BlueTooth connection, or audio input, for more than 5 minutes. When unit is Off and charging, a blinking red LED will appear -- when fully charged (with charging cable attached) there will be a steady red LED. One can use the Speaker while it is charging.
This particular AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker contains two internal 5W speakers and a built-in microphone for hands-free calls.
The Top of the Speaker contains 4 raised pressable buttons: a multi-function button for BlueTooth Pairing/Connecting-Answering Calls, Call Divert -- and the +/- Volume controls. There is a slightly audible click when pressing. The Bluetooth LED is under the row of buttons, and blinks (Blue) until Paired. The Bluetooth LED changes colors for other purposes, like Blue for Bluetooth, Red for charging etc. On the right side, of the Speaker, one finds a Power On/Off slide switch, a charging port and 3.5 mm AUX-in port. A built-in microphone is located on the Front of the Speaker and intuitively switches from music to phone conversation and back again (for use as a Speaker Phone when paired with BlueTooth 4.0). That's It!
Android OP (new Samsung Smart devices) and laptops using Windows8 were used for this review: following directions, Pairing with BlueTooth was Super Fast. All buttons were very responsive, "tones" assigned to various commands are crystal clear. The LEDs are vivid and easy to decipher from across the room.
One can use the AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker as an external speaker with non Bluetooth audio devices by jacking into the earbud/headphone connection, of said device, with a 3.5 mm audio cable (not included) and then into the Aux-In port on the side of the speaker. When this is done, one simply controls the speaker via the settings on the linked into device.
I found the sound delivered through the AmazonBasics (Large) Portable Bluetooth Speaker to be phenomenal over a wide range of musical genre. Crystal clear highs, lows, bass and voice. It can be very loud, if that is what one wishes. Too bad it is not NFC enabled, but not everyone is looking for that.
Classy! *smiles, sips espresso*
Does the AmazonBasics Portable Bluetooth Speaker sound like what you may be looking for? :) Would make a Fantastic Gift! Highly Recommended! --Katharena Eiermann, 2014
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
There are a lot of bluetooth speakers out there now, including some expensive ones by a variety of different companies. In general, it is true that what you pay for is what you get. Thus far, I have tested the Beats Pill, JBL Charge and Flip, as well as the HDMX Jam. I rate these in terms of sound and play time and port-ability (size). In terms of bluetooth, all of them synced all of my computers and i-devices perfectly, so that feature will not be part of the review.
Sound: The AmazonBasics line is definitely the "no-thrills" version of all of the brands, but in terms of sound, it is not bad! It doesn't hit the bass notes as well as the JBL Flip, but the high notes are good, not tinny and the mid-range sounds strong. Overall, it beats the HDMX Jam for sound. It is not quite as good as the Charge, Flip or Pill, but for the cost, it is a very close second. It generally has a nice overall range for a wide variety of music, and for the price, you can't go wrong!
Play time: The JBL Charge is advertised to play for up to 8 hours, and it does about that. The Flip plays for around 4 hours, as does the Pill. The Amazon Basics speaker will play for 3-4 hours, which is equivalent to the Pill and Flip, but a bit longer than our HDMX Jam.
Size: This speaker is the largest of out all five. It has the same basic controllers that the other speakers do, with the exception of the Charge, which comes with a USB port on its side so you can "charge" other devices while playing (get why it is called the "charge"?). If you are concerned about a large footprint, this one is the biggest by a bit (2-6 inches, depending on the speaker). It looks like a black box and doesn't come in fun colors either. But again, did I mention the price?
Overall, the AmazonBasic Bluetooth Speaker is a great speaker for the money. The difference in sound quality barely justifies spending $50+ more to buy Beats or JBL, unless you are an audiophile or really need the huge range of sounds. The HDMX Jam is the smallest of them all, but the size also reflects the decreased sound quality.
(A side note for the Beats Pill, the JBL Flip beats the Pill on all sound fronts, including bass. I was shocked! It even beats the Charge, which is a bit bigger in overall size, but not better in terms of sound quality.)
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Out of the box the speaker's built-in battery is partially charged. It took approximately thirty minutes to fully charge it using the included power adapter. The indicator light goes out when depleted, blinks while charging and is unblinking when fully charged. Color of the light is dependent upon whether the switch on the side of the cabinet is turned to off or on. To confirm the length of time it will run on its battery, I played it until it stopped -which was eerily close to its touted four hours -- precisely three hours and fifty-eight minutes. Then, I charged it from completely depleted to fully charged and it took two hours and sixteen minutes.
I paired the speaker to an iPod approximately twenty-five feet away - it is recommended the distance be within thirty feet. Working under the assumption that distortion might be an issue at high volumes, I decided to crank-it up. Wow, no distortion although the Port Tube in the speaker cabinet used to enhance the bass did not provide enough depth for my sensibilities, so I used the equalizer in my iPod and boosted the bass and the resulting sound was genuinely good.
That small adjustment made a huge difference in overall sound quality, although the amount of bass desired is often highly personal, but even without the boost, the depth and richness achieved from a relatively small speaker box is impressive, and probably attributable to the two 5 watt speakers and over-all engineering of the package .
The speaker chassis is piano black mixed with muted gunmetal grey metallic bits plastic. If a concern, microfiber cloths quickly remove fingerprints from the shiny finish. There is a metal grill running the length of the front and back of the unit. It measures 10 1/4 x 2 3/4 x 3 and weighs just over a pound and a half. It is portable enough to stick in a backpack, picnic bag, luggage, etc. and looks handsome in most environments.
The Bluetooth pairing was effortless and the controls intuitive although there is a clearly written user manual provided (in five languages) and it includes troubleshooting advice. Briefly, there is an on/off switch, jack for the power adapter, auxiliary jack to directly connect (if desired) an audio device (MP3 player, etc.) although a 3.5mm cable is not included. The function button pauses the music, and the plus and minus signs control the volume. The button with the phone receiver icon will pause the music so the phone can be answered, and when done, press the button again to disconnect and return to the music. Surprisingly good speaker.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2014
So I got this instead of a $200 big name one. It sounds great. I listen to techno music. The highs are clear and crisp. The mids are good. The bass is ok, but it could use a little more. But if you turn up the bass a little in the eq settings of your phone, tablet, ect then its perfect. The volume can go very loud and still remail clear. I cant comment on the battery life since I just use it in my dorm room, and not for terribly extended periods of time. For this price, I highly recommend it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2014
This is a solid feeling portable speaker system with a rechargeable battery so it can be used away from an outlet for a few hours.
I thought the sound was very good, certainly head and shoulders above an XBOOM Ceramic Mini Portable Capsule Speaker , although this unit should be; it is much larger and more expensive. I could not compare it directly to other systems but in the store I thought the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker and the TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker delivered better bass than this unit. The Bose is more expensive but the TDK is about the same price and would be my first choice if I had to get another.
The Bluetooth worked well with my HP laptop, Windows 8.1 tablet, and Moto G phone. It did work fine with the phone during a test phone call but I don't plan on using it this way so I can't evaluate this feature fully. I appreciated the rechargeable battery while working outside for about two hours.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2014
PRO: Good value, simple construction, fine for playing causally playing audio, super easy to pair and use: Just 5 buttons (one of which is power). Got it working within 30 seconds on an iPhone, including the time to pair.
CON: Weak audio. In no way can you compare this with the 'Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III' which itself is not perfect, but realistically and fill a room with pleasing audio. Despite the marketing info, the bass is thin, and at full volume, there's distortion. The audio quality for music is akin to a low-end boombox.
I think this bluetooth speaker is reasonable if you don't need high fidelity, want something in this price range, and are not trying to fill much more than a medium room with medium volume.
19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2014
Low price, good-looking, loud, with decent sound.
AWFUL battery life. While SIMILAR big Bluetooth speakers (Big Jambox, Bose SoundLink 1/2/3) provide a minimum of 8 hours (Bose SL) and maximum of 17 hours (Big JB after firmware update), this one provides ONLY 4 hours at VERY SOFT volume. At MAX volume, it literally dies within an hour and half. Making matters worse, there's no way to know how low the battery is. I guess when the music dies, you find out the battery is empty.
Conclusion: No matter how good looking, sturdy, and decent sounding a speaker is, if it dies on you less than 2 hours through your family gathering, it's 100% useless for the rest of the day. I suppose the fix is that you keep your hangouts short.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2015
I've had this for about a month, got a good deal over the holidays on it.
Sound - you know, the sound quality is pretty good. It's set up just like a jawbone, and sounds about as good.
Build - it's a solid piece of machinery. It's fairly heavy and I don't think I'd lug it around in a backpack.
Battery - I really can't tell you how great the battery is because I sorta don't use it long enough to kill it (maybe 3hrs at once) but I have come back to it and it be dead and need charging, which is okay as long as your near an outlet as it will work plugged in.
If you get the big one, the instructions for pairing will be wrong. Just push the big button until it beeps, you'll see it, pair and then you should be good. If not, you may need to turn the speaker off and then back on and it should work after that.
The thing I'd love to see from Amazon is a case system, preferable something rubber that could take a tumble or a waterproof. The pairing instructions could be clearer and the middle button could be explained better.
I haven't attempted playing more than one device on it at a time, apparently that's possible, not sure how smoothly it transitions.