Top positive review
254 people found this helpful
A nice addition to my gadget collection
on March 11, 2014
I have been using this product for a little over a week now and am pretty well impressed with it. The sound quality is on par with other Bluetooth speakers I've used, with the added bonus that it is water resistant. There is an attached suction cup that allows you to stick it to any appropriately smooth surface. It's been stuck to my shower wall for a week and hasn't fallen off. In addition to being able to play music (or other audio, like sound from a movie or TV show), it also acts as a hands-free speakerphone. Controls for play/pause/skip forward/skip back/power are all easily identified and accessible on the front of the device. The skip buttons double as volume controls if held down for a second or two, and the power button activates pairing mode if held down slightly longer. The microphone is nestled in between these controls, and can be seen as a small black speck/hole. There are also small holes around the rear of the speaker body so that sound can actually escape the enclosure. Don't worry, the speaker behind these holes is also water-resistant. The only thing that will happen if you get water in there is that the sound will be slightly muffled until the water drains out.
The speaker comes with an instruction sheet in English, Spanish and French as well as a charging cable which can be plugged into any USB adapter or computer USB slot.
Pairing the device was easy, and if you're familiar with Bluetooth pairing it won't be a challenge. If it's your first time, it still won't be too bad as long as you follow the directions. I shut the device down between uses, and a nice feature is that when I power it back up it automatically pairs with the last device I had connected it with. Not all Bluetooth devices do this, so this was an important feature to me.
This speaker has to conform to the laws of physics like everything else, so if you try to have a phone conversation through this while you're in the shower.... Well, technically it will work, but the person on the end probably won't be able to hear a thing you say - and you may not be able to hear what they're saying either. Similarly, music played over it has a hard time overcoming the sound volume and the raw audio chaos inside a shower. This speaker can provide the volume required, but doesn't sound quite the same. This shouldn't be held against the SB510, since a $10,000 audiophile grade system would also have trouble in this scenario (it could also get loud enough, but your ears would probably bleed a little). You can turn it up until you can hear it better in the shower, but the sound profile isn't the same and sounds slightly harsh in my opinion. Another thing to bear in mind is that EyeCandis stressed to me that the speaker is water *resistant*, not water *proof*. I'm guessing that this is due to the attached rubber plug/cover that sticks into the charging port. In most cases, the plug should be adequate to keep water out. Basically, don't submerge it and it should be fine. And while we're on the subject of the charging port, I should mention that it is not micro USB like almost every other mobile electronics device nowadays. Instead, it has an older style round pin similar to a Nokia phone I used to have. Keep the cord in a safe place (and maybe label it) or you'll be searching for a replacement. Another thing I should mention is that as stated above, the skip buttons also double as volume controls. If you try to change the volume by only a small amount, you may accidentally not press long enough and it may interpret it as a skip command. I got used to the correct timing fairly quickly and it really isn't a problem for me anymore.
Music quality outside of the shower is pretty darn good and the speaker is pleasant to listen to. If you have realistic expectations, I don't think you'll be disappointed (it won't fill your entire house with wall-rattling bass, nor will any other Bluetooth speaker). Call quality seems pretty good, too. My usual test for any Bluetooth handsfree calling device is to call my bank to navigate through their horrible voice recognition system. If I can enter my account number and get where I want to go without having to speak overly loudly and slowly, and without losing my temper, then the device is okay by me. This speaker passed with flying colors and I didn't have any issues. I've only made one voice call to an actual person with this, and they didn't mention any difficulty understanding me. Oh, one other thing - If you're going to use this to listen in on teleconferences in the shower, MAKE SURE you have your line on mute, or everyone is going to hear that you're in the shower. D'OH! You definitely don't want that.
As I said, the speaker sounds pretty darn good on its own, but to take advantage of the water resistant build, you might best use this speaker while taking a bath, in the kitchen, outdoors, in the shower (as long as you keep in mind the caveat I mentioned above and set your expectations accordingly), or in any other watery but not overly noisy environment. You could probably also use it while you're in the pool, but since it is not truly water *proof* it might be best to set it face up on the edge. If you used the suction cup and it slipped, water might leak in past the charging port cover and cause problems.
In conclusion, this is a solid speaker/speakerphone and the water resistant construction is a nice added bonus. At the current price ($16.99 as I write this, but that may change) it's an absolute steal. Enjoy!