Looking for a quality Bluetooth speaker that sounds good, supports the latest technology, and isn’t overly expensive? The iClever team sent me some of their gadgets for testing. I was most impressed by the wireless Bluetooth speaker.
It should be noted that iClever provided me with a review block, but this is not a sponsored post and I was not paid to write it. I’ll list the pros and cons of the device and give my general opinion based on my own use.
The exact model I’m looking at is the iClever Bluetooth speaker IC-BTS02. If you have one of them and have something to add, feel free to leave comments. Now let’s take a look at it!
Size and design
The first thing that struck me about the dynamics was the size. It’s a tiny speaker that fits easily in your hand. Plus, it was small enough to fit in my jacket pocket, which was handy when I took it with me out into the woods with the kids. Exact measurement: 2.75 inches high by 2.5 inches (length and width).
For review: the size will make it easy to take with you wherever you go. Another big plus is that it is really beautiful. It’s all black with a blue stripe down the center. The sides have some kind of glossy finish, which makes it a little shiny.
The only problem with glossy sides is that your fingerprints remain on the device and you will need to keep cleaning it if you have oily or sticky hands. The speaker is at the top of the device, so all sound comes from there.
There is one button on the front of the device that controls Bluetooth and phone calls. If we flip the block over, you’ll see the rest of the controls. You have three buttons to control music and volume.
Plus, you have an on / off switch to help extend battery life. The device is definitely less than a pound in weight. According to the documentation, that’s about 9 ounces. The only minor issue I noticed in terms of design is that the bottom uses a rubber material that collects a lot of dust and dirt. Luckily, you can just grab a damp paper towel and dry it off.
Function and ease of use
So what can this little speaker do? Well, its main function is to connect to any Bluetooth enabled device and act like an external speaker. When I got the speaker I wanted to see if I could set it up without reading the instructions.
This is usually my test of how intuitive a company is when creating its products. With the switch to the On position, I decided that I would have to press and hold the button on the front panel to enter pairing mode. Fortunately, this is how it works. The button will start flashing and then you can navigate to your tablet / smartphone / device and connect to the speaker.
Above, I connected the speaker to my iPhone 6S Plus by simply tapping on it. The best part about the speaker is that you don’t need to enter any password or anything to connect via Bluetooth. Once connected, audio from your device will now go through the speaker.
Depending on your device and what level of Bluetooth it supports, all audio may be routed through the device. For example, when using the Nexus 6 and iPhone 6S Plus, every sound made by the phone was transmitted through the speaker. This included all audio from whatever app I used, phone calls, FaceTime calls, music, etc.
Also, on any call, you should be talking to the speaker, not your phone. The speaker has a built-in microphone, and the speaker on the phone is automatically muted when connected to a Bluetooth speaker. It actually works well because you can listen and talk directly to the speaker instead of talking into the phone and listening through the speaker.
I could leave my phone on the table and walk around the house with the speaker during a phone call. Obviously you can do this with your phone as well, but this speaker is definitely louder than the phone speaker. The only drawback here is that you have to keep the speaker no more than 2 feet from your face, otherwise no one can hear you clearly.
In terms of specifications, the speaker supports Bluetooth version 4.0, A2Dp, AVRCP, HFE and HFP. It is also worth noting that only one device can be connected to the speaker. Once connected to a device, it will automatically connect to this device when you turn on the speaker again.
If you do not use the speaker for a certain time (15 minutes), it will automatically turn off, which is definitely a necessary feature for this type of device. However, this only happens when the device is turned on, but not paired with any other device. If you leave it on, but it stays connected to your phone, etc., it stays on and the battery will drain much faster.
Fortunately, the buttons at the bottom are also intuitively designed. For example, if you are listening to music and press the next song button, it will download the next song. However, this button is also a volume up button. Well, I tried to hold down the button rather than just press it, and of course I started to hear beeps and the volume was getting louder.
As for the battery, which is a 500mAh lithium polymer battery, the device lasts surprisingly long. I was unable to test it from fully charged to fully discharged with continuous music playback, but the device lasted several days on a single charge with several hours of use per day. It should be noted that I always turned off the device manually when not using it.
In terms of charging, the battery takes several hours to charge, which is to be expected. The speaker comes with a USB-micro-USB cable that you can connect to your computer for charging. You can also simply purchase a power adapter if you want to charge it faster from an outlet.
Other useful features include line-in or rear-panel AUX. If you have a music player or want to stream audio from a device that doesn’t support Bluetooth but has a 3.5mm audio jack, this feature comes in handy.
Finally, but don’t forget the sound quality! Obviously, when you spend $ 25 on something, it won’t hit you like a Bose speaker, but it won’t cost you a fortune either.
The speaker has a 5W driver that delivers pretty decent sound for such a tiny device. I was quite impressed with the overall sound quality. According to the instructions, the frequency range is 90 Hz to 18 kHz, which sounds roughly accurate.
The sound quality depends on the kind of music you listen to. For example, music with a lot of high frequencies sounds great, but music with a lot of midrange sounds worse. The bass is good, but obviously with any speaker this size you will get a bit of a “muddy” sound.
Otherwise the speaker is VERY loud. I turned this thing full volume into my speaker and my phone, and I literally had to step back because it hurt in my ears. The sound also turned out to be not as distorted as I thought at such a high volume.
Overall, I would give this Bluetooth speaker a 9 out of 10 comparing it to other speakers with a similar price tag. With its size, build quality, sound quality, sleek design and features, this speaker is one of the best portable speakers at this price point.
I have only been using the speaker for about 3 weeks so will update this post if I have any further problems. For example, one person wrote on Amazon that the battery stopped holding a charge after a few months. It could have been a faulty device because I haven’t read any other similar reviews, but I’ll check the claim too. Enjoy!