The latest in our Bluetooth speaker reviews is the BeatBlock WET. Bigger and more robust than many of the speakers we’ve tested in the past, it makes a lot of promises for a speaker with a retail price of just under $100. So we set out to see if it could deliver on its claims of big sound, water-resistance, and long run time.
At 6.5 inches long, almost 2.5 inches tall, and two inches deep, it is sized to be portable, yet still has room inside for a 1500mAh lithium ion battery, two powerful drivers, and enough interior volume to help it with bass response, which is usually missing from smaller speakers. There’s an AUX jack, power switch, and USB micro port on one end, with volume controls plus a button for the Bluetooth on top. Between the speakers and the honeycomb housing is a fine metal mesh that probably helps with the water-resistance. It’s robust enough to resist light rain and splashes, making it weatherproof, but not submersible. On the outside, it’s covered in a flat black, smooth coating that seems pretty durable, but could be a bit more grippy.
Pairing with both an iPod and Android phone was quick and easy, which we’ve come to expect. The sound quality was as good or better than any other speaker in this price range. One thing we found was that you don’t always get the best sound by using the native music player on your device. If you download an app that with an equalizer function, you can really bring out all the performance you’ve paid for. This applies to most speakers, but the BeatBlock really impressed us once we punched up the bass a bit. Controlling volume from the speaker or from our device was easy enough, all the way out to the max Bluetooth distance of 30 feet or so, but that was cut short when something blocked the line of sight. Like many speakers, the BeatBlock can also be used for taking phone calls hands-free, but this is a feature we feel will see limited use, as using it’s not really any more convenient than using the speakerphone function of your cell phone.
So does the BeatBlock live up to its promises? We think it does, and then some. With up to 10 hours of run time, its better than average sound quality and volume, and the extra rugged housing, it’s a great choice for around the house or outdoor use. You can easily fill a large room with sound, and it’s loud enough to be heard outdoors, yet it never sounds hollow and tinny like some smaller speakers. The designers at Tech-Life managed to strike a good balance between quality and price, in a market that’s pretty crowded with similar products that may cost more, but offer less. Find it on Amazon.
MSRP: $99.99 | Run time: 10 hours | Sound quality/quantity: excellent | Build quality: excellent
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the BeatBlock from Tech-Life, in consideration for review publication.