Another contender for our holiday speaker guide is the SimplyVibe V5-BT1 Bluetooth Speaker from SimplyGlobo. Available in either black or white, this speaker sports all the usual features of similar products, but sets itself apart from the rest by offering a USB port for charging devices from its internal battery. Thanks to a 1500mAh lithium ion battery, you can top up your device and still have plenty of reserve left for music.
Clean design, a simple rectangle shape, and easy to use controls made this one a favorite. One end contains the power switch, a 3.5mm plug (just in case), and a simple LED battery meter, along with the micro USB in. At the opposite end are the phone and audio controls, plus the USB out. Speakers reside behind a simple grill, with a passive radiator on the back side. Sound quality was really quite good, which surprised us coming from a brand that’s not exactly a household name.
The SimplyVibe V5-BT1 is one of the more efficient models we’ve tested, as it’s able to stream music for up to 18 hours on a single charge. That’s an exceptional run time, and even if you have to use it to keep your music player going, you should still be able to get 8-10 hours of use between charges. Although the SimplyVibe V5-BT1 has a durable rubberized housing, it’s not quite built for the “rugged outdoors” the way some others are. It got plenty of use, but it wouldn’t be our first choice for any sort of really rough handling. That said, with approximately 18 hours of run time in a package weighing 8.7 ounces, it can definitely go the distance on weekend camping trips, or a day at the beach. There’s no provision for attaching it to a bicycle, and we probably wouldn’t attempt to anyway. Interestingly, our female testers chose our white tester over all other speakers quite consistently. Choosing by color alone may seem like a bad idea, but it backed it up with great audio reproduction, and that long life – nearly twice that of other speakers.
When we last checked, the SimplyVibe V5-BT1 was on sale at simplyglobo.com for $79.99, making it a great value. For the speaker alone, that’s a fair price. Factor in the ability to recharge your phone or audio device, and it’s definitely looking like a holiday best buy.
MSRP: $99.99 | Run time: 18 hours | Sound quality/quantity: excellent | Build quality: good
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the SimplyVibe V5-BT1 for free from SimplyGlobo, in consideration for review publication