We have covered a lot of audio devices here on the site, but I have to say that the 1byone Portable Bluetooth Speaker has proven to be one of the more robust offerings so far, despite its relatively small size.
At only twelve ounces in weight and 7.1 x 2.4 x 1.7 inches in size, I was curious just how strong the sound coming out of this little guy would be. It promises enhanced bass and I have to say that the sound quality and range holds up pretty well. I was able to listen to music, audio books and even decided to pump a couple of movies through it that I was playing back on my phone, and I never had any issues with the audio details. The bass will not knock your proverbial socks off, but it more than does the job.
I decided to take my testing of this a step further. After all, it is a waterproof unit as well, right? So I decided to run some water over it while I was in the kitchen working on some things. I wanted to see if it would a) continue to work and b) see how it sounded. The waterproof design (the case itself has a rather nice, rubbery feel to it that helps to absorb shocks and blows as well as making it easier to grip and carry, even when it is wet) holds up well. The unit never stopped working, and in fact continued to play very clear audio, with a design that allowed water to roll over without really clogging up the unit.
Now, this is not the absolute smallest Bluetooth speaker I have ever worked with. I know in one of the promotional images they show it being hooked to a belt. That is viable I suppose, but I feel this unit is better suited for being set down somewhere. While the audio quality is clear, this is not the loudest of speakers I have ever heard either, including some slightly smaller Bluetooth ones I have around the house. It works well for a small group or a more isolated setting – to be fair it has become my ‘go to’ device for when I am sitting outside. I have a feeling that this will continue to get a lot of use over the summer when I am sitting outside grilling and reading.
The device connected to my iPhone quite easily, which is the most common use case I had for it. One really nice feature is that the speaker also has a physical 3.5mm auxiliary port that you can plug a device into in case it does not support Bluetooth (like a cheap MP3 player for example). This and the USB connection on the back are tucked under a rubber cover that can be pulled back for access. The buttons on the top provide easy access, though I do have one button quibble/design choice I am not a huge fan of.
The volume buttons are combined with the forward/back buttons. The buttons default to skipping with quick presses, and require longer holds to adjust the volume up and down. I really feel that these should be separate buttons, but even if they had to share a physical button, I think I would have preferred a swapped priority order. I find myself changing the volume more frequently than I change songs. Hardly a deal killer, just one of those minor details that I felt the need to bring up.
That being said, the 1byone Portable Bluetooth Speaker provides a lot of value at a pretty reasonable price. The sound quality is quite good and the design is both sturdy and waterproof. it is a really nice option for outdoor use, because of this rugged design. It syncs up quite easily with multiple devices, but even uses a physical connection in case you lack Bluetooth on your preferred hardware. All in all this is a well-designed speaker for a variety of mobile uses.
Article by Nick