DBEST London PS4001BT Solo Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker Review

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Cute and compact design; Inexpensive; Good sound quality

The Cons

Lacks on-board controls; No battery meter

Verdict

The DBEST London PS4001BT Solo Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker offers big sound from a tiny device.

Small but powerful, the DBest London PS4001BT Solo Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker can slip into a pocket, but fill a room with sound. But how much quality can a company stuff into such a small package that costs $59.99?

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Design

DBest London claims the PS4001BT Solo Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker is among the world's smallest, and we believe it. About the size of a clementine orange, its 2.3 x 2.3 x 1.8 inch dimensions look positively tiny compared to the 6 x 2 x 1.5-inch Jawbone Jambox. And the Solo is way cuter than the 3 x 3 x 1.8-inch Satechi BT Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker System.

Our review unit was matte black with a flash of red from inside the speaker's dome. The Solo is also available in solid red, or a mix of red on black or black on red. The rubberized finish of the adorable and unadorned sphere feels nice in the palm of your hand.

After you flip the only switch on the exterior of this Bluetooth speaker, you'll be greeted by a cheerful series of four tones and a blue LED light. A small loophole along the speaker's mid-section allows you to attach a lanyard to the device. Also included is a Y cable with a microUSB plug at one end, a full-size USB plug at another, and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the third.

Setup

DBest says it takes three to four hours to fully charge the speaker, but after connecting the included USB to mini-USB cord from the speaker to our PC, we found we only needed about an hour for the glowing LED light to switch from red to blue. We were very quickly able to connect the DBest Solo to our T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide by entering the default code (0000), and in a matter of seconds we were streaming Pandora through our phone.

Performance

We were floored by the audio quality the PS4001BT Solo provided. Music sounded orders of magnitude sharper and fuller than that of our phone's speaker. By comparison, the Satechi Bluetooth portable speaker, which sounded also clear and full, put out about half the volume as the DBest, even though its speaker is rated to 70dB while the DBest is rated to 80.

While playing an MP3 file of "Bad Things," Jace Everett's menacing and bass-filled voice boomed at a full volume and the high-pitched twang of the guitar produced the goosebumps that the theme from "True Blood" should. Also, Itzhak Perman's violin crisply danced through Paganini's "Caprices 5" even at half volume.

When connected to an iPhone 4S, sound was equally (and impressively) loud, but we noticed that higher tones became distorted and fuzzy, especially when we cranked the volume.

We maintained a Bluetooth connection at nearly 50 feet away, although the device is only rated up to 45. While you can adjust the volume of the speaker from your phone, the DBest doesn't have any onboard controls.

DBest also claims the speaker will wirelessly stream sound for 20 hours on a charge, or via a wired connection for 40 hours. Unfortunately, as there is no battery meter, there's no way to know when you're running out of juice.

Verdict

The DBest London PS4001BT Solo Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker is so lightweight and easy to carry we couldn't see a reason not to take it with us everywhere. Whether you travel frequently on business or want to share some jams with your friends on the spot, this $60 speaker delivers quality sound in a fun and compact design.

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Author Bio
Anna Attkisson
Anna Attkisson, Managing Editor
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson heads up features and special projects for Laptopmag.com, in addition to covering social networking and accessories. She joined the LAPTOP staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.
Anna Attkisson, Managing Editor on
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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Accessories Type Speaker Docks
Battery Type/Life
Size 2.3 x 2.3 x 1.8 inches
Weight 2.3 ounces
Company Website www.dbest.co.uk