The Motorola EQ7 is the bigger, meatier brother of the minuscule Motorola EQ5. Loaded with four aluminum-domed JBL Odyssey transducers, these speakers pack a bigger punch than you would expect from its diminutive size.
Measuring 6.7 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches, the EQ7 is about the same size as an early nineties' portable CD player, but the speakers and microphone face up, giving the unit omnidirectional sound and a resemblance to a conference room speakerphone. A dimpled button on the top answers and ends a phone call, and the volume and playback buttons reside on the front edge of the speaker.
Connecting via Bluetooth couldn't be easier. The only annoyance is the sound when you power the unit on and off. Music played through the Bluetooth connection sounded good with minimal compression distortion, although it was more noticeable at higher volume levels. We were pleased to feel our desk vibrate slightly with bass on Eddie Vedder's "Hard Sun," at a mid-volume level, though. The speakerphone was exceptionally clear for both us and our caller. The only complaint was our caller saying we sounded far away at times.
Aside from a cleaner signal using the 3.5mm line-in jack, there wasn't much of a sound difference between it and the Bluetooth connection. The low-range tones were full and didn't sacrifice the mid-range or high tones. However, we noted a fair amount of distortion when listening at high volumes, which was disappointing given how well the EQ7 performed otherwise.
Some may wish the EQ7 ran on a rechargeable battery rather than four AA batteries, but Motorola states the speaker will run for approximately 6 hours on one set. We got approximately two days of frequent listening, alternating between Bluetooth and line-in, before the batteries died.
The Motorola EQ7 offers great sound in a compact package. Even with the batteries installed, the EQ7 won't add too much weight to your beach bag. It's also great for using at an intimate backyard barbecue and easily fills a small living room. While it's not nearly as portable as the tiny and more affordable ($107) EQ5, the sound quality and volume are definitely worth the added weight and price.