When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, not all are created equally. That being said, you also can’t judge a speaker by its size either. Sometimes a small speaker can be more powerful and have better sound than a large one.
That’s definitely the case with the Venstar Mini Bluetooth Speaker. At first glance, you’d probably think it may not play very loudly or that there wouldn’t be much bass to it, but once you turn it on, you realize that’s far from the truth. Let’s take a look at just how this speaker performs and what features it has.
Getting Set Up
The speaker comes packed neatly in a red and black box. Along with the Bluetooth speaker, you get one USB cable, one 3.5mm audio cable, a user manual and a carabiner hook (attached to the speaker).
To get up and running with the speaker, you simply hold down the power button for a few seconds, and it will turn on. After another few seconds, the speaker will say “Bluetooth mode” and should be ready for pairing. There will also be a blue light blinking quickly underneath the Bluetooth icon on the speaker. Unlike other Bluetooth speakers where you have to hold a button for a certain amount of seconds and sometimes wait for oddly blinking lights to pair it with your device, this speaker automatically goes into pairing mode as soon as you turn it on.
When you go to Bluetooth on your mobile device, yo should see “Venstar S203” listed. I noticed that on my tablet the device shows a keyboard icon next to its name instead of headphones (like all other speakers I’ve paired). That seems a bit odd considering this is a music playing device.
Once connected to your device, you’re ready to start using the speaker. I noticed that it was already turned up as loud as it could go as soon as I started playing music. So, if you’re in a public location, you’ll want to keep that in mind.
The speaker performs very well when it comes to loudness and clarity. For a speaker of this size, it delivers great sound and can be heard clearly throughout my entire apartment from any room. Granted, my apartment isn’t huge, but it’s still nice that I can have the speaker in one room and hear whatever I’m listening to in another room.
Where the speaker really excels is with its bass-boosting feature. Whether on a table or holding it in your hand, you can hear and feel the bass pounding through both sides of the speaker. I have a Bluetooth speaker that is larger and doesn’t have nearly the bass that this one does.
There are three blue lights underneath the battery icon on the speaker to represent the battery level. All three lights illuminated means the battery is full (or close to it), and just one light illuminated means a low battery. Likewise, when charging the speaker the lights indicate how much of the battery is charged. I found with just one light being illuminated under the battery icon that it took about 2-1/2 hours for the speaker to fully charge back up.
The Venstar Bluetooth speaker has an obvious focus on sound and performance, hence no cool flashing party lights or anything like that. It’s also great for outdoor use (e.g. bicycling, hiking, camping, running, fishing) thanks to its rugged build and sporty design. The carabiner hook is really convenient, too, because it allows you to clip the speaker easily onto your pants, a backpack, your bike, etc.
I love that this speaker has an efficient power-saving mode. If the speaker is not in use for ten minutes, it automatically shuts off. I have another speaker that stays on for well over an hour before shutting off which isn’t good for battery life. Again, it just shows the care taken into the making of this speaker.
Along with being waterproof, the speaker is also shockproof and dustproof. So along with outdoor use, you can use it in the shower, at the pool, or at the beach without worrying about it getting damaged. Of course that doesn’t mean you should keep it submerged in water for hours (I haven’t tried that, but I’m sure it can’t be good for the speaker), but you can safely get it wet without ruining it.
A few other features include:
- a built-in remote shutter feature (for iOS devices)
- built-in Li-Ion 1700 mAh rechargeable battery guarantees up to twelve hours playtime (it also recharges quickly)
- a support for micro SD cards playing music via the built-in MP3 player (supports MP3, WMA, WAV, APE and FLAC)
- can be used with non-Bluetooth enabled devices thanks to the 3.5mm Aux port
- a built-in mic that allows you to make and receive phone calls.
I haven’t found anything I don’t like about this speaker. The navigation buttons are placed conveniently on the top (or side depending on how it’s standing). It also performs well and has an excellent battery life. It may not be the most stylish (even though that’s not important to some people, including myself), but it effortlessly holds up through rough situations like a drop or a drink being spilled on it.
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