April 17, 2014

DBEST speaker reviews London Solo, London Duo (PS4001, PS4003)

dbest_london_solo

We recently spent some time playing around with a couple of portable speaker options from a UK-based outfit known as DBEST. The company was gracious enough to provide us a sample of their London PS4001BT and London Duo PS4001BT Bluetooth Rechargeable Mini-Speakers.

As you all know, it’s really easy to go small in stature with speakers.  I suspect that some of you know that by doing so, sometimes companies will sacrifice sound and performance in the process.  That’s definitely not the case here as they we found them to be clear, loud, and offer enough bass to keep us entertained.  To be fair the single model doesn’t sound quite as rich as we’d hoped but that just makes it easier to justify the extra bucks for the stereo duo set.

Either model would make for a great smartphone companion that hides away nicely and tucks into a bag or purse without adding bulk.  Sitting on a desk they don’t eat up space yet offer a louder and clearer alternative to most handsets.

Anyone else reminded of Dr. Mario?

To give you a sense of scale, picture a Christmas tree bulb ornament and then shrink it by about half.  That’s right about where these sit.  And for shape, the singular model is more round whereas the London Duo come together to form a capsule shape.  The only weird part about the pair of speakers is the cord that connects them, however you need it in order to get “stereo”, right?  Both models come with handy bags that you can cinch up and carry with you for when you want to travel with the speakers. Even wrapped together the two speaker option doesn’t weigh much or add any significant size.

Given that these are connect via Bluetooth, they are easy to pair up with phones and tablets and range is good at up to 30 feet or so.  DBEST says they can go up to 45 feet but we found that they petered out around 35 feet from the source.

While we liked them an awful lot, we never caressed them like this.

Battery life is very impressive at 15-18 hours or better although they are said to get up to 20 hours on a full charge.  Should you opt to plug your handset directly into the speaker you can expect roughly double that.  DBEST claims up to 40 hours on wired playback so your results will vary.

DBEST PS4001BT-RBR London Solo Bluetooth Rechargeable Mini-Speaker

  • World’s smallest Bluetooth Hi-Fi system
  • Wireless music streaming up to 45 feet
  • Engineered for exceptional clarity of sound
  • Powerful built-in amplifier for a surprisingly loud volume
  • Best-in-class battery performance for up to 20 hrs. continuous wireless or up to 40 hrs. wired playback
  • Compatible with all standard USB chargers (PC, Car, wall charger) and includes deluxe travel pouch
  • Compatible with phones, iPod, laptop, iPad and all devices featuring 2.1+EDR Bluetooth or 3.5mm audio jack
  • Line input for audio sources without Bluetooth connectivity

We found that the speakers work best in an office environment where they sound terrific for podcasts, news, and other spoken word audio.  And while they do sound good for music, we’re still tempted to turn to other options for long term playback.  That’s not to say we didn’t take them downstairs to put on our treadmill for a few miles.

The single speaker London Solo runs around $60 depending on where you go with the London Duo coming in about $10 more.  If you are in the market for a very tiny Bluetooth speaker for your Android smartphone or tablet,  we say jump straight for the pair.  Be sure to check out all the different color options before you finalize your decision!

 

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