[dropcaps]I[/dropcaps] just spent a week with the AEC BQ 615 and, while there’s room for improvement, they’ve created a device that provides a solid value for the price point. It’s a lightweight, portable, wireless tube speaker – the specs have it at 20” across and about 20 ounces in weight.
One of its coolest features is the color-changing display that actually moves to the beat. The brightness dimmer was a clutch option towards the end of the battery life when I was trying to get a few more minutes of playback out of it. For best results you’ll want to have your input volume turned up high. I got the best, most in-sync, mini light-shows with dance music but it certainly looked neat no matter what came on the playlist.
For personal use, this beats your laptop or cellphone speaker by miles. The BQ 615 made a nice companion while synced to my laptop via Bluetooth. Setup was a breeze and wireless is definitely the way to go with this little guy.
An aux cable is included but I found the aux sound to be completely lacking, from power to sound quality. In fact, I was ready to give this a bad review until I switched to Bluetooth. Either the aux cord or the actual input jack (or both) was extremely sensitive and would crackle any time I slightly moved it.
On about two hours of charging (included cable; USB output from my laptop, micro USB input) I got about 10 hours of playback. While I was pleasantly surprised, a remaining power indicator would have been nice. The only notice of impending battery death was an annoying voice-over that would nag me towards the end of its charge.
Bluetooth range was impressive when fully charged. Standard expectations for these type of units are around 30 feet. With this speaker, I got nearly 50 feet before the skips and distortion started occurring.
Unfortunately, when the speaker was low on battery life, the playback would skip around no matter how close I kept my phone to the unit. There was also a weird glitch where the music would play at faster-than-normal speed when the battery was low.
With that said, when charged up and sitting around with a few people on a balcony, this unit is a great value. Keep it powered and it will serve you well. At the Amazon prices I found ($30 range), the BQ 615 is a steal.
– Chris S.