If you’ve recently shopped for a portable Bluetooth speaker in the under $50 range, you probably saw a wide range of designs and features, from the fun (party disco ball) to the too cute (panda bear head) to the functional (water resistant alarm clock). There is A LOT to choose from. If you need a speaker for both work and play, the Blitzwolf’s F1 Bluetooth 4.0 wireless pocket speaker is a good choice. It meets the core requirements of connectivity, portability, durability, and, the all-important battery life with the looks and performance suited for both outdoors and indoors.

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With a lightweight, sandblasted minimalist-designed aluminum body, and laser cut speaker holes, the F1, comes in grey, black or black/orange. It’s water resistant, dust-proof and shockproof which means it can handle some pool splashes and a little beating as it’s transported indoors and outdoors. At 8” in length, weighing 9.5 oz., the speaker doesn’t take up too much space in your bag but does add a little bit of heft, a small tradeoff for the sturdy metal casing.

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Connectivity with decent sound quality and battery life

Like most Bluetooth speakers, it easily paired with my phone without any issues, allowing me to immediately start listening to my test playlist. Operating it was straightforward. The F1 has five rubberized raised buttons, some which perform double duty: power, play/pause, Bluetooth status indicator/reject or answer call, volume up/next track, volume down/previous track.

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To see what range it could handle, I listened to classical, rock, pop, country, hip-hop, and podcasts. I even used it when streaming “House of Cards” on my tablet (sometimes Doug mumbles). Considering the size, the speaker sound was very good, transmitting the highs and mids with no problem. No surprise: hip-hop—Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” to be specific–sounded distorted when the low bass hit.

The 18 core dual 45 mm speakers aren’t designed to handle the deep bass intended for traditional speakers, but, frankly I don’t know any other Bluetooth speakers in this price range that could.

I want to note that the only time I had a problem with connectivity was when I was trying to pair with my sister’s two year-old laptop, but it was a Windows problem, unrelated to Blitzwolf. Fortunately, we had the cable that came with the speaker so we were able to connect and still amplify the sound of the video we were watching.

Since the F1 is also touted as a hands-free speaker phone, I used it for a few conference calls. It was great for listening in on the meetings, but not so great when I was speaking. The people on the other end couldn’t hear me very well even after I moved my mouth closer to the pinhole mic next to the power button. My voice was hard to hear—it wasn’t muffled, just too quiet. In a pinch, I’d use this for conference calls, knowing that I might have to switch to the mic on my phone when it’s my turn to talk.

I was surprised by the battery life as I don’t always expect speakers in this price range to perform very well in this area. (Maybe because I actually followed the instructions to fully charge it before using?) I did all of the above activities in one week and only needed to recharge once. The 1800 mAh lithium ion battery lasted about 10 hours each session before I needed to charge it again.

Summary

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The F1 is a good portable Bluetooth speaker designed more for play rather than work. The sound quality is solid. At a $33.99 price, you can’t go wrong. And if you’re not happy, Blitzwolf stands behind its product with a 30-day money-back guarantee in addition to an 18-month warranty. If you are disappointed with the quality or have problems with the product, contact the customer-friendly Blitzwolf folks who wants to “turn that frown up-side down”.

Get the Blitzwolf F1 Bluetooth speaker for just $33.99 from Banggood.com.

Key Specs & Information

  • Dimensions: 1.97” x 7.87” x 3.54”
  • Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Speakers: 18 core dual 45 mm with digital amplifier
  • Battery & Power: 1800mAh lithium ion battery, 10-12 hours of playback; DC power, 4-5 hours to fully charge
  • Warranty: 30-day money-back guarantee; 18-month limited warranty
  • Other features: mic, 3.5 mm aux-in and micro USB ports
  • Speaker comes with a micro USB charging cable, 3.5 mm audio cable, and wrist strap
  • Tip: Manufacturer recommends fully charging the speaker before using it for the first time