When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, you’re probably familiar with names like Beats, Jawbone and Braven. After being sent a review sample, I have another to add to the list: Inateck.
I’d never heard of Inateck prior to the review, but it looks like the company has quite a selection of products on Amazon, mostly consumer electronics and computer accessories.
The speaker arrived in an upscale looking box that also includes a microUSB cable, a flat 3.5mm AUX cable and a felt carrying bag. The carrying bag could stand to be a little larger, though — it’s a pretty tight fit.
The unit itself is attractive looking. It’s 6.5-inches long and weighs just over 13 ounces, putting it firmly in the mini portable speaker camp. Black rubberized material covers the case (great for preventing the speaker from moving around) and the front grill has a hexagon — honeycomb — effect with a flash of blue, the logo and an LED status lights. Bluetooth and volume buttons are on the top, the ON/OFF switch, micro USB port and AUX input are on the right side.
There’s no recharger included, you just plug the microUSB cable into a free port on your PC or use a smartphone recharger. There’s a warning in the manual (yes, I read it) that cautions against using more powerful tablet rechargers, which is something to keep in mind if you plan on traveling with the BTSP-10.
An LED charge indicator light on the side shows red while charging and green when it’s complete. The cycle took roughly four hours when hooked up to my iMac.
More important than charge time with a portable speaker, is how long the battery lasts. The user manual claims 5-8 hours on Bluetooth and that seems about right, depending on the volume you choose. I used it outdoors where a higher volume was called for and got around five hours of playback. Indoors, when played at a more reasonable volume (call it about 30% of maximum) I was averaging closer to 10 hours.
And how did it sound?
The BTSP-10 is equipped with two 1.5-inch dual channel speakers, putting out a combined 6W of power. It’s loud enough in a small room, but outdoors you really have to crank it or the sound dissipates.
Sound reproduction isn’t bad for something of this size and price range. Bass is present but not dominant and the highs are only a little exaggerated — it definitely doesn’t sound “tinny” or “muffled.” Mid-range performance seems the weakest and if you want to push the speaker to the point of distortion, maximum volume playing music featuring multiple guitars is a good way to do it.
My main quibble is the annoyingly loud chirps that warn you the battery is on its last legs.
Is it worth buying the Inateck BTSP-10 Bluetooth Speaker?
I don’t think I’d pay the $189.99 list price, but, at the $79.99 price currently offered on Amazon, this portable Bluetooth speaker is definitely worth a look — and listen.
Disclosure: Inateck provided a BTSP-10 for review purposes