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iclever Wireless Speaker and fast USB charger with 6 ports review!

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+Nexus18    167

Thanks to HISgadget for providing me with these samples to review.

 

Lets start with the speaker coming in at £22.99.

 

Features:

 

  • Speaker - Full range 45mm
  • RMS - 5W
  • Bluetooth Chipset - CSR
  • Bluetooth Version - V4.0
  • Sensitivity - 80db
  • Distortion - 0.3%
  • Frequency Response - 90HZ - 18KHz
  • Battery - Built in 500 mAh Li-polymer battery
  • Size - 64.5 x 64.5 x 70.1mm (L X W X H)
  • Weight - 261g

 

Packaging:

 

The speaker arrives in a basic looking box with some foam protection to protect it from bumps/drops. Along with the speaker we also get 3.5mm audio jack cable and a micro USB cable.

 

dEaCtDBh.jpg

 

PwbpeMxh.jpg

 

PRDt9vSh.jpg

 

The Speaker:

 

The first thing that you notice when taking the speaker out of the box is the premium feel to the device, it has a nice hefty weight (261g) to it and a very stylish premium polished metallic (zinc alloy) body design, overall it looks and feels great (although it is a bit of a fingerprint magnet), there is no flexing or creaky plastic when applying a bit of force to it. However, whilst it looks great, it has come at the cost of practicality, more on this later....

 

The speaker is pretty tiny overall, you could easily fit it in your laptop bag, rucksack etc. Here is a photo comparing it to an average sized mug:

 

INSvK1Kh.jpg

 

On the front of the device, we have the bluetooth disconnect and answer/reject call button;

 

  • to disconnect bluetooth - press and hold it for 3 seconds
  • to answer a call - short press for 1 second
  • to reject a call - long press for 3 seconds

 

And just above that button, we have the mic.

 

FqmRKEZh.jpg

 

On the back of the device we have the AUX-in jack port, micro USB port (for charging the device) and a LED indicator to indicate if the battery is low, it will do this by flashing red.

 

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On the top of the device, we have the speaker grill.

 

l4Ob4Wsh.jpg

 

On the bottom of the device we have the controls for music (pause/play, next and previous track buttons and you can increase or decrease the volume by holding down the previous and next track buttons) and the power on/off slider. We also have a rubbery surface to stop the device from sliding around as well as protecting your table from scratches, it also helps with dampening the sound.

 

j3hTC7bh.jpg

 

The bluetooth wireless range is very good (HISgadget state a range of up to 33 feet!), I had to go to the other end of my house in order for the speaker to break up so you will have no problems in this area.

 

Audio Quality:

 

It is extremely easy to connect to this device using bluetooth, you just need to pair the device with your phone/tablet and that is it, you are good to go.

 

I wasn't expecting much from this speaker at first, however, I was pleasantly surprised, it gets very loud with no distortion and has good sound quality overall, perhaps a little bit muffled, quite a bit of bass (maybe a bit too much for my liking) and decent enough clarity. Overall it is much better than my nexus 5, moto g speaker and even my nexus 7 2013 tablet stereo speaker, however, my nexus 7 2013 has better clarity.

 

The only downside is that you can hear white noise (regardless of what the volume level is set too or what you are listening to/watching), for some this might be a bit off-putting, personally it bothers me quite a bit as it is one of those things that once you notice, you will always notice it.

 

In the user manual, it is stated to turn off wifi to improve the sound quality, however, there was no difference to my ears likewise with using wireless VS AUX/3.5mm cable.

 

There doesn't seem to be any obvious issue with the audio and video sync.

 

As for the call/speaker quality when it comes to phone calls, voices are clear enough but are bit muffled compared to my nexus 5 and moto g, as for how I sounded using the mic. on the wireless speaker, it was useless, I had to practically speak right into the mic. and even then people said I was still rather quiet, looking at other user reviews, this appears to just be a problem with my sample though as the majority say that the mic. has decent range and people only had issues hearing when the mic/speaker was more than 2 foot away from the person. Thankfully this isn't an issue for myself though since I never use loudspeaker.

 

Here is a video comparing the nexus 7 2013 speaker and the iclever speaker using the avengers age of ultron trailer on youtube:

 

 

Of course in real life, the speaker of both devices will sound much better than in this video.

 

Conclusion:

 

This is a fantastic little speaker that improves the sound experience a lot, it is hard to use my nexus 5 speaker for music and youtube videos now due to the difference! However, for the likes of the HTC one phones, which have boomsound/front facing stereo speakers, there is no reason to use this or any other wireless speaker.

 

I feel that HISgadget could have done a lot better with the design of this speaker though, whilst it is nice looking, the placement of the controls etc. don't make any sense, in my opinion, they should have:

 

- placed the controls on the top of the device, that way, you don't have to lift the device every time you want to pause/play a song or change the track

- placed the battery indicator on the front/top as I have no idea if the speaker needs charging until it dies or constantly check the back or I could just turn it around to have it facing me but then the bluetooth/answer/reject button and mic. are facing away from me....

 

Regarding the battery life, it is estimated that you should get 8-12 hours of playtime and so far with my usage that is looking to be true (I keep the volume set to just below half way)

 

As for the price, I feel that it is pretty fair, there are other similar speakers out there for a bit cheaper, however, their specs. aren't quite as good as this + the design, build and feel doesn't look anywhere as good as this iclever speaker!

 

 

Now onto the fast 6 USB port charger, which comes in at £19.99!

 

Packaging:

 

The charger arrives in a very minimal box, inside we have just the charger and the power lead.

 

3rvX9Qyh.jpg

 

The charger:

 

Overall it fairly basic looking, most of the body has a matte plastic finish with a glossy plastic finish on the front and back. On the front at the top, we have a tiny green LED indicator.

 

4wtaRNmh.jpg

 

At the front we have the 6 USB ports, inserting and removing USB cables is a little stiff, however, they should loosen up in time.

 

3avvI74h.jpg

 

The charger is rather small, here is a photo of it next to an average sized mug:

 

1GydtOvh.jpg

 

The dimensions are: 100 x 69 x 27mm (L X W X H) and the weight is 180g.

 

I don't have 6 devices to make use of this charger but it is great to be able to free up 3 wall sockets so I can only imagine how handy this would be for people with 6 devices!

 

As for the charging speed, I started charging my nexus 5 when it had 20% left:

 

  • Using the default nexus 5 charger/adapter - it took 2 hours and 17 minutes to fully charge
  • Using this 6 port usb fast charger - it took 1 hour and 32 minutes to fully charge

 

So as you can see, quite the improvement!

 

One fairly annoying issue though... coil whine, for some reason, there is coil whine when only charging one device, however, if you charge 2+ devices at the same time, then the coil whine disappears, I tried different ports, different cables, devices etc. but it was always the same result.

 

Conclusion:

 

Overall this is a fantastic little device, it is sleek looking, very portable, charges devices quicker than the default chargers, frees up wall sockets and doesn't cost too much. Apart from the coil whine when charging one device, which is quite common with most charger devices anyway, there isn't really much to dislike about it except the glossy plastic finish.... 

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