I love pleasant surprises. My most recent one came in an Inateck-branded box.
I've reviewed a bunch of Inateck products over the past couple years, which you can find here on Supersite and also over on WindowsITPro. Inateck products are sometimes hit-and-miss and I've blasted them when it was required. But, when they're good, they're great. And, such is the case with the Inateck BTSP-10 Plus Bluetooth Speaker.
I've had the speaker for about a week, but only got the chance to really test it out the last three days. Color me impressed, but this speaker is clearly one of the best.
The speaker is solidly constructed. I don’t make it a habit to drop my devices on purpose, but the speaker looks and feels like it could take a tumble or two. It's solid inside and out. The plastic that wraps the speaker is very rigid and strong. The bottom of the speaker sports four non-skid, low profile legs, making it extremely difficult to knock around or slip off a surface.
I have no qualms just tossing this into a backpack and I fully expect it to survive a trip anywhere. The speaker does come with a drawstring carry bag to help eliminate nicks and dings, but I'll never use it. And, I really don't believe its necessary, considering the solid construction.
I've not tested the full range of battery life yet, but I will this week. The wife and I are headed out of town to a remote cabin to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Inateck says the battery will last a full 10-15 hours. 10 or 15 is quite a discrepancy, but I plan to run it until it chokes. Fortunately, the speaker gets its recharge power from a standard USB connection, so I can use any of my multitude of chargers. This means I can also charge it in the car if it comes down to that.
I've not used it constantly during my three days of testing – just an hour here and there – but so far it's holding up and I didn't even take the time to charge it yet. It went from its box directly to operation.
Ease of Use
This is truly a dummy's device. Connecting to through Bluetooth is pretty simple. If you've had trouble with Bluetooth connections in the past, the simplicity of this speaker eliminates that. Bluetooth discovery is almost immediate, and pairing takes only a few seconds. And, then each time you want to reconnect, simply tap the Bluetooth button on top of the device and it relinks automatically. I've yet to have one of those quirky situations we've all experienced with Bluetooth, where it just won't connect despite connecting just fine a few hours earlier.
Once connected and sound starts streaming, the Bluetooth button doubles as the pause/play button. Also conveniently placed on top (next to the Bluetooth button) sits separate volume up and volume down buttons.
One thing to keep in mind…this is a speaker – just a speaker – though a very excellent one. A year or so ago I purchased a Braven 600 for around $149 (you can find that full product review on myITforum.com). The Braven is also a Bluetooth speaker, but it also provides hands-free con-call operation and mobile charging.
The Braven has been a good traveling companion. But, while it does offer features other than just sound, I've really never found a great use for them. I thought I would, but it never happened that way. Instead, I've counted on it for delivering sound in hotel rooms for music and movies. I can say this with confidence: I will be retiring the Braven for the Inateck. The sound quality difference is just too vast. It's almost the difference between listening to AM radio versus having a live orchestra in the room with you.
I noted earlier that the speaker charges using a standard USB charging port. Additionally, if you don't want to use Bluetooth for some odd reason, it does also offer a line-in AUX port. All of the provided ports, including the power button, sits on right-hand side of the speaker and they are recessed so you can't accidentally turn it off.
Ultimately, the value of any speaker comes down to the sound. I have one word that could adequately describe this speaker: LOUD. I guess it has to do with the double 3-watt precision-tuned drivers, multi-band compressors and high performance composite diaphragm. But, I need to give it an additional accolade. The clarity of sound is fantastic. Sound is just as clear at low volume as it is at the top level. And, that top level is almost ear shattering. As I mentioned already, it puts my Braven to shame.
The Inateck BTSP-10 plus is a wonderful speaker. Bluetooth works flawlessly. It's solidly constructed and the sound is amazing (LOUD and clear). It doesn't have a gaggle of features beyond just providing sound, but if you only need a good speaker to travel with, you'll find that this is a great one.
You can find it on Amazon for around $50: Inateck Portable Hi-Fi Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker