There is a host of Bluetooth speaker options out on the market today and iClever hopes to catch your attention with their Mini Bluetooth Speaker. The speaker, officially bearing the model tag IC-BTS02, isn't much bigger than a juice box and belts out your Windows Phone tunes rather nicely.
The iClever is compatible with a host of Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, tablets and computers and we took it out for a spin with a Lumia 830 Windows Phone. After a few days of use, we found the speaker being a solid performer. If you are in the market for a portable speaker, the iClever is worth considering and priced at $29.99 it will not put a strain on your wallet.
Simplicity is a word that came to mind when I first pulled the iClever Mini Bluetooth Speaker from the box. The speaker measures 64.5 x 64.5 x 70 millimeters (2.53 x 2.53 x 2.75 inches) and in practical terms is about the size of a juice box. A little shorter and a little beefier, but in the juice box size neighborhood. The speaker weighs in at 261 grams (9.2 ounces).
The design of the speaker has a control button and microphone sitting at the bottom of the speaker's front side. The power button and playback controls are located on the bottom of the speaker. The speaker itself rests on the top of the unit.
The outer shell of the speaker is a polished Zinc alloy plating that has a mirror-like finish. Personally, I prefer a matte finish but the shininess of the iClever does grow on you.
Under the hood, specs include Bluetooth 4.0, up to 12 hours playback time and a range of up to 33 feet. The speaker comes packaged with a micro-USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable and user manual.
The controls on the bottom of the speaker allow the iClever to have a very clean look. The jury is still out as to how practical this placement is but the more I use the speaker, the concern diminishes.
Setting up the iClever is similar to any other Bluetooth product. When you first power things up, the speaker will go into pairing mode and begin searching for a mate. It will remember the last paired device and if you need to match the iClever with another Bluetooth signal, press and hold the forward and reverse buttons (on the bottom of the unit) for three seconds. The front button will begin flashing blue to confirm the iClever is in pairing mode. You can pair the iClever with up to eight tablets, PCs, smartphones or another Bluetooth-enabled gadget.
Should you have a non-Bluetooth device, you can also connect the iClever Mini Bluetooth Speaker with the 3.5mm audio cable supplied with the speaker.
Along with having playback support for music and videos the iClever speaker also has support for hands-free calling. The front facing microphone is noise canceling and while I've seen better, the iClever does a nice job of filtering out background noise. Calling features are limited to answering, ending and rejecting calls.
As far as speaker volume and sound is concerned, the iClever has a nice bass tone to it and projects the sounds in a clear and crisp manner. I'm not sure it could hold up to a house party full of guests, but for individual use or with smaller groups it should do nicely. I've been using it for the past few days in my office and have no complaints.
I found the iClever Mini Bluetooth Speaker to be a solid, economical and stylish portable speaker. Sound quality is good and the unit is compact enough to get lost in a backpack. The speaker is not waterproof (which would be nice) and I'm still on the fence about the controls being on the bottom of the speaker. I don't mind the power button on the bottom but feel the playback controls should have been on top of the speaker.
The bottom placement does keep the size of the speaker small and it isn't a major inconvenience to pick the speaker up to gain access to the buttons. I imagine it is more along the lines of something to get used to than being a bad design.
Overall, the iClever is a solid performer and at $29.99, it is also budget friendly. The iClever Mini Bluetooth Speaker is available at Amazon.com and should you pick one up, let us know what you think of the Bluetooth speaker in the comments below.