The Soundbot SB571 speaker maybe affordable, but is there anything that makes is special?
In the box
In the box you get the speaker itself, a USB charging cable, a 3.5mm cable and the documents.
Design and Build
- 6″ x 2″ x 1.6″ (152 x 50.8 x 40.6mm)
- 12 oz (340g)
The SB571 comes in a whole host of different colour options. There is Red/Black, Black, Silver/Black, Blue, Grey and Red. So you are covered if you want something that isn’t just one colour.
Design wise it’s a little too similar to Jawbones of old, not a bad thing as such but nothing new or fresh. The front is made up of a metal facia with a diamond pattern. It looks nice but again just wish it looked a little different. This metal grille wraps round the corners too and it does feel quite solid. It should stand up to a few knocks.
The main body is made from plastic but it feels surprisingly durable and well but together. It has a smooth finish to it and could possibly mark quite easily. It hasn’t yet, from my use, but its the type of finish that will get scuffed easily. It does a nice job of hiding finger print marks though and it wipes down easily enough too.
The top section houses all of the controls, these are made from soft coated plastic which is the same as the main body. The buttons feel fairly tactile and not too mushy. The top buttons include, an answer/end call, previous track, play/pause, next track, volume down, volume up and a LED indicator.
Round the back is the ports, there is a Micro USB charging port, 3.5mm input and the rather old school looking power on/off. The on/off works great but not sure how long it’ll hold up after a lot of use. There is also the Soundbot logo here too, its large and I think something a little more dialed back would have been better.
- 3.5mm Input
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Range: Up to 33ft
- Operating frequency: 2.4 – 2.48GHz
Using Bluetooth 3.0 isn’t really good in 2017, don’t get me wrong its fine, but in 2017 devices are using Bluetooth 4.0 and beyond. But given it price of around £20 then its a little more acceptable. Its also forwards and backwards compatible, so there is no issues there.
Now to my issue that is with the stability of the connection, the range and interference. This speaker is supposed to have a range up to 33ft, that is great on paper but in reality I was having connection issues within just a few feet. This was causing the sound to drop in and out, random stuttering and a general poor experience and thats all before you starting places walls and doors between your device and it.
Also there seems to be interference issues, when using WiFi and Bluetooth on my phone at the same time it would cause some strange noise and more connection issues. Its actually the only speaker I’ve tested thats had these problems. Turing off the WiFi did fix the problem, but its a little impractical for a solution.
Using the speaker is fine, the controls on the top work great, they are fairly tactile and responsive. So turning the speaker up and down, skipping tracks and using the play/pause function worked without issue. The power button on the back also works great if a little on the old fashioned side.
Pairing the speaker is a breeze and pretty quick too, you switch on the main power at the back and the speaker goes into pairing mode. You then can turn active Bluetooth on your device and let it find the Soundbot. You then select SB571 and let them do the rest. It auto pairs back to your device pretty quickly and without issue too.
Charging the speaker gave no issues and was fine. There are no port covers to move out of the way, so its pretty easy going.
- 1000mAh battery
- Up to 12 hours wired
- Up to 10 hours wireless
The Soundbot has a fairly large battery inside and that does translate to impressive longevity. Battery quoted time is up to 10 hours continuous playback and it actually managed to achieve 11 hours 13 minutes at 65% volume. There is a battery low warning tone that beeps around every 2 minutes before it runs out. It starts when there is approximately 10% battery left. But the actual life I got from the speaker is great.
Charging the Soundbot took 2 hours 40 minutes which is a fair while but considering how long you get, it can be overlooked. You get a Red light when its in its charging cycle and this will turn off once completed.
The battery life and charge time of course will vary depending on your usage and how what you charge the speaker with.
- Drivers: 40mm
- 4 ohm
- Output: 12W (6+6)
- Signal to noise ratio: ≥80db
- Distortion: ≤0.1%
The sound is mainly why we buy speakers, they are better than built in phone speakers and offer better quality. But how is this one? Well its okay. There is some crackle and driver housing vibration when the speaker is pushed, so I wouldn’t advise taking it beyond 80% volume. It is capable of going loud, but like mentioned, not advised.
Bass is too easily overpowered by the vocal and mids. There is some mid bass but its lacking punch and there is minimal depth. There is pretty much nothing deep, then again wasn’t expecting any due to size. Its not very well handled and isn’t very clear. Sometimes it sounds okay in a bass heavy track but in tracks with a prominent mid/vocal the bass becomes lost.
Mids are decent. Fairly clear and you can make out some detail but not much. Its quite prominent and sometimes it makes it sound a little thin. Again they can sound okay in some tracks (chart music) but most of the time they are just average.
Vocal are nice and clear, tonal quality is acceptable but nothing great. Its loud and forward which I don’t mind, its just here it sacrifices too much of the bass.
Overall its pretty average and makes for a decent listening experience. It doesn’t live up to what Soundbot are claiming with their “Dynamic Deep Bass” or “Crystal Clear Sound” but it is better than most speakers available on phones. But by no means is it the best out there at the price.
Unfortunately there is nothing really special about the speaker. The design is nice but ordinary, its well made, sound is average for the price and of course the battery life is solid. The issues are the long charge time, interference issues with Bluetooth and distortion at louder volumes.
As a whole for £20 its okay. If you want a speaker that won’t break the bank and is decent, then its maybe worth a look.But if you really want to be impressed I’d look elsewhere.
Get one here: www.amazon.co.uk/soundbot-sb571