Over the years I have tried, tested and reviewed many Bluetooth speakers, and though it seems like I say this every single time; when it comes to value for money, X-Mini blow the competition out of the water. It seems to me that no other manufacturer can compete with their size and audio quality.
But this little beast from iClever is something totally refreshing. It easily gives Bose, Sony, Panasonic, Beats and X-Mini a good run for their money. It has certainly impressed me over the week I have tested it and I have no doubt that the IC-BTS02 Bluetooth speaker is the best in its price-range.
From the curves of its Zinc alloy shell to the superb sound quality of its driver; out of a total thirty Bluetooth speakers I have reviewed, this one is easily in my top three.
It’s beautifully constructed with a premium alloy exterior that makes it feel like a quality product. Earlier, I reviewed the Anker Aluminium Bluetooth speaker and I had a lot of positive stuff to say about it’s unmatched build quality, but now it has been matched: by the iClever IC-BTS02.
If it wasn’t for the iClever branding or the large ‘Made In China’ stamp on the packaging, you would be fooled in to thinking Emporia Armani designed this little gadget.
Then, sound quality. Superb. I’m a keen listener of Hip-hop so bass is pretty important. I wouldn’t say I solely judge a speaker based on its ability to shake my desk but there needs to be some oomph that most portable speakers of this size just do not simply have. Trebles need to be punchy too and the lyrics need to be crisp. Though the notes aren’t exquisitely sharp, this speaker does have a very punchy bass and can get pretty loud too. I would quite happily replace my X-Mini Uno (which has crazy bass) with this and still be satisfied. When playing old-school tracks from 50 Cent, the speaker’s ability to hit the low notes is very obvious as you can feel the bass in your hands.
Battery life is also great. I gave it one full charge and it has lasted me over a week with short bursts of play throughout the day, every day. It features a built in mic too, so you have the added bonus of being able to accept calls and use the speaker as a hands-free device if it has been connected to your mobile phone.
A potential downside to the speaker is that it is a little on the heavy side. The weight of the Zinc alloy shell is noticeable and so this is not something you’d shove in to your jean pockets. It’s not ridiculously heavy to carry either, but it just works better as a Bluetooth desk speaker.
Some may also complain that the buttons to play pause and skip through tracks are on the underside of the speaker. At first, this was not an issue for me at all, but as I used the speaker more and more it become tiresome to have to pick it up and find the volume button. The button layout isn’t ideal, nor is using them a satisfying experience but this is a silly complaint for a product that has been designed to be controlled from a remote device from which the music is being streamed. In addition, it’s barely the size of your palm, so picking it up in order to adjust the controls is hardly a chore.