I am always on the lookout for a great Bluetooth speaker. So far, nothing has been able to supplant the Bose Soundlink as my primary portable, but the iClever® 5W Enhanced Bass Mini Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker by HisGadget comes in a close second, especially if you’re not looking to pay a premium price, but still want a decent speaker that sounds great on-the-go and can easily fit inside your bag.
- Impressive sound for a portable speaker
- Excellent build quality
- Easily pairs with multiple devices
- Perfect travel speaker
- Built-in mic for hands-free calls
- Great battery life
- Despite claim of “enhanced bass,” it still lacks rich musical detail
- Can sound tinny at times, but forgivable for such a diminutive speaker
- Not great for outdoor use
Build Quality & First Impressions
The first thing that I noticed when I opened the box and held the iClever speaker, is just how well it’s built. It has a nice weight to it, and the shiny zinc alloy shell adds a premium look that’s both attractive, and makes the speaker feel very durable.
As you can probably imagine, it’s also an insane fingerprint magnet but – meh – not a big deal to me… unless I commit a crime, and the CSI unit investigating the scene is trying to lift a perfect print… but I’ve said too much already, and they’ll never take me alive!!
*Ahem*…where was I? Oh, right.
The design is pretty simple, yet elegant. You’ll find the speaker grill at the top, and the power button and track controls are (you guessed it!) on the bottom of the device. The latter can be a little inconvenient if you plan to change tracks or adjust the volume using the speaker, since it requires you to physically pick up and flip the speaker over to do so.
However, I venture to guess that most people will do the same thing that I did, which is to set the speaker’s max volume to their desired level, then simply adjust the volume accordingly using their phone or computer’s volume controls.
Pairing multiple devices was also a snap. I connected my phone, along with my Nexus 10 and my laptop… easy-peasy, something about squeezing lemons.
To do so, simply power the speaker on and tap the ‘Bluetooth / Phone’ icon button near the bottom of the device to place it into discovery mode, then do the same on your phone, tablet or computer. Viola! It quickly pairs to your devices exactly how you would expect it to, and probably wasn’t worth an entire paragraph in this review! But hey, isn’t it nice when things work as they’re supposed to? 😉
You can also use the ‘BT / Phone’ icon button to answer calls – since the speaker also has a built-in mic – but answering a call directly from your phone when it’s paired to the speaker will accomplish the same thing.
Sound & Stuff
The best way to describe my reaction to the first time I heard music through the iClever would be through nude interpretive dance. But since I won’t be doing that until you subscribe to my live webcam channel, just know that the corners of my mouth curled down as I nodded my head approvingly… which is the universal sign for, “Hey, not too shabby!”
Jokes aside, I was very impressed and pleasantly surprised by the audio quality. I remember immediately turning to my girlfriend and commenting to her that this will be my go-to speaker when I travel from now on.
Thanks to its compact design, wireless convenience and solid performance, it’s exactly what I need whenever I’m on the road and want to bring along an easy to pack speaker for when I’m getting ready in the morning, or listening to a podcast as I fall asleep. When I’m not on the road, the speaker resides in our kitchen, where it’s a perfect little system to jam out to while cooking or washing the dishes, and can be easily picked up and moved elsewhere (i.e. the garage, to the bathroom during marathon pooping sessions etc).
Battery life has also been very impressive, and it has lasted the 8-12 hours of playtime promised by the manufacturer, before requiring a recharge.
Currently the iClever Mini Portable Bluetooth Speaker is selling on Amazon for $29.99, which is the sweet spot for this kind of speaker. Anything higher, and I’d have to recommend other options that would give you more powerful sound for your dollar.
The original listed price was $79.99, which is way too much to pay for a speaker of this size and performance. However, if you are still able to snag it for $30 or less, I am very happy to wholeheartedly recommend that you do so without reservation.
As I stated previously, my Bose Soundlink is still my primary portable speaker… but it also comes with a $299.00 price tag.