15 WATTS OF EAR BLASTING POWER IN A PORTABLE PACKAGE
Power, performance, and durability are three words to describe the Skiva AudioFlow BigSound S-1 (SP101). Coming in just over $30 USD on Amazon, the price to performance ratio of this Bluetooth speaker is excellent. Its dual 7.5 watt drivers paired with a passive subwoofer delivers great audio quality and a lot of it. I bought these to use as a pair of workout speakers. The 10 watt pair of Logitech PC speakers I used before the BigSound S-1 were just not loud enough to overpower the whining motor of my treadmill. I needed something that was LOUD, wireless, and, most importantly ;), cheap.
Loud would be an understatement when it comes to describing the output capabilities of this speaker. Right up in your face at max volume levels the speakers can be deafening. It’s incredibly surprising how much of a punch this little device packs. Standing over 75 feet away I could still clearly hear the audio and at over 110 feet it was the same story. If you want to tick off your surrounding neighbors, turning these all the way up and blasting some obnoxious Dubstep would be a great way to do so.
Setting the speaker up takes under a minute. You have the option to connect via Bluetooth, NFC, or a good old fashion 3.5mm hardwire connection. All I had to do to connect by Bluetooth was turn the speaker to its prospective Bluetooth mode and then pair it to my phone through the Android utility. If you prefer a wired connection the speaker ships with an OTG to 3.5mm adapter. Just connect the two together and you are off to the races. A 5V power supply is not included but you can charge the speaker using the included USB to OTG cable by plugging it into any 5V USB source (battery bank, phone charger, laptop / desktop USB ports, ect…).
The quality of the audio is what I would consider to be good but not excellent. While sitting idle a small amount of hiss emits from the speaker no matter what volume level you have it set to. This can become very annoying after awhile, especially if it is sitting right next to you. This noise disappears (at least to my ears) when audio is being played so in my opinion this is not a deal breaker, those who are considered “audiophiles” might want to take that into consideration though. The passive subwoofer delivers a pretty substantial amount of bass. At full volume the speakers shook my entire desk but thanks to its rubber feet it did not bounce all over the place. Do not place anything on top of the speaker while it is in action, my Galaxy S4 ate the concrete after a sudden bass drop knocked it onto the floor.
At 7.3 x 2.8 x 2.4 inches and weighing a little over a pound (1.2 pounds or 19.5 ounces to be exact) you can easily grab these speakers and go. Build quality is solid, the enclosure is basically equivalent to a rubberized brick. After being dropped from a height of 3ft onto my desk the speakers played on with no problem. I would be not be surprised if these could survive drops of 10+ feet, I would test this but unfortunately I do not have money to buy a new one if something were to go wrong (if anyone feels daring enough to confirm my thoughts feel free to let us know in the comment section). Advertised continuous battery life while playing music at 50% volume is 8 hours. I did not test this in my video review but I did for the write up. That figure is 100% correct, I was able to get 8+ hours of battery life while playing music at half volume. With the volume set to max I was able to play 4 hours worth of pod-casts, the speakers still had juice left to spare but my family members insisted that I turn the volume down.
The rectangular extrusions surrounding the casing improves grip and and gives it a more modern aesthetic. There are three buttons on the top of the case, two for volume control and a dedicated call answering button which can also be used to start and stop music. On the back you will find a power switch which will allow you to select the between the modes off, Bluetooth / NFC, or aux-in. The USB OTG port, used for charging and wired input, sits right below the power switch. I am used to nice clunky power switches, that being said I thought the power mode selector felt a tad bit cheap. Also there is a plastic plate that surrounds the switch and OTG port. This plate makes it a bit of a hassle to get a grip on the power switch and it also makes it so that the OTG connector only makes it about 95% of the way into the port.
I feel highly satisfied sitting here blasting the Halo theme song using the Skiva BigSoud while writing this review. I would not hesitate to buy another one of these for a family member or a friend. Now, chances are you are probably looking around for one of these and are seeing them all priced at $39.99. If you use the promo code IPHONESE at checkout you may be able to get 20% off, that is how I picked them up for $30. Additionally if that promo does not work I would highly suggest checking the Skiva website before making your purchase, they often have promotion codes listed under the “Deals” tab.
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