At this point in the world of consumer electronics, Bluetooth speakers are almost a dime a dozen. They’re so common that you can buy one at most supermarkets. But don’t. Why? Because it turns out that there’s a huge amount of difference between a speaker designed to be inexpensive and one that’s designed to actually sound good. Worse, plenty of speakers are ugly or have poor functionality. That’s why I was interested when iClever sent me one of their brand new silver BoostSound BTS09 speakers.
About The iClever BTS-09
The iClever BTS-09 is constructed from an aluminum alloy, with a metallic speaker grille on the front and covered with a smooth matte plastic backing on the rear, and sits in a fixed position on top of an attached metal stand. Five buttons on the top provide controls for power, mode, playback, and volume. Ports for micro-USB charging and a 3.5mm audio can be found at the rear bottom of the speaker, along with a TransFlash/micro-SDHC card slot for playing music directly off a flash memory card though I didn’t personally test this feature/option.
The iClever BTS-09 includes a 2 foot 3.5mm audio cable and 2 foot USB-A to micro-USB charging cable in the box; you’ll need to provide your own USB power source to charge the speaker, as no power adapter is included. At only two feet, we also found the supplied micro-USB charging cable a bit on the short side; it should be fine for charging up the BTS-09 from a USB port on your computer, but you’ll likely need to supply a longer cable if you’re looking to leave the speaker plugged in on a table. iClever promises 8 hours of playback time from a full charge of the built-in 4000 mAh battery.
Pairing The iClever BTS-09
Pairing the iClever BTS-09 works in the same manner as any other Bluetooth device, and once it was charged up I had no issues getting it up and running. Within a few seconds of holding the power button a blue LED behind the grille provides Bluetooth pairing and playback status. An LED ring on the rear of the speaker provides ambient blue light during normal operation, turning red to indicate charging or low power status.
The LED ring can be set to one of three illumination levels or turned off entirely, but unfortunately this isn’t the case with the blue status LED on the front of the speaker; it flashes slowly during playback and remains on solid when music is paused. There appears to be no way to shut it off entirely as long as the speaker is powered on. While it’s not a serious issue, I found it a bit of a disappointing oversight in light of the speaker’s otherwise clean aesthetics.
The BTS-09 provides decent enough sound quality, appropriate to a speaker in its price range, packing a pair of 10W drivers and a surprising amount of bass. That said, however, I’d call the sound “mediocre” rather than great. The bass is more present than I’d expect in a speaker of this size and design, but the sound isn’t especially balanced, with some gaps in the mid range that result in more emphasis on the highs and lows. Songs with a lot of bass will sound a bit muddy, while the higher end can sound a bit on the tinny side.
None of this is particularly surprising for a speaker of this size and price, but if your emphasis is primarily on getting the best audio quality you can for the price, you’ll want to look elsewhere. But if you’re just looking for something that will output some of your favorite tunes, regardless of sound quality, such as while at your cubicle at work or something similar, then the iClever BTS-09 is definitely something worth checking out.
As mentioned above, if you don’t care about sound quality, then for $54.99 the iClever BTS-09 is something to consider. It’s certainly not horrible sound by no means, and it’s got decent sound quality, especially for the price. I especially like that it’s light weight, relatively small and can fit most anywhere you’d need to put it such as in the bathroom, on a cubicle desk at work, or even in the kitchen while you’re cooking that favorite pasta.
iClever products almost always have nice aesthetics and the BTS-09 is no different in that aspect. It’s a nice looking speaker so it’s not like it’s going to stand out like a sore thumb. You’ll probably even get some compliments about how nice it looks as I know I’ve gotten a few from my friends who have seen it.