Product Review: Anker Bluetooth 4 Speaker

The arrival of a new gadget is always an exciting time in the life of a geek. The anticipation, the combing of online reviews, the comparison of technical specs: it's all good geek.

This author's interest in music often leads down the audio road. For instance, the collection of headphones around the igeek offices is largely down to a constant desire to listen to the tracks du jour. From the nasties provided by a certain phone manufacturer to high end Ultrasones, it's all a bit obsessive.

So when we moved into our new premises, a cheap but effective bluetooth speaker was required. Step forward the Anker Stereo Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker Model A3143. Snappy name!

Anker Bluetooth Speaker Model A3143

This little beastie feels quite heavy. Still portable, but not the kind of flimsy you'd expect for £45 (it was on sale).

It's Bluetooth 4 compatible which means it has a longer range than, well, Bluetooth 3 and purports to produce a superior sound quality. If you're playing MP3s or internet streams through it over Bluetooth, the audiophile in me questions whether there'd be any noticeable difference. (But then I still prefer my lossless AIFFs.)

So what's the sound quality like? Well the first thing you remark on is the bass. This thing cannot be classed as tinny, which is surprising given its size. Clearly, it's not like it sounds like there's a subwoofer in the room, but put it too close to a wall and it's too bass heavy!

The rest of the audio range isn't bad. There are a preponderance of overdriven guitars wielded by angry people on the igeek playlist quite often which doesn't lend itself to examination of audio excellence, but the more delicate tune choices certainly are clearly expressed by this unit.

The charge time reckons to be eight hours, although there are some Amazon reviews debating this. We'll see.

Controls are simple with a nice feel and it paired up nicely. There's also an hardware audio in option with a supplied minijack lead.

So far, then, it's met with approval. A pretty decent product in a crowded marketplace.

Pros: Sound quality, price, physical 'feel', it's not made by Beats.

Cons: Doesn't come with a mains charger, just a USB cable, though you can purchase a charger for about £7. No way to gauge how much it's charged.

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