We’ve featured Bluetooth speakers on the site before, and even many EC Technology products due to the value proposition, however they’ve delivering something with a little more fit and finish this time. Let’s take a close look at the EC Technology Ultra Portable Bluetooth Speaker.
Overview & Unboxing
The EC Technology Ultra Portable Bluetooth Speaker is best described as having a cylindrical form factor with a predominantly metallic aesthetic. A lot of budget, portable Bluetooth speakers are largely plastic with relatively limited functionality and sound. Even EC technology have released some of these types of devices in the past, and whilst we’ve not let them off, the price point they are delivered at somewhat offsets the relatively low peak point of slightly muddy sounds.
Here though, EC Technology have delivered a very portable product that we’d be happy to take on holiday and use around the pool, at the centre of an outside dinner table during a small party, or a myriad of other scenarios we can’t think of right now. It really is quite surprising.
Let’s just caveat that a little. It is surprising that with just a small a 5W driver in a 2.9 inch diameter footprint, the sound this device can produce is actually quite clear. It’s not going to rival larger speakers with its sound scale, however it’s worth noting the price point here also. The EC Technology Ultra Portable Bluetooth Speaker is available for only £15.99 from Amazon UK.
If you missed it, go ahead and take a look at our original unboxing of this product.
In summary though, the box contents consist of:
- 1 x Bluetooth Speaker
- 1 x Charging cable
- 1 x 3.5mm Audio cable
- 1 x Instruction manual
Looking more closely at the product, as in the video, not only do you get quite a satisfying heft to the unit itself mainly thanks to the stainless steel surround, but along with Bluetooth connectivity and 600 mAh capable of up to 6 hours of continuous playback, the EC Technology Ultra Portable Bluetooth Speaker has an Aux in, micro USB charging port as well as a micro SD card slot to play music off of also. On the bottom of the device are four plastic buttons which serve several functions. Firstly the On/Off button starts the sequence, with the Next/Previous track buttons doubling up as volume buttons, whilst the Play button also doubles as an Answer/End Call button. Finally, on the bottom of the device is a nice rubberised non-slip pad around the edge to ensure the product stays in situ when the particularly bass-heavy tracks come on.
Setup & Use
Getting up and running is very easy. Ensure your smartphone Bluetooth setting is turned on and search for devices. The EC Technology Ultra Portable Bluetooth Speaker has a generic name of S10-BT2103 (your name may differ slightly). Connection is made instantly and you’re made aware of this by a nice little “ding” from the device.
After that, away you go!
The bass, as mentioned is still a little muddy, but in contrast to similar sized products it actually does a good job of splitting it from the mids. The highs are quite tinny but again, not that it would particularly matter if you have use for a product this small.
The speaker does get rather loud. At full product volume, in our testing we had to keep our devices at under 50% – not because the speaker couldn’t handle it, but that we couldn’t concentrate with anything higher! That being said, with the device at 100% and our devices around 75-80% we started to get some heavy distortion in our test Dance and Hip Hop tracks. The sweet spot seemed to be around 100%/60%. The volume set at that level didn’t seem to degrade the overall quality of the sound, and instead improved the bass aspect whilst making the highs a little more crisp. Interesting for such a small product.
The rubber non-slip ring on the bottom helped to cement the unit. Wherever it’s situated, it feels anchored during use and we’d have no issue using this next to a pool on holiday.
Having the ability to use Bluetooth, 3.5 audio cables or a micro SD card at this price point is a really nice option to have. Quality did seem to be improved slightly by using the aux cable and the micro SD card, however this was hardly noticeable in most of the scenarios we chose to test in.
Finally, receiving calls on this device is also pretty nifty. With an incoming call there is a slight “ring” from the device, halting any music you were listening to. Rather than continue to ring, it starts to call out the number that is incoming. Yes it would be much nicer for a caller-ID sort of integration giving you the contact name, but we found this equally acceptable. We could hear the caller very clearly, and the caller could hear us as though we were using the phone as normal based on their feedback. Once complete, the music resumed – nice.
There are better Bluetooth speakers out there, providing better sound, however doubtful in this form factor, build quality, price point or with the battery life that this has. That’s the long and short of this review. For a little over £15 you can get a nice little device that is easily carried almost anywhere and will enhance your media consumption from almost whatever smart device you choose to connect this to.
The only downside we could honestly find with this device was that upon the first track being played within a session you get a rather annoying little distortion whilst the unit kicks into gear. It’s there for all of a micro-second, but it is there. Once you’re away playing your music though, this doesn’t resurface and doesn’t therefore detract from the overall use of this product.
A very fine piece of kit which actually feels a little more premium than it is, and in a form factor that screams to be taken out and about with you! Battery lasts at least what it is rated at although we managed to get a bit more out of the music playback.
Pick one up if for no other reason than to roll it along your desk whilst playing music – try it, it’s fun!