We enjoyed looking at the Soundpeats Q29, so we had a scout at what else Soundpeats had available and the P4 Bluetooth speaker was up for grabs. Here are our thoughts of what this 10W portable speaker delivers.
As suggested, the Soundpeats P4 has an “elegant” fabric covering. It immediately reminded me of one of my favourite smartphones ever, the Motorola Droid Turbo (imported from the US). Motorola called it ballistic nylon as I recall, but Soundpeats are more humble here.
We literally get offered hundreds of these types of units and we don’t grab many, simply because they all usually look the same or offer the same features. In truth, the Soundpeats P4 isn’t all that different from the rest of the market, but there was something about the material choice, the suggestion of “omnidirectional premium sound” and a touch control feature made me think it was worth checking out.
Specs & Overview – Soundpeats P4
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 4.1
- Output Power: 10W
- Frequency: 180Hz-20KHz
- Maximum Working Range: Up to 33 feet (10m) in open space
- Battery Lithium battery: 2000mAh
- Working Time: 6-8 hours
- Charging Time: 4 hours
- Dimension (L * W * H): 6.85 x 2.83 x 2.83 inches / 174x 72 x 72 mm
- Weight: 17.98oz / 510g
The unit’s length is covered in the fabric material mentioned previously. To the top of the device is an analogue volume dial as well as the swipe touch pad to control track skipping. On the bottom edge of the cylindrical shape is the power button, and just around to the back is a microUSB port for charging and a 3.5mm AUX input, both covered by a rubber flap.
Performance & Use – Soundpeats P4
Let’s start with the negatives. It’s not a powerhouse at all. The 10W (although some places suggest it’s 5W so perhaps there are dual 5W drivers) manages to fill a small room with a couple of people in, but not a lot more. It won’t be the focal point for your Facebook-advertised house party that’s for damn sure.
Secondly, and a little more infuriating is the volume control on the device. There is a delay between turning the volume controls and the corresponding increase or decrease in volume. It’s only a small delay, but to me, perhaps not anybody else, it was annoying.
That volume control dial surrounds the touch control pad which allows gestures to skip and rewind tracks. It actually works quite well despite it not being the most responsive touch control ever invented. During my use however I found it a little troublesome to remember which way to swipe if, for example you had the device turnaround facing away from you. Perhaps a tapping mechanism (e.g. double tap to skip, tap to pause, etc) might have worked better.
“Why would you have the speaker facing away from you?” I hear you ask, with judgement in your voice! Simply put, this was one of the more strange aspects of this unit I found during testing. IT delivered a much better, and more balanced sound stage when turned 180 degrees and facing away from the listeners. Strange eh? Well perhaps it’s just speaker positioning (no doubt it is) but I just felt wrong using it that way. Nevertheless it delivered better sound that way around.
On to that sound; it’s adequate. It gets plenty loud for sure, as well as not losing too much of the quality it started with as it ramps up. The bass is a little lacklustre, simply feeling like a gentle tap in Dance tracks although it does improve as the volume increases. In order to get acceptable low-end however you must have it uncomfortably loud in most cases. In large rooms and outside (at a BBQ perhaps?) this wouldn’t be too much of an issue I’d wager.
If you intend on visiting the beach and fancy some tunes from the Soundpeats P4, we can assure you you’ll manage to get a fair few hours of playback on a single charge. The specs suggest a 6-8 hour playback, which is a wide range if you ask me. In my testing I managed to get just shy of 7 hours on average of continuous playback. That’s not bad, but nothing breathtaking.
Conclusion – Soundpeats P4
The Soundpeats P4 aren’t disappointing on their own merit; sadly though they are indicative of a market that is saturated with similar products. They attempt to introduce some new features such as the volume ring and touch pad, but they aren’t quite enough to elevate this product to the top of their segment.
Couple the above with the fact that the audio from this device is just not quite as stellar as you’d expect it to be for more than £30. There are other alternatives for the same or a lesser price that deliver either the same or improved audio, so it’s very difficult to recommend this item over these.
I’ll say one thing though; it looks lovely to my eyes and that ballistic nylon (I know, but I’m calling it that) material choice should be replicated on more devices I think!