Lumsing Prophet BT028 budget Bluetooth speaker review

Lumsing Prophet BT028 budget Bluetooth speaker

Lumsing's Prophet is a Bluetooth speaker that costs just £20. While it may not be able to compete with high-end rivals such as Bose, you might be pleasantly surprised by this cheap Bluetooth speaker. Read our Lumsing Prophet budget Bluetooth speaker review. Also see: Wireless speakers buying advice

The Lumsing Prophet is reasonably stylish, given that it costs a mere £20, and easily portable at 249g. A sturdy black plastic circular disc with a swing-out tray to dock your device, the Prophet has the same diameter as an optical disc. A black brushed-metal surround adorns its top, while rubber feet keep it stable on the desk as it rocks out your tunes. See all speaker reviews 

The only ports and buttons you'll find on the Lumsing Prophet Bluetooth speaker are an on/off switch, a Micro-USB charging port (for the Prophet, not your phone or tablet), a 3.5mm minijack input and a volume dial. There's no way to see the exact volume setting, so you're best off leaving it at a constant volume and using the volume rocker on your phone or tablet to adjust playback. Also see: 13 best portable speakers 2014

On top is a single button that lets you switch between Bluetooth and AUX modes, play/pause music, and receive or reject phone calls. So, not only is the Prophet a cheap Bluetooth speaker for your music, it doubles as a handsfree speakerphone for solo- or conference calls. 

Inside two 5W speakers are concealed behind black meshed material. There's also a 1500mAh rechargeable battery that could last up to 15 hours, according to the company, which is pretty good for a portable Bluetooth speaker. Of course, its actual battery life depends on how loud you play your tunes, and there's no LCD display or LEDs to denote how much power remains. 

Lumsing Prophet: Setup and use 

The user guide isn't much use (complete with misspellings of the product's name), so it's lucky that the Lumsing Prophet is so easy to set up and use. You simply turn it on, switch on Bluetooth on your phone or tablet, pair the two and start playing your tunes. From here on your device remembers the Prophet; just switch on Bluetooth and they pair automatically. 

Alternatively, you can do away with the hassle of pairing the devices over Bluetooth using NFC, provided that your phone or tablet supports near-field communications. Just turn on each device, tap them together, and the pair establish a Bluetooth connection. We had no problems pairing the Prophet with our Samsung Galaxy S4 using either the Bluetooth or NFC method, nor did we experience any dropouts during our testing. 

If your phone or tablet lacks a Bluetooth connection you should note that the Lumsing Prophet doesn't support AirPlay or Wi-Fi, but you can still make use of it thanks to a 3.5mm minijack. Just connect phone/tablet and Prophet using the supplied cable and start playing your music. To revert to Bluetooth- from AUX mode simply press and hold the button on top of the Prophet.  

If you are using Bluetooth to pair the Lumsing Prophet with your device, note that its (old) Bluetooth 2.1+EDR connectivity maxes out at around 10m distance, potentially less as the battery runs low. If you'd rather leave your phone or tablet beside the speaker you can use the swing-out dock, but since the Lumsing Prophet is unable to charge your device it might be better to leave it plugged into a nearby power socket.  

It's also worth noting that the user guide suggests you should charge the Lumsing Prophet only when it is turned off or in standby mode. Its 1500mAh battery should charge in three hours over the 500mAh USB input. 

Lumsing Prophet: Audio quality 

I don't claim to be an audiophile. Neither, though, are the consumers Lumsing is hoping to tempt with this cheap Bluetooth speaker.  

The Lumsing Prophet is a very basic, no-frills Bluetooth speaker, but its sound performance is pretty good, and that's what's important here. 

To my ears the Lumsing offered distortion-free sound, even at full volume - and a lot of it, with significantly higher volume than can be offered by a paired phone or tablet. 

The audio is clear and, although there's no dedicated mobile app that lets you mess around with playback, you can tweak the quality using the software installed on your phone or an EQ app. 

You absolutely cannot argue with its performance at £20, and it's a clear improvement over what you'll get from your phone or tablet.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

Lumsing Prophet BT028: Specs

  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR speaker (up to 10m transmission)
  • 2x 5W speakers
  • 90Hz to 20kHz frequency response
  • 76dB signal to noise ratio
  • 700mV±50mV input sensitivity
  • 1500mAh rechargable battery
  • NFC
  • 3.5mm aux
  • 500mAh 5V USB input
  • 120x120x32mm
  • 249g
  • one-year warranty
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR speaker (up to 10m transmission)
  • 2x 5W speakers
  • 90Hz to 20kHz frequency response
  • 76dB signal to noise ratio
  • 700mV±50mV input sensitivity
  • 1500mAh rechargable battery
  • NFC
  • 3.5mm aux
  • 500mAh 5V USB input
  • 120x120x32mm
  • 249g
  • one-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Lumsing Prophet is a very basic Bluetooth speaker that's available at a great price. Audiophiles may not look twice, but for the rest of us who like a bargain that's exactly what you'll get. So it can't charge your phone, it doesn't support Wi-Fi, it uses an old Bluetooth standard and you never really know where you are in terms of remaining power or volume, but it's loud, it's easy to use, it supports handsfree solo- or conference calls and it keeps going for hours on end. What more can you ask for at £20?