Inateck BP1001B Portable Bluetooth Speaker full review
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Given that Bose charges £169 for its excellent SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker, you might automatically assume that a £15.99 alternative (available from Amazon UK) is fit for little other than the bin. But don't judge this little Inateck quite so quick. Also see: Wireless speakers buying advice.
For those of us who don't demand excellence in audio quality - we simply want to turn up the volume a lot higher than is possible on our phone, tablet, laptop or PC, and we aren't bothered about such fancy things as highs, mids, lows and soundstages, whatever they are - there is a huge market for cheap and cheerful Bluetooth speakers such as the Inateck BP1001B. Also see: Inateck 5-port USB charger review.
We aren't saying the Inateck's audio quality is bad - far from it. The 3W speaker inside can sound a touch distorted at high volume, and the BP1001B doesn't handle bass particularly well, but it's usefully loud - much louder than your phone or tablet. For many people this is all you need, and that volume will come in handy whether you're listening to music, watching films or YouTube videos, or playing games.
The sound quality isn't as good as that of another cheap Bluetooth speaker we recently tested, the Lumsing Prophet, but this Inateck is far more easily portable and a few pounds cheaper, which may be significant to you at this price. It offers the same functionality, save for Lumsing's nice but not necessary NFC connectivity, although with a 500mAh battery the third of the size it will last only a third of the time - around 5 hours.
This small black plastic box with a glossy black top isn't the most attractive speaker we've seen, but it's very light at 140g and it feels pretty sturdy. Perforations on three of its four sides offer multidirectional sound. Four rubber feet keep it secure on the desk and minimise vibration.
There's no LCD screen or companion app through which you can control audio quality or keep tabs on volume, so we found it particularly useful that the volume dial clicks through each setting - with the Inateck emitting a beep when you reach max volume it's relatively easy to work out where you are. This dial can also be pushed in to pause/play music and accept phone calls. A built-in mic lets you hold private or group conversations, another potentially useful feature.
On the bottom is a power switch, and once turned on the Inateck will instantly search for Bluetooth devices with which to pair. We had no problems connecting first to a Motorola Moto G, and then immediately to our Samsung Galaxy S4. We experienced no dropouts either.
With a device paired you'll need to ensure you keep the Inateck within Bluetooth range - about 10m. There's no dock for storing (or charging) a paired device, so you'll need to remember not to walk too far from the speaker with your phone in your pocket or tablet in hand.
For older devices that don't support Bluetooth connectivity there's also a 3.5mm aux input. Using the supplied cable you simply hook up the Inateck to your device via its headphone port and can immediately start rocking your tunes.
There is some confusion over the specs published on Inateck's website and those printed in the user guide, specifically as to whether there are one or two 3W speakers and whether the battery is rated at 500- or 2000mAh. To clarify the Inateck BP1001B is a 1W, 500mAh portable Bluetooth speaker.
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Inateck BP1001B Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Specs
- Portable Bluetooth 2.1+EDR speaker available in white or black
- 1x 3W speaker
- 90Hz-20KHz frequency response
- 80db±2db sensitivity
- 76dB SNR
- 3.5mm AUX input
- mic for Bluetooth handsfree calls
- microUSB charging port
- 500mAh lithium-polymer battery
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