Being a Best Buy Employee I get the luxury of playing with the product. When my EcoXgear finally kicked the bucket, I was looking for a rugged Bluetooth speaker. I work in car audio, I am no audiophile, but I appreciate good sounding music. The biggest problem I have found with most Bluetooth speakers is that they sound "muddy" (like the music is underwater or the speaker is playing with a pillow over it). I have to have music while doing house work, doing outside work, or just relaxing on the deck. WITH PRICE BEING A FACTOR, I work for best buy, I cant just whip out $300 for a new Bluetooth speaker (plus I think the wife would make me sleep on the couch)
I tried the JBL's first. Given the amount of happy reviews, I had to give them a try. The Flip 4 ahhhh, it was ok very muddy. Music had no depth. Charge 3 was an improvement, not to mention a usb to charge things was a cool idea. Jbl Extreme is awesome. Great sound, loud, decent bass BUT $300. Moved to the Bose. the soundlink mini is a good speaker, but lack volume and the upper range I wanted. The Revolve (pear shaped one) by far hands down the best Bluetooth speaker we carry. AMAZING 360 deg SOUND! Again, $300. No bueno. So, I tried a few others, not being impressed. I thought I was stuck playing big money for good sound.
Then, I ran across this and its excellent reviews. Ihome vs Bose and JBL, I thought it wouldn't hold a candle to them. WRONG! I was blown away from the sound coming out of this thing at this price point. I can firmly that this $70 speaker sounds better then anything I tested in the $200 and below range. Now, it does NOT have a cool USB but I can live with out it. Listen, don't expect this thing to beat out the Bose revolve for sound or the JBL Extreme in volume (it gives it a run in the bass dept.). But this little guy is great! I tested all the speakers on 3 songs. Stapleton- Tennessee Whiskey, Wicked-
Defying Gravity, ZZ Ward- Cryin' Wolf. This little guy has GREAT highs (which seem to be missing in most speakers), good mid bass for male vocals, and pleasantly surprising bass (especially if you put it in a corner or cabinet). It has a passive radiator speaker off the rear that helps immensely with the bass. Now its not SUPER loud but, its louder then my EcoXgear. It easily fills a room, and is loud enough to hear outside. Whats also great is with the great treble, it can be played at lower volumes for back round noise and still be clearly heard.
Its a solid ABS construction with rubber coating. Its weighty for its size, but not too cumbersome. It does have LED lighting around the outside of speaker grille, but it can be turned off. Now, I am using iOS 11 beta 3 on my 7+ and it connects and works flawlessly. If i had to give a real life distance test I would say you can walk 20ft away in the house before it cuts out or two floors. I have not tested it in water, while it says water proof I am not about to throw it in my pool. I like water proof stuff so I can put it on the edge of the pool and know its safe. I hope this long, long, long, review helps. If your anything like me, your always looking for that diamond in the rough.