Earlier this month I was looking at soundbars for one main reason: the speakers on my smart TV, like on most smart TVs are not the loudest.
Often times I crank the volume to 100, and it still isn't loud enough to cover the sound of me crunching on guac+chips so I often had to stop chewing while binge-watching The Office for the third time.
Then I was contacted by GearBest to try their Alfawise BT-200.
To be honest, I was skeptical, because I thought it was another one of those no-name speakers with mediocre sound quality and with thick Chinese accent that notifies you when the speaker being ready to pair (though with the last point – it certainly was the case), but when the package arrived a little over a week later I was pleasantly surprised. But first things first.
But the main question, how is the sound quality?
Testing Alfawise BT-200
When I look at the sound quality it is important to always take the price into account.
The volume of the Alfawise is great. It is deep, dimensional and the sound does not pop at high volume. The quality is pure and there is enough bass. The speaker is therefore more than suitable for watching a movie or listening to your favourite album (which for me right now is Pink Floyd's “Dark Side Of The Moon”) – both indoors and outdoors.
The bass can be described as “decent” as there is no dedicated subwoofer, but it is unreasonable to expect a $40 speaker to have one. Of course there are better higher-end speakers out there, but they are not nearly in the same price range as the BT-200. At this price, the sound quality is very impressive.
Bluetooth, even 4.1, has a small delay, so the sound is not completely synchronized with the movie, so it is best to use an AUX cable. Which brings me to my next point.
Features, design and battery life
- RCA input
- Micro SD card slot
- Bluetooth 4.1
- 3.5mm AUX input
- Micro-USB port for charging
- 10 Hours play time (contrary to the 2.5 hours as listed in the description)
The speaker comes with a manual, RCA (red and white cables) to AUX, remote control and a charging cable. The manual went into the paper recycling right away (I was very confident in my ability to know how to turn it on), and the charging cables into the box with a plethora of all other charging cables.
The only thing that I was not a big fan of is the plastic that was used on the body. It is more on a slim side, and it feels like a cheap speaker. I feel like I am being a stickler, and it is more of a personal preference though and it doesn't reflect on the quality of the sound. If there is something that they could save the production cost on, I would rather it be the casing, instead of the tweeters or the internal components.
Right now, the speaker is plugged in to the RCA input on the TV for the sound, and to the USB for charging – even though having no wires is nice, not having to worry about the battery dying in the middle of the movie is nicer. It is still a much more lightweight and painless setup than with the conventional 2.1 speakers.
Overall, I am very impressed with the speaker so far. The battery life is good, the range is reasonable, the sound is spectacular for the price. The bass could be stronger, and the thin case plastic does not make it feel like a high-end speaker.
However, accounting for the price and all the needed features like the Bluetooth 4.1, SD card support, strong battery life and, most importantly, clear sound, I can't see any reasons to skip buying this speaker.
“Is it really ONLY $40? WOW!” – my friends while watching The Matrix with the BT-200