Product Review: Aukey Bluetooth Speaker

Another cracking product from Aukey. A stylish & portable Bluetooth speaker with a classy sound.

The market is flooded with Wireless Bluetooth Speakers, from cheap and dreadful to staggeringly expensive and (in my experience) mediocre. The technology of Bluetooth has been widely criticised when used for audio as audiophiles like myself are harsh judges of quality but the implementation of Bluetooth 4.0 (as in this device), 4.2 and more recently 5 have seen these things improve.

You will always get a better signal and better sound over a wired connection but these days some hardware manufacturers are ponying up and using good quality chips in their handsets and receivers, including speakers and headphones, meaning Bluetooth has become a widely accepted and convenient solution for wireless audio.

If asked to sum up Aukey’s products I would have to say ‘best bang for your buck’ is the phrase that comes to mind. They are invariably much better quality than the price suggests, solidly built, practical and reliable. In the case of this 16W, SK-S1 wireless Bluetooth speaker I can also add, attractive.

There are some wacky and expensive-looking portable speakers out there but this one just looks smart and modern, blending equally well in my office, kitchen or garden. It is also surprisingly solid for its small size and when you first pick it up gives off a feeling of quality and confidence. The curved metal grills and the brushed steel top ooze a stylish simplicity and the silicone base promises to keep it clinging to any surface.

You can expect 8–12 hours non-stop playback with built-in 4000mAh rechargeable battery and the sound quality is really very good. When playing music, the SK-S1 collects environmental noise through the built-in microphone. After calculation by the built-in DSP chip, it will emit sound waves to neutralize the environmental noise and give you better sound. It also goes pretty loud and sound has a solid weight to it that makes it feel even louder, comfortably filling a room.

The speaker automatically connects to your paired device when switched on and six simple buttons control power, play, track skipping (nice touch), volume, and even calls via the built-in mic. I have only one complaint and it is not a big one, when turning on, connecting and providing notifications received on your attached device it is much too loud and jarring. Their alert volume does not seem to be at the same level as the music and the built-in sounds are also horrible and cheap. Of course, you only notice this every now and again but it is a niggle that bothers me.

However, take a look at the price! £28.99 on Amazon in the UK is a steal and I can assure you it looks, feels and sounds like a speaker that costs many times that. Highly recommended!

Specifications
Technology: BT4.0, A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: ≥80dB
Power Input: DC 5V
Charging Time: 4 hours
Play Time: 8–12 hours
Battery Type: Li-Polymer (4000mAh)
Operating Range: Up to 10m / 33ft
Material: Aluminum Alloy, Steel, ABS, Silicone

RRP: £28.99 on Amazon in the UK

Tom Atkinson is a Digital Producer & Photographer at R3Digital and Reviews & Dept. Editor at Tech Trends. Connect on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @R3Digital

Technology writer for FastCo, Quartz, The Next Web, Ars Technica, Wired + more. Consultant specializing in VR #MixedReality and Strategic Communications

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