After reading about Etekcity and the products they have been making lately. We just had to contact them and get them as a sponsor. And as nice as they are, they obliged. Etekcity is now a proud sponsor of BlackHoleTec. So of course, as a sponsor. They send us in items to review, and the first item we were sent in, was the Etekcity Roverbeats T16.
The Etekcity® Roverbeats T16 is one of Etekcity’s Bluetooth speakers. The Roverbeats T16 is basically the baby brother of Etekcity’s Roverbeats T3. And a cousin of the T12, which is also a Bluetooth speaker produced by Etekcity, but this one is much bigger and comes with a crazy battery capacity. The Etekcity® Roverbeats T16 is a tiny Bluetooth speaker that fits in the palm of your hand. But boy, does it pack a punch (more about that later).
Let us first talk a bit about the design of the Etekcity® Roverbeats T16. When we first opened the box, we were amazed by how small this speaker actually is. A speaker of this size could surely not produce any decent sound (more later)? The Bluetooth speaker looks quite quite alright to the eye. We were sent in the blue edition of the Etekcity® Roverbeats T16 (they come in blue, grey and red). The blue cylinder that surrounds the speaker is made out of a solid piece of aluminium, making it feel good to the touch, look nice and of course it also adds to the weight of the speaker. Both the top part, holding the actual speaker, and the bottom part of the device, holding the buttons (play/pause, next/previous, volume, end call, etc…) are made out of a durable plastic. The plastic, even though it’s durable, is easily scratched. On the bottom plastic part of the device, apart from the buttons, you can also find some indication LED’s. Mainly used to indicate it has made connection with a Bluetooth network or to show it is in fact charging. Talking about charging, the charging port, which is a mini USB port, can be found there as well. Next to the charging port you can find a simple 3.5mm jack. This one can be used if to connect your phone to the speaker using the provided cable, just in case your phone, or any other device you’re using, does not have Bluetooth.
On the base of the Etekcity® Roverbeats T16 you can also find the device’s name printed on the plastic. The neo-modern fond used by Etekcity, makes it look even more beautiful to me personally.
So in general, the build quality of this item is very good.
The most important thing about a speaker is of course the sound. Well, after blasting our music through it for a couple of hours, there’s nothing else to say then: “this speaker sounds amazing”. As mentioned earlier, when we got it in the mail, and we saw how small it was, we didn’t really think this 3W speaker would be able to produce the clear sounds it makes, but it does. The sound is crystal clear and there is no static to be heard. That is if you’re actually listening to music. When cranked up to full volume, the speaker will produce a small amount of static when not in use. Once you start blasting your music through it, that static disappears however. Which is highly illogical, since this speaker has a S/N ratio of 70 dB, meaning it should technically start producing a slight amount of static once it reaches that level. It does not do this though, so that’s even better.
One other thing about the sound that truly baffled us, was the bass. When we put the speaker on a table, we could clearly see it moving just because of how powerful the bass is. Even though it has a rubber bottom to stop it from moving around on your table, it still moved around very slightly. We recorded the sound ourselves using a cheap microphone and no pop filter, you can find that recording here. But I highly advice you don’t listen to it though, and you just watch this video by Moz instead. Moz has way better recording equipment than we have, so his recordings will be more representative.
The Roverbeats T16 is also equipped with a built-in microphone. The microphone isn’t that great. It is fine for phone calls and such, since you can still understand what the person is trying to say, but it should not be used to record singing with.
PS: the song used by us is Alan Walker – Fade, you can find it on the NCS youtube page, here.
Since this is of course a Bluetooth speaker, we have to talk about the Bluetooth in this review. The Roverbeats T16 is using a version 2.1 Class 2 Bluetooth protocol to receive data from your device. Due to the limitations of Bluetooth however, the sound quality is slightly better using the provided cable compared to the Bluetooth.
The speaker can connect to any Bluetooth device easily, as long as it is within a radius of 10 meters, with the device being the centre on that imaginary circle.
The Etekcity Roverbeats T16 has a 400mAh battery, which gives it an mediocre 7 hours of playback time. When fully drained the battery does take 3 hours to charge, so Etekcity didn’t use any quick charging technology at all when developing this product. So we highly suggest you use it in combination with a laptop, so that you can use a 5 volt USB port to charge it as you drain the battery. That way, you won’t have to charge it that often. But for a 400mAh battery, it does provide you with an okay amount of potential playback time, and that is something we don’t see every day.
Here is where the good part comes. The pricing. How much would you reckon this device costs? Well, most of you are wrong. This device is actually very inexpensive. It is currently being sold on amazon.com for $19.99, on amazon.de for €27.78 and on amazon.co.uk for an astonishing £15.49. So it’s not expensive at all!
Our personal opinion
What do we think of this Bluetooth speaker. Well, we here at BHT think this speaker is amazing for its price category. Normally, when you buy a speaker for this price, you end up with a terrible device of terrible build quality. Etekcity really did a great job designing this product. And we’d love to see more of this. Etekcity really excels at making high quality budget products, and this is certainly one of them, well done Etekcity. And just because of its price/quality ratio, the Etekcity Roverbeats T16 will be awarded a silver award.
(and best of all, it comes with a sick carrying pouch)