Our SoundBot SB517FM Review: Come see if it is for you!
Soundbot SB517FM Review: Affordability Doesn’t Always Mean You Are Missing Out On The Nice Things
Soundbot have both speakers and the SoundBot bluetooth headphones. The SoundBot bluetooth headphones have seen much praise recently due to the low cost when combined with the attached sound quality. When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, I feel that soundbot were looking to do something else with the SoundBot SB517FM. This guy isn’t so much about sound quality as it is about portability and affordability.
If you’re in this market, then you’re probably looking for a more budget option. What you have to remember is that the SoundBot SB517FM only costs you $13.99. That’s an incredible price when compared to some of the alternatives. The Jawbone Big Jambox will set you back $189, whilst the UE Boom 2 will cost you $179.99. Because the price is lower, you need to expect lower quality and less investment in the materials used in the product. The SoundBot SB517FM was designed so that everyone could have a portable Bluetooth speaker, not so that you could show it off as having the best technology available. However, I must admit that this guy does look pretty cool.
If you are looking for a budget speaker, you are probably going to want reliability as well. If you are looking at reliability, you want something which has a higher number in the IP rating system. Whilst an IPX3 device with it splash proof rating will be fine for the average user, you will feel safer the higher the number you have.
What you want from a Bluetooth speaker really depends on how you’re going to use it. The SoundBot SB517FM is really a portable pebble, meaning, it is great for carrying around and taking places, but it’s not got the best specs under the hood. So, if you are aware of this, and you know that this is what you want, then the SoundBot SB517FM is very possibly the most perfect fit for you.
I’ll cover the issues this speaker has when it comes face to face with the alternatives first. Primarily, the main issue is the speaker size. It’s only rated at 3 watts. This isn’t going to get you super high volume levels, but then you shouldn’t expect a budget speaker to be the centrepiece of a party.
The other, very small, issue I have with this speaker is the colour options available. You can get the standard black, along with a few other options, but they are all rather dull. The lack of loud colour might appeal to some, but for others it is going to put them off.
Design here isn’t the most important factor, but it’s always going to be important to some extent, and the shape of the SoundBot SB517FM is different than a lot of the more expensive products. Its cylindrical shape gives it both a science-fiction-esque appeal, and makes it more portable. I think the reason SoundBot have gone with this design though, is primarily because it helps to make the device more rugged and durable. The SoundBot SB517FM is actually rated as a IPX7, meaning that it can stand up to water, dust and sand. IPX7 is entirely waterproof, although should not be submerged if it can be helped.
Size – The SoundBot SB517FM’s size is great. Coming in at only 100x70x70 mm, it’s smaller than a lot of the alternatives. Moreover, the cylindrical shape means it’s capable of fitting into a lot of places which other rectangular speakers struggle with.
IPX7 – For such a budget option, the SoundBot SB517FM has actually been developed to last for a long time. IPX7 is more than just a good rating for anyone looking to use their device in a range of different situations and conditions.
Speaker – The measly 3 watts of speaker power means that you are not going to be the loudest music player on the block. If you want volume, buy something a little more expensive, or look at the list of the loudest Bluetooth speakers available.
Colours – Whilst there are a range of colour available, they are all quite dark or dull. More colourful options aren’t going to be available here – which might actually be preferential for some.
Buttons – This is a hard one. Are there too many buttons? Personally, I would be worried about accidentally pressing one when I was moving it around, but this depends on the individual.
Overall the SoundBot SB517FM is a great option for the budget buyer. Compared to other options available on the market, this portable speaker can surprisingly hold its own; especially when it comes to ruggedness. If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker which is going to stand the test of time and remain your loyal companion for the next few years, this is probably one of the safest bets.
Other options in the rugged bluetooth speaker category can be found on our site.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com