Sbode M400 Multi-Function Wireless Speaker
There is no lack of Bluetooth enabled speakers on the market, and they can range greatly in pricing and, more often than not, the price of the speaker doesn't always equate to the quality of the product. Today, we will be looking at a budget friendly option absolutely jam-packed with just about every feature you can imagine.
First, let's have a look at the official features list:
Probably the most interesting feature you will notice on the list is the ability to link two of these together to create a Left and Right channel audio setup (pictured below). Unfortunately, Sbode was only able to provide us with one sample unit so I wasn't able to test this particular feature, but it looks like a really cool option where permanent solutions aren't available; Like a small party, pool-side gathering, or a movie screening with friends where the built-in TV speakers just aren't adequate.
Another option that I didn't previously have in any of my Bluetooth speakers was an FM tuner. During the first-time setup, it scanned and memorized all available stations in my area for quick access. Unfortunately, there is no readout to let you know what station you are on, but it's not too difficult to find what you are looking for by just scanning through quickly. Reception was surprisingly clear without an external antenna even though I was inside a 3 story brick building when I tested it. I don't personally see myself using the FM tuner very often considering the speaker can produce much higher quality music and with zero commercials using the other functions, but it would definitely come in handy during emergency situations to have a portable radio in such a small package.
Another small downside to the lack of display is the inability to manage the songs on the MicroSD card you can use with the speaker. I would recommend loading a couple of your favorite albums since you will need to skip through to the songs you like. According to the manual, it supports MP3, WMA, APE, and most importantly FLAC (which is what all my albums use).
There isn't much to say about the auxiliary input, and the Bluetooth setup was fast, painless, and now automatically connects to my phone when they are powered on near each other. The wireless calling works as expected but can cause issues if you have the volume up too high as it cancels out your voice if the caller is trying to talk at the same time as you (a common problem with even the built-in speakerphone). I've seen one or two complaints about the speaker not being loud enough, however I have the exact opposite problem. When it's connected to my phone, the lowest volume setting is a bit too loud in a completely quiet room-- I would dread to think how loud it would get at maximum volume.
I've had the speaker in my shower for about a week now (on a single charge) and haven't run into any technical issues with it getting wet. The little sub-woofer dome on the top can collect water, which I imagine isn't an issue, but I shake it out anyway when I'm done with it. The battery indicator is a nice touch so I can keep an eye on when I may need to take it out for charging; something my other speaker was lacking and was a huge buzzkill when I would be in the middle of my encore performance and would suddenly start receiving the "battery low" alert.
The sound quality is terrific on the bass and mids, but the highs seem a little flat. The voice telling you the status/mode can be toggled on and off with a key combination, however there are so many modes on this thing that you may just want to leave it on unless you become incredibly familiar with it. For anyone curious to know, it's rated IPX6, so it's good to go for rain/showers/pool splashes, but is not submersible-- so be careful not to knock it in the tub.
At about ~$40 on Amazon, this is a killer budget friendly wireless speaker and I can count myself among the many 5-star reviews it's received already.