Big sound doesn’t always need to come from a big package. That’s really what the iRiver BTS-D1 Bluetooth sound drum mini speaker demonstrates, available for $35.99 from Caseology on Amazon in 3 different colors.
The first thing I’d like to talk about is the price. For $35.99, you’re getting a lot of sound in a very small package that happens to pack plenty of features, so at that price, this is a very reasonable deal.
Some of the speaker’s main features include Bluetooth connectivity, a microSD card slot and an integrated microphone for Bluetooth speakerphone calls (quality on both ends of the call seemed just fine in my few test calls). Some less notable but still important features would be its integrated 3.5mm line-in port, 450mAh battery and a metal body, which provides excellent build quality all around.
Battery life is quite good. I’ve given this speaker close to 5 hours of test usage since taking it out of its packaging, and have yet to plug it in for charging. Speaking of which, the speaker comes with a mini-USB cable for charging. You can plug it into nearly anything that has a normal USB port, such as a computer, to charge the unit. Rated battery life is up to 7-10 hours for music playback and up to 100 hours of standby time.
The design of the speaker is very minimalistic and simple. On the front, you’ll find all of your control buttons, ports and other necessities. The speaker faces out of the top, protected by a metal cover. There’s rubber padding on the bottom of the speaker, which I didn’t notice at first, due to its protective plastic layer/film. Until I removed that, the speaker’s bass output would make the speaker move all around my table (which was interesting to watch), so removing that made it stay put.
Using the speaker is rather simple. There’s a single on/off switch at the bottom of the unit. Within 5 seconds, you’ll automatically be in Bluetooth pairing mode. If you’ve previously paired it with a Bluetooth device, it’ll connect to it if in range. If you aren’t, you can immediately begin to pair it with nearly any Bluetooth device within a matter of seconds. I tested it with an iPhone 5s as well as a MacBook Air and MSI Windows gaming laptop. For each, as soon as each device was finished pairing, audio would begin to play from it through this speaker.
Audio quality is much better than expected, so don’t let the small size of the speaker fool you. Maximum volume is very loud, and even at that volume, the audio didn’t distort whatsoever. General audio is noticeably crisp and clear, with there being an above average amount of bass from a speaker of this size. I was able to feel the bass going through my table down through to the floor, but that was when at maximum volume.
One negative thing (depending on how much you pay attention to your audio) I noticed is that the speaker only seems to be playing audio from the left audio channel, as you can notice in the video above. For example, if I adjust my computer’s speaker balance to only play audio from the left, the audio will play just fine through the speaker. If I set it to only play audio from the right, volume will dramatically decrease to where almost nothing noticeable can be heard. This seems to indicate that it indeed only seems to play audio from the left audio channel. This might be more noticeable when watching a TV show or movie where much of the audio is being played through the right channel. However, most people probably won’t notice this, and it’s most certainly fine for the vast majority of music.
Overall, the iRiver BTS-D1 Bluetooth sound drum mini speaker performed exceptionally well and is reasonably priced. Its excellent construction should result in many years of audio enjoyment.