I'll soon be reviewing a rather pricy speaker from another hardware vendor, so today I'm going to look at a less expensive solution from Inateck. The BP2001 10W Bluetooth Stereo Speaker (US$59.99 MSRP, available for $25.99 on Amazon) is affordable for just about anyone and features a design that acts as an iPad stand as well. How does this low-cost Bluetooth speaker fare? Read on, then have a chance to win one from Inateck and TUAW.
- Dimensions: 9.45 x 2.44 x 1.61 inches (240 x 62 x 41 mm)
- Weight: 11.7 ounces (332 grams)
- Effective performance: 5 watts per speaker, 2 speakers
- Signal distance: up to 10 mm (33 feet)
- Supported wireless mode: Bluetooth v2.1 and EDR
- Battery: Lithium ion, 800 mAh
While the BP2001 isn't the most gorgeous speaker I've ever seen, it's also not bad looking and the iPad stand feature works like a champ. The front is dominated by a large "Inateck" button cover which had fallen off when I opened the box -- it's attached to a lower button with adhesive and stuck right back on with a push. On the back of the speaker is an on/off switch, an AUX port, and a micro-USB port for charging. There's also a support that flips out of the back of the speaker to hold up the weight of an iPad -- if you're not going to use the BP2001 as a stand, you can just flip it back in.
Although this image shows an iPad Air mounted atop the BP2001 in landscape mode, it also works very well in portrait orientation -- and there's even a small indentation to help you access the Home button on your iPad.
The front of the speaker has a nice black perforated grille and metal-looking highlights, while the stand section is made of a matte finish plastic material. The rest of the BP2001 is made of a shiny plastic that has a habit of picking up fingerprints. On the bottom are a pair of "feet" to keep the speaker from sliding.
After flipping the power switch on the BP2001 to the on position, the speaker made a nice chime to tell me that it was on, then supplied a pair of tones to let me know that it wasn't currently paired with anything. A small white Bluetooth icon near the large front button was flashing, indicating that the speaker needed pairing.
Using Settings > Bluetooth on iOS 8 beta quickly showed the Inateck BP2001 and the speaker paired with a tap, making a happy tone (I can't describe it any other way) to let me know the two were now talking. Now it was time to pump some tunes to the speaker.
I have to admit being surprised. For a speaker that you can pick up for $26, this thing really has some volume. There's not much punch to the bass, but the high end is covered well and the speaker has a nice full tone to it. All of your volume control needs to come from the device you're beaming music from, which really isn't a problem -- in fact, I've often wondered why manufacturers insist on putting volume buttons or dials on Bluetooth speakers.
I always test Bluetooth speakers with a variety of music genres, just to make sure that the speaker isn't just "pre-set" to sound good with one type of music. Whether it was the jazz of Dave Brubeck or the EDM of Daft Punk, this little speaker sounded pretty darned good.
Although the construction is a bit suspect (the button cover that had fallen off in shipping) and this device can pick up fingerprints better than a CSI, the surprisingly loud and clear sound combined with the low price tag give it a pretty good rating. If you're looking for a combo iPad stand/speaker and just don't want to blow the nest egg on it, you can't go wrong with the Inateck BP2001.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
So, want a Inateck BP2001 of your very own to rock out with? We're giving one away! Here are the rules for the giveaway:
- Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
- To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
- The entry must be made before September 15 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive an Inateck BP2001 Bluetooth Speaker
- Click Here for complete Official Rules.