If you are on the lookout for a portable Bluetooth speaker to jazz up your next house party, there is no dearth of good options. But if you are on a tight budget, more often than not, you end up having to compromise on some aspect or other.
Amkette has launched the Trubeats S50, a portable Bluetooth speaker that is loaded with features, but is light on your pockets. I have spent the last few days with the Rs 3,499 Amkette Trubeats S50 to get a feel of the speaker and the sound quality, and here’s my review.
Amkette Trubeats S50 Design, Specifications
Unlike Xiaomi‘s brightly colored Mi Bluetooth speaker, Amkette has opted for a more sober and muted look for the Trubeats S50. The front is dominated by a black metal speaker grille, which also features the Amkette logo towards the bottom-right corner. On the sides are metal frames boasting a brushed finish, which in my opinion doesn’t quite go with the overall look. The back has another grille, and a cheap-looking plastic panel that hosts the 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot, USB port, micro-USB port and the power switch.
The top panel gets a rubberized finish, which not only looks good, but also adds a pinch of premium-ness to the otherwise mundane design language. Here you also find the microphone to receive calls, and buttons to change modes, playback and volume buttons, as well as a clock button. These buttons take a bit of force to press, but the click is quite satisfactory. While the overall look and feel isn’t what you would call premium, there is no denying that Amkette’s speaker is sturdy and feels good to hold in one’s hands.
The Trubeats S50 features 10W speaker drivers, 52mm neodymium magnetically shielded drivers, and a frequency range of 180Hz-20KHz. The speaker’s USP is however the sheer number of features and connectivity options. You can connect to using Bluetooth 3.0, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card and USB, and there’s also NFC for quick connectivity. As for its capabilities, apart from being a pair of speakers, the Trubeats S50 is also an alarm clock, a power bank, and it even plays FM.
Amkette Trubeats S50 Performance
In my time with the Trubeats S50, I have listened to music by connecting an Apple iPod and an Android smartphone via Bluetooth, as well as inserting a microSD card loaded with audio tracks.
When it comes to audio performance, the Trubeats S50 can surprise you a bit, especially when you take into consideration the price tag. When I fired up the speaker for the first time and played a track, it was impressive just how loud it gets. Also impressive is the width of the sound field, and the speaker is loud enough to fill a room. That said, at max volume (20) the audio can be a bit jarring, and the sweet spot, in my opinion is around the 75 percent mark.
For the purpose of this review, focus tracks were The Weeknd’s Starboy, AC/DC’s Hell Ain’t a Bad Place To Be, Bassnectar’s You & Me, and two original soundtracks — Mad Max: Fury Road’s Brothers in Arms, and Light of the Seven from Game of Thrones (Season 6).
If your playlist has a majority of songs in the hard rock or heavy metal genre, the Trubeats S50 is not the best of choices. While the vocals in these songs are clear, the heavy instruments tend to sound distorted at times, which affects the overall experience. It’s the same case when listening to Mad Max: Fury Road’s Brothers in Arms, which is among the most percussion-heavy soundtracks I have personally come across.
When it comes to tracks such as Starboy, The Weeknd’s vocals are clear, but if we were to nitpick, the lows sound a bit artificial. There’s no real thump to the bass, which would have been ideal for most pop and dance songs out there. The highs though are quite sharp, which help when listening to tracks that have a lot of instruments. The sharpness lets you distinguish between different instruments, and the speaker is able to accurately handle different pitches and tones.
But the Trubeats S50 is more than just a Bluetooth speaker, and its long list of features too warrant a mention. Let’s first start with the battery life, and the 3,600mAh unit underneath is quite capable of surviving a couple of parties before you need to plug it in. Amkette says it is good enough to survive for more than eight hours of playback, and we agree. Since receiving the speaker, we have only had to charge it once, and the process took about an hour and half. What’s more, the speaker can also function as a powerbank, and I was able to charge my Apple iPhone 6s by connecting to its USB port.
The speaker comes with built-in FM Radio, which is a disappointment since it is nigh impossible to tune to a particular frequency. Even after manually entering a radio station frequency, the speaker often fails to tune in to it.
As you can see in the photos, the speaker grille up front also shows an LED clock, which is quite handy when kept at one’s desk. There is also an alarm function that lets you play a song from a USB drive, microSD card or FM Radio to wake you up.
Though, the speaker is compatible with any smartphone supporting Bluetooth, there is a dedicated mobile app for Android users that lets you control different aspects. From changing the volume, to changing modes, everything can be done with a tap. The app UI is quite minimal and is pretty easy to use.
The Amkette Trubeats S50 then is an interesting device that is hard to ignore when you consider its pocket-friendly price tag, and rather long feature list. As far as the audio performance is concerned, it may not have the panache of some of the more expensive speakers such as the JBL Pulse 2, but it surely is louder and dare we say, better than Xiaomi’s Mi Bluetooth speaker.
If you are on the lookout for a Bluetooth speaker that is loud enough for a house party, yet not too expensive to cut into your booze budget, then the Amkette Trubeats S50 is one you should seriously consider.