This isn’t my first review of a Soundfreaq product. In the past, I’ve reviewed two other speakers made by the company, and have grown extremely fond of them. The creation of their speakers stands out because Soundfreaq doesn’t have departments for every step. Rather, it does things a lot more efficiently, keeping the price down while guaranteeing a great product.
The Sound Spot is no different from Soundfreaq’s other products, with the same ridged design and mesh grill. However, it fits into the lineup nicely, as it is now the company’s least expensive and smallest product. Despite that, it manages to impress and look good doing it. So what’s so special about this new speaker in such a saturated market? Read on to find out.
Sound quality: I’ll go into detail about the audio quality later on, but overall, it’s great considering the size and price. As somewhat of an audiophile, I have high expectations no matter the price and size, and this easily met them.
Size and weight: The Sound Spot is fairly small, at only five inches high and less than two and a half inches thick. And at under 500 grams (496, according to a nice kitchen scale), it’s really light. This makes it a great travel companion.
Battery life: With a rechargeable battery that can pump out tunes for seven hours, it beats the average of around six hours of most speakers. I consider seven hours pretty good, though by no means amazing.
You can hook two speakers together for true stereo: Seriously, how cool is that? This is a mono speaker, but it has a 3.5mm aux out port on it. Hook two Sound Spots up with a 3.5mm cable, and it’ll automatically start playing in stereo. One speaker will play one channel, and the other speaker the other channel. That feature, at least to me, is innovative and just plain awesome. I absolutely love it.
USB port to charge devices is only 500 mA: This is nitpicking, but the full sized USB port on the back made to charge devices is a little weak. Most devices now charge optimally at 1 amp, sometimes 2. 500 mA won’t charge fast, but it’ll still keep it from dying. Plus, the battery won’t last nearly as long if you’re charging your smartphone.
Soundfreaq Sound Spot SFQ-07
Where to buy: Soundfreaq
Battery life: 7 hours, rechargeable
Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm aux in
Ports: 3.5mm aux in, 3.5mm aux out (for daisy chaining two Sound Spots), micro USB (for charging the speaker), full size USB (for charging devices, 5V 500 mA output)
Dimensions: 133mm wide, 128mm high, 60.5mm thick
What’s in the box: Speaker, long 3.5mm cable, charging cable
The Sound Spot is made out of a mix of matte and gloss plastic all around. The ridged surface is matte plastic, while the inside of the ridges and the area around the buttons is glossy. It’s definitely a good looking speaker, though the style might not suit everyone.
I received the white model, which comes with some wood trim surrounding the white speaker grill on the front and a white body everywhere else. The wood grain is water transferred onto the front. The grill is basic, with a Soundfreaq logo right in the center.
The Sound Spot also comes in black, which forgoes the wood trim for a clean, simple aesthetic. The white is busier, but it’s very interesting and makes for a unique look.
On the back, you’ll find the classic Soundfreaq text and the ports. There is an aux in for devices that don’t have Bluetooth (note: the aux in is quieter than Bluetooth from the same device, but this has been a constant in most speakers), an aux out for daisy chaining two speakers together, a power in micro USB port, and a power out full size USB port for charging your device.
The switch in the middle switches between three equalizer presets. Soundfreaq knows how to do EQs, because it doesn’t drastically change the sound. The change is clearly audible but pretty subtle, keeping the music undistorted. There is no “ultra bass kick” option, only “warm” and “bright” to slightly boost either the highs or lows. It’s great to have this feature, as it may appeal to many, but I prefer to leave any speaker on “flat.” A flat equalizer just sounds better to me. Luckily, the mild EQ never degraded the music in any way.
On the top of the Sound Spot, you’ll find six touch buttons and one physical button. The physical button is of course a power button, which has an LED inside to indicate whether it’s powered on, charging, or dying. The other buttons are touch buttons, but are very responsive. They react to touch very well, while not being overly sensitive and activating accidentally. The area around them is also indented, to protect them from accidental touches.
There isn’t any feedback for the buttons; a quiet beep or something would have been nice, but since they are so responsive, it isn’t really an issue.
Most speakers don’t have any sort of music control aside from a play/pause button, so to see track forward and back on this speaker was a big plus. It’s much easier than doing it on your phone, and is a great addition.
The addition of a “Pair” button, in my opinion, really makes Soundfreaq speakers stand out. Many speakers are hard to pair to your phone, and those that aren’t particularly hard are still more complicated than they should be. A pair button makes your life so much easier. The little things really matter.
The Sound Spot is fully made from plastic, aside from the speaker grill. The bezel around the grill is wooden, but the wood grain was water transferred onto the bezel itself. It is not pure wood. Despite its really light weight, it feels very solid. The plastic is nice and thick, never bending or creaking. Remember, plastic never means poor build quality.
I can’t particularly say that the Sound Spot feels really high end. It’s not as perfectly solid as a Jambox (which is almost three times the price and a fraction of the performance), but it is still a solid and sturdy speaker. Don’t let its low price fool you, because that’s what Soundfreaq does best: make surprisingly high quality speakers for low prices.
Remember that this is a small speaker with a low price tag of $70. Generally, any speaker that is small and has a low price will suffer in the audio department. Even the Jambox, at a retail suggested price of $200, really doesn’t produce acceptable audio (in my opinion anyway). So it’s quite unique to find a speaker of this size and price with clear audio that can produce accurate highs and some decent lows.
The Sound Spot is quite impressive in that regard. You wouldn’t expect such audio from this package, and it definitely surpasses the expectations that its price tag sets. So if you think this will sound like a $70 speaker, you’re in for a surprise.
However, it still has its limits. At full volume, the Sound Spot is shockingly loud. It can fill a large room with ease. But at full volume, it will distort the audio a bit. There will be raspiness, especially in the highs. Turn it down a few clicks, and the audio is clear and still quite loud. I, for one, appreciate this design decision. Most companies limit volume to the highest it can go without distorting. Instead, Soundfreaq allows it to go a few notches higher. This means that it can be louder in places where quality isn’t essential, like a park. That distortion won’t be audible in such an environment, but the extra volume will be crucial. So in my opinion, it’s a good decision.
One thing worth mentioning is the low end audio. The speaker doesn’t produce bass in the same way most other Bluetooth speakers do, but Soundfreaq speakers are unique in this sense. They do not shake, or produce deep rumbles. Instead, their bass is sharp and accurate. It’s not felt by touching the speaker, but by sitting in front of it. The bass isn’t strong on this speaker, but it’s pleasant. I have never used another Bluetooth speaker that produces this type of bass that you can feel inside of you, even when it’s light.
When hooking two Sound Spots up with a 3.5mm cable, they start playing in true separated stereo. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try out this feature. I don’t have two of these speakers, though I’m tempted to get another specifically for this purpose. But keep this feature in mind when considering it, because it really is cool.
Simply put, I’m in love. I have bigger speakers that sound better. I have smaller speakers that are more portable. But this speaker is an incredible balance of size, price, and sound quality. It’s a joy to use and easily worth more than its price tag. It offers so much and sacrifices so little that I can’t help but recommend it. If you need a portable speaker for your Bluetooth enabled device, strongly consider the Soundfreaq Sound Spot.