I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a Bluetooth speaker snob by now. My rave review of the $250 Grain Audio Bluetooth speaker should explain to you how much I value sound quality. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy cheap Bluetooth speakers, provided they sound good. The G-Tube costs a measly $40 and doesn’t sound anything like you’d expect.
Battery: 6 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1, 3.5mm aux
Extras: IPX5 splash proof, headphone out
Dimensions: 1.9″ x 1.9″ x 5.2″ (WDH)
What’s in the box: Speaker, 3.5mm aux cable, micro USB charging cable, lanyard
Where to buy: G-Project
The front houses two 1.25-inch drivers behind the black metal grille. The center and edges are rubberized for added grip and to keep the speaker standing upright. Actually, the speakers are angled up slightly, which is a nice touch.
The left side has all the buttons, which unlike the speakers, aren’t angled (also a nice touch). There’s a play button, a Bluetooth button for easy pairing, volume up and down buttons, and a power button with G-Project’s classic three LEDs inside.
The right side has a clip on it. But see that hinge there?
Grab that clip and start unscrewing it. This allows the panel to come off, revealing three ports. There is a micro-USB port for charging, an aux jack, and a line out jack (more on that later).
The build quality of this speaker is fantastic. No creaks, no flex, no cheap materials. The rubber feels good, the speaker grilles are metal, and the buttons feel high-quality.
The metal screw going through the cover on the right side struck me as an incredibly high-quality touch. Most speakers double or even triple the price use floppy rubber covers to keep water out, while this uses such an awesome system. I love it.
I do have a gripe about the center piece of rubber, though: it spins if you really try to spin it. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not.
It’s a small, $40 speaker. What can you expect? A lot, apparently. This thing gets shockingly loud, easily filling a room with loud, clear audio. How they got such a small speaker to get this loud is beyond me, but it truly is impressive.
At full volume, there is a bit of distortion. It’s a rugged speaker, so some distortion at full volume for outdoor use is perfectly fine. A few clicks of the volume button and you still get really loud sound, but with perfect clarity.
The bass is also surprisingly strong. You won’t be feeling it, but it produces a nice low-end. The only issue is that the mids aren’t as strong as I’d like them to be. It’s not a perfectly balanced sound, but it’s amazing for $40.
A 6 hour battery life rating really isn’t all that great these days. It’s about average. But at this price tag and with such a light weight, it’s fitting and is plenty of time between charges. The G-TUBE definitely gets 6 hours per charge, or even more if you listen at a quieter volume, and it charges pretty quick with a micro-USB cable.
One of the main features of this little speaker is the IPX5 splash-proof rating. This means it can withstand splashes from any direction, making it shower safe. You won’t be able to submerge it or float it in a pool, but it’ll survive minor run-ins with water.
Another cool feature is the line-out port. Since this speaker is made to take a beating, it may be used in places a smartphone shouldn’t be exposed to. The line out jack allows you to plug your headphones into the speaker, turning them into Bluetooth wireless headphones. You can hike with this little speaker clipped to your backpack strap and your earphones plugged in without your phone ever leaving the safety of your backpack. That’s not something I’d use, but it’s still cool!
This little speaker has a low price tag and very impressive audio. Not only does it sound good, it gets super loud. It’s also lightweight, portable, rugged, splash-proof, and very well-built. It does it all while looking quite good.
Honestly, at $40, you have to have it. I’m sure you’ll find a great use for it.