It’s not often that you find a speaker that’s built like a tank. While it may not take all that much abuse, its metal construction and mirror-polished chamfering really makes it look and feel far more expensive than it really is. However, there’s a lot more to a Bluetooth speaker than just construction.
Battery: 4,000mAh, 8 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm aux
Dimensions: 2.36 x 7.87 x 2.52 inches
Weight: 1.49 lbs
Where to buy: Amazon
The Aukey SK-S1 has a simple design, with a metal grille wrapping around the entire front and back. Up top you’ll find a call button, volume buttons, track buttons, and a play/pause button. The volume buttons take a lot of clicks to adjust volume, which gets annoying. To the right is a status light.
On the back is a 3.5mm aux jack, a microUSB charging port (I was hoping to see a USB Type-C port by now), and a power button. It’s an odd location for a power button but it works.
On the bottom is a rubber surface with four feet. The rubber is great for keeping the speaker in place (you’d be surprised how often companies cheap out on the rubber feet!). One of them was lifted too high out of the box, causing a wobble, but this was easily corrected.
This speaker is built extremely well. The wraparound grille covers most of it and is made out of thick, solid metal. The frame is also metal and has a chamfered edge polished to a mirror shine. The top is plastic but made to look like brushed metal and feels great. The buttons are a bit stiff but clicky and don’t wobble.
Overall, this speaker feels far more premium than its price tag.
First and foremost, this speaker sounds decent. Nothing about the sound is bad by any means. That being said, the standard for sound quality in today’s Bluetooth speakers is simply higher than it ever was before.
Harsh, high-oriented sound was expected on any cheap speaker a few years ago, but 2017 saw a surge in Bluetooth speakers with solid low-end and a lack of that characteristic harshness in the highs.
The SK-S1 gets pretty damn loud and stays clear up to around 80% volume level, after which distortion kicks in. The highs are sharp and a bit harsh, though the harshness isn’t all that bad. The details are there, but there is absolutely no low-end. Bass you can feel is not expected at this price point and size, but the lack of low-end definitely takes away from the enjoyment.
Does it sound fine for $50? Absolutely. But there is so much competition at this price and so many better-sounding speakers that it’s hard to recommend this one strictly based on sound quality.
The battery life is rated at 8 hours of playback, which is a bit low for this price. Most speakers these days are managing 10 or more on a single charge. Nonetheless, it’s a decent amount of battery life.
In daily usage, the estimate is pretty accurate. Listening at lower volumes you can probably get a bit more, but bump up the sound and battery life will struggle. Nonetheless, the battery life is decent even at higher volumes.
This isn’t a bad speaker at all. Unfortunately the Bluetooth speaker segment is as competitive as they get, and there are plenty of better options. Tinny sound is a thing of the past and we should leave it there. Nonetheless, this is a very good looking and well-built speaker. If you want something that feels far more expensive than it is, grab an Aukey SK-S1. If you want better sound, give the Tronsmart T6 a shot.