Bluetooth speakers comes in many different sizes, various degrees of quality, and also a wide range of price tags. With all this variety, where does Philips BT3500B fit in?
Speakers like JBL’s Charge and Bose’s SoundLink series are good examples of good sounding wireless Bluetooth speakers, and you normally have to pay between 150 and 300 dollars to get one of those. Philips’ BT3500B is priced a lot lower at $79.99 (MSRP). This raises the question; can it really be good?
When I first picked up the speaker from its box I was pleasantly surprised. The BT3500B is compact, fits well in the hand and does not weigh much. You would normally expect a poor or at best mediocre build quality at this price, but the speaker is actually quite well built. The metal speaker grille also adds some extra sturdiness.
This is an uncomplicated Bluetooth speaker without too many frills, but it still has room for a few features for some added convenience, such as the flip-out stand on the back which makes it possible to place the BT3500B at an angle. You can also use it without the stand and place it upright without fear of it falling over. The placement of the volume knob in the corner is also a clever solution. It gives the BT3500B a more unique look and also protects the volume knob if you happen to drop it or if it accidentally falls over.
Bluetooth & NFC
The Philips BT3500B plays music and doubles as a speaker for phone calls. On the side is a small microphone to catch your part of the conversation. This works pretty well and the speaker provides a good sound for phone calls and the microphone does a good job as long as there is not too much ambient noise.
There is a 3.5 mm jack if you want to connect a music player or phone using a cable, but most will probably use the Bluetooth feature and do it wirelessly. Despite the low price, the BT3500B has a built-in NFC chip, which makes pairing with a compatible phone or tablet quick and easy.
The big question is; how does such a low-cost Bluetooth speaker perform audio-wise. As you would expect from a speaker of this size - without any reflex port or room for a woofer - there´s really no bass to talk of. The reproduction of voices and higher tones sound relatively good however, but it all depends on what you listen to. More complicated music can sound a bit dull and you will notice that something is missing, while less complicated music, like acoustic singer/songwriters, is quite listenable. You can´t really be too picky at this price point, and with that in mind, the BT3500B does a pretty good job overall.
Being portable is one of the main perks of the Philips BT3500B. You can easily take it along in one hand and the speaker doesn´t weigh much. The low weight is partly due to a small battery that only lasts about five hours, but it is possible to charge it using a micro-USB charger if needed.
The modest power and lack of bass makes the BT3500B a speaker that you bring along on holiday, when camping or going to the beach and want to listen to some music. For this pupose it does a good job, as long as you stay away from too noisy environments. In other words, it doesn´t do parties.
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- Current Price: $59.99
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- IN ThE bOX
- Built-in microphone for calls
- Rechargeable battery
Rated Output Power 2 X 5 W RMS
Signal to Noise Ratio > 62 dBA
AUX Input 600 mV
Bluetooth version V3.0
Supported profiles HFP v1.6, A2DP v2.1, AVRCP v1.0
Range 10 m (Free space)
Power Supply (through USB socket) 5 V 1 A
Built-in Battery Li-polymer battery (3.7 V, 2200 mAh)
Main Unit (W x H x D) 201 x 101 x 35 mm
Weight - Main Unit 0.5 kg
• Main unit
• USB cable
• Short user manual