Should You Buy Beats Pill& Plus On Amazon: In-Depth Review
The tiniest Bluetooth speaker from Beats, the Pill+ ($229.95) continues to be in a position to deliver powerful audio tracks from its modest, attractive frame. If you are expecting truly massive bass, you will have to look elsewhere, however the Pill+ offers a clean, well-defined, balanced listening experience, a port for charging your cellular devices, and an integral speakerphone for fielding calls on the run. There’s a good amount of strong competition in this cost range, however, and almost all of it offers more in the form of features and/or music performance.
Measuring 2.5 by 2.7 by 8.3 inches (HWD) and weighing in at a surprisingly hefty 1.7 pounds, the Pill+ comes with an oblong, slender contour which will fit fairly easily in a tote, but less so in smaller bags. Obtainable in matte black or white, the Pill+ includes a minimalist design-other compared to the familiar Beats logo on the upper panel, there are few flourishes. The Apple effect (Apple purchased beats in 2014) is noticeable only in subtle ways-the connection point for the charging cable isn’t a micro USB port, as may be the case with practically all the lightweight Bluetooth speakers, but a Lightning port.
Behind the front-facing, rounded speaker grille, four drivers deliver the audio-two midrange, positioned toward the guts, and two tweeters, located nearer to the ends. A rubberized band wraps around the speaker, serving as secure footing to avoid movement on table tops, looked after houses the control panel.
The controls are organized over the top-from left to right, there’s a power button, an LED battery life gauge, a Beats multifunction button, and plus and minus buttons for volume, which work together with your mobile device’s master levels. The central multifunction button controls playback, track navigation, and call management, according to just how many times you tap it.
Along the trunk panel, a snap-shut rubber cover protects a panel housing a USB port (in order to charge your cellular devices using the speaker’s battery), a 3.5mm aux input, and the Lightning port.
Beats Pill+ inlineThere’s also a Pill+ app, free in the Apple App Store for some newer iOS devices, together with an Android version that works together with limited models. The software is by no means necessary so that you can operate and revel in the speaker, nonetheless it does let you link up two Pill+ units and utilize them as left and right channels if you want. In case you have only a solo speaker, the iphone app doesn’t bring much to the table.
Beats estimates the Pill+’s battery life to be roughly 12 hours, however your results will vary together with your volume levels, as well as your mixture of wired versus wireless playback. The speaker ships with a Lightning cable, a wall adapter for the cable, and a felt drawstring tote bag. It’s unfortunate that, as of this price, the speaker doesn’t ship with a 3.5mm audio tracks cable, given the inclusion of the aux input.
On tracks with powerful sub-bass content, just like the Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Pill+ gives a good sense of deep bass at moderate volumes. The bigger the quantity goes, the more the bass thins out-there’s some digital signal processing (DSP) set up that prevents the speaker from distorting at maximum volume levels, but also takes a number of the thunder out from the synth drums upon this track. However, the clean delivery will probably be worth it, and we wouldn’t expect truly deep bass from a speaker this size.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with little in the form of deep bass in the mix, gives us an improved knowledge of the Pill+’s overall sound signature. The drums upon this track can sound overly thunderous and unnatural on bass-forward speakers, however the Pill+’s modest size keeps this aspect in balance. Callahan’s baritone vocals get some good powerful low-mid presence, offering their richness to an extraordinary degree. If the bigger frequencies didn’t intensify and then add treble edge and contour to the vocals, things would sound muddy, however the Pill+ gives a rich and well-defined-if not totally crisp-response.
Area of the crispness issue is that the drivers aren’t angled upward, which means you miss much of this is the tweeters bring to the table unless they are actually lined up together with your ears. When the tweeters are prearranged properly, things sound drastically brighter, with the rich bass still quite definitely part of the mix.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the open,” the kick drum loop gets sufficient high-mid occurrence to accent the loop’s sharp attack, nevertheless, you hear and feel as much of its thumping sustain in the lows and low-mids. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat lack the truly deep lows that produce their occurrence powerful. The vocals upon this track are delivered with clarity in the high-mids, without an excessive amount of sibilance or any hints of harshness.
Orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene in John Adams’ The Gospel In line with the Other Mary, get a supplementary dollop of low frequency presence, but it’s balanced out by the brightness of the drivers, particularly if the speakers are prearranged with the ears. A lot of the lower register instrumentation upon this track exists in the lows and low-mids-there’s little in the form of sub-bass here-and thus the Pill+ has the capacity to accentuate its occurrence and strengthen the mix a bit. That is obviously not really a sound signature that may appeal to purists, but it’s a reasonably balanced, rich, and clear sound.
If there’s a genuine gripe here, it’s that the Pill+ sounds markedly different according to its angle to your ears-an issue that might have been fixed by angling the drivers upward or building in a kickstand which allows you to tilt the speaker up. The purchase price is also somewhat puzzling-for $230, you should expect more power and bass depth. However the clean audio tracks delivery saves things, and improves the overall score up half of a star. In the sub-$200 cost range, where this speaker belongs, we are fans of the JBL Charge 3, the Sony SRS-XB3, and the Bose SoundLink Mini II. If you are seeking to spend less, the EcoXGear EcoCarbon offers solid music performance for a fraction of the Pill+’s price. Furthermore, almost all of these above-listed options also boast outdoor-friendly, water-resistant designs.