Gadget Review: BlackBerry Mini Bluetooth Stereo Speaker

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Portable, quality, BBRY branded audio for music and telephony.

Many BlackBerry fans go for BBRY branded accessories whenever possible. Several months ago, I bought a BlackBerry “Mini Bluetooth Stereo Speaker” online and thought you might enjoy hearing about it.

For those who like to get to the bottom line quickly; I love the device and think it’s worth the $80.00 purchase price. Why? Because: 1) it is so small and portable, 2) offers great sound for such a small form factor, 3) is multifunctional (provides three functions), 4) has a neat design feature allowing it to be attached to a seat belt or the strap for a book bag, and 5) is BBRY branded.

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Size and Portability:
The device is pretty small and fits into the palm of your hand, as you can see from the pic above. The Mini Speaker is not intended to compete with much larger devices like the Jawbone Bluetooth speakers, instead, it’s intended to be portable enough to bring almost anywhere and have with you all the time. It’s small and very lightweight.

Sound:
The Mini Speaker offers great sound in a small form factor. It has two speakers with separate channels and thus is stereo, but the speakers are close enough together that they won’t give you the experience you might get from wearing headphones. However, for such a small package, the Mini Speaker puts out. Although I don’t have a decibel rating, many of you have heard Z30s and I would say it is noticeably louder and deeper in sound than the Z30. In any event, it’s fairly loud for such a little device and offers ample sound considering how portable it is.

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Not much bigger than my keys.

Three Functions:
The Mini Speaker does three things: 1) acts as a Bluetooth speaker you can connect to your device to listen to media, 2) works as a Bluetooth speaker you can use with your telephone for hands free phone calls, 3) works as a Bluetooth streaming media input into your stereo allowing you to walk around playing music from your device through the Mini Speaker, over your home stereo or car stereo via the 3.5mm audio out jack. I’ve had the Speaker for about 5 months now and have used it for all three purposes and found it performs well. Maybe I “drink too much of the cool aide,” but this is part of what I expect from a BBRY branded device, that is, I expect it to do what it claims.

#1 As a Bluetooth speaker, this device performs admirably. It’s very convenient to have around for when you want to watch a YouTube video with some nice sound. Of course, it’s also great to pull out to play music on when you’re having a cigar and a beer on the deck outside in the summer and want a little sound. Clearly, if you’re an audiophile, you will want a more robust solution, but I don’t think you’ll find a better one with such a small footprint.

#2 As a Bluetooth speaker for phone calls, the device performs well, as you would expect. It adds some volume to your call should you want to set your phone down on the middle of a table surrounded by several people on a conference call. I have used it for this purpose and gotten feedback that the call quality was solid, meaning, I sounded good to the caller. My BBRY phones are business tools that I’m somewhat cautious with and I would freely use the Mini Speaker for any important calls.

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The small hole on the lower right is the mic for use as speakerphone.

#3 As a Bluetooth streaming device to play music over a stereo, the Mini Speaker works great. I can walk around my apartment up and down the steps and around corners and into rooms with my Q10 in my pocket and never have interruptions of my music. The music sounds good and all the features of my phone work well over it.

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There is the 3.5mm audio out jack on the right.

Design Feature:
As you can see from the pic below, this device is designed to fit snugly onto the strap of your book bag or seat belt so it can be used on the go. I have not tested this feature much, although it’s fairly self-explanatory. I can say it does fit onto those types of straps, but I’ve never carried it around like that during the day. One point about this feature is you have to be very careful how much tension you apply to the device; it is not intended to open more than a few millimeters. I can see this would function nicely as a hands free Bluetooth speaker for your car. You could just stick it onto your seat belt.

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Slot for attaching to straps. Middle button is held down for Bluetooth pairing.

Specifications:
This is not the exhaustive list; just a few that I think are pertinent. The battery is 1100 mAh, takes 2 & 1/2 hours to charge, and is good for 40 days of standby, 16 hours of talk, and an impressive 14 hours of streaming time. It’s a class 2 Bluetooth device with a range of about 33 feet.

The Best News:
I’ve saved the best news for last, and that is, as Brad indicated earlier here, through the end of August, all BBRY accessories are on sale on shopblackberry.com so you can get the BlackBerry Bluetooth Mini Stereo Speaker for $55.99! Check it out!

james pisano

RIM/BB fan since 2009. Wouldn't consider entrusting my career, life or privacy to another platform. Foremost, I am a student of life. Some likes: longboarding, nature, Baltimore Orioles, technology, driving, music, reading and Taoism. Politically independent.

  • emstardeluxe

    I have that little guy! It’s awesome :)

    • Thanks emstar! They are nice to have around. Solid accessory.

  • razrrob

    Thanks for saving ‘The Best’ for last – I just ordered one of these bad-boys!

  • jrohland

    I got one while I had a Z10 and found it great. Since I got my Z30, I have less need for it. It does sound similar to the Z30 but can get louder, which is useful when Marine One flies over my house. GRRRR! (For my non-murican friends, Marine One is the presidents helicopter and my house is occasionally under its flight path.)

    • Hey. Having Marine One fly over your house is kinda cool too. But you’re right, the Z30 is a beast. But I always have the Mini Speaker in my bag. You can actually sit the device on it’s back or you can stand it up on it’s side and angle the sound towards you. Besides being a little louder and deeper, this offers an advantage over the Z30 unless you have a case with a stand on it.

  • Bigglybobblyboo

    Great in depth review James. To be honest accessories are often forgotten by people like, er… me! More please!

    • Thanks much Biggs! Means a lot coming from you- the master blogger.

  • Blackjack

    Thanks for the eight up James! I’ve seen that before and heard it was good but never realized how small it is! Can you get any bass out of that thing?

    • Hey BJ. I think the sound is deeper than your Z30, but I would be careful saying you can get good bass out of it. It’s pretty small. I think the sound is great considering the size and portability. It’s designed to have around wherever you go and offer some good sound.

  • Blackjack

    Write up that is….oy.

  • bartron

    Great review ! You get to the point, you compare it to something we’re familiar with and you don’t waste time on fluff. Exactly what I want in a review. It’s made me consider getting the speakers instead of the music gateway. Thanks !

    • Hey bartron. Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate your comments. I really tried to keep the review up to the standards we’re establishing at UTB. Frankly, I don’t know how to do a formal review, but just tried to offer information people would want to know, so I really appreciate what you said!

  • Canuckvoip

    In almost bought one of these. The only thing that stopped me was that I received a Toshiba TYSP3K as a gift.

    • Hey Canuck! That looks like a good device. I think the BBRY is still useful for something far more portable that you would carry with you all the time. I also have my eye on the Jawbone version, although not sure which size… for when I’m going to the beach for a week or something and don’t mind lugging it around.

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