With all the competition in the Bluetooth speaker industry it doesn’t hurt to have a powerful name on your product and that’s probably why Dr. Dre used his own name to launch his line of headphones and speakers. A famous name will only get you so far, though; you still have to produce a good product. The Beats By Dr. Dre Beats Pill+ is a very good Bluetooth speaker – it probably doesn’t hurt that it has the backing of Apple, either. This latest speaker from Beats by Dre is by far the company’s best release so far.
In keeping with Apple’s policy of producing premium products and making no apologies that they cost a little more than similar products, this speaker system is a little bit more expensive than comparable models. You can expect to pay about $230 for this unit – a little pricey, but an excellent product with a great sound.
Rich and Warm Sound
When Beats released their original Pill speaker they did so with some great marketing and focusing on its unique pill-like design. It seemed to work quite well for them as it sold quite well even though it really wasn’t one of the better Bluetooth speakers on the market. The company seems to have recognized its shortcomings and this time they’ve come up with a speaker that’s actually as good as almost anything in its class. This speaker has two tweeters and two woofers that give it a nice, rich room-filling sound at moderate levels.
Who’s the DJ?
This Pill+ speaker system has some unique features that you won’t find in other Bluetooth speakers. It allows you to pair two Pill+ speakers together and then use them for different parts of a song’s sound – in effect what you create is a true surround sound experience.
The other neat feature that this speaker system offers – one you won’t find elsewhere – is the ability to share DJ’ing duties with a friend. You can actually connect two Bluetooth devices with the speaker at the same time and you and a friend can take turns making the selections. It’s a nice feature to have as it allows you to expand your musical selection.
Listen As Long As You Want
Most Bluetooth speakers these days feature a rechargeable battery, but there is a wide variation in how long those batteries last. Some are limited to just four or five hours’ worth of listening time from a single charge, but this speaker by Beats has more than twice that listening time on one charge. When listening to the speaker at moderate levels you can expect to get about 12 hours out of a single charge – that’s better than most speakers in this price range.
Water’s Not Your Enemy
In order to protect this speaker from the elements it comes equipped with a rubber strip that slides over the connection ports on the back to protect them. The buttons on the top are also seamless so water can’t get in that way either. This means you can continue listening to this speaker system even if it gets a little wet – you probably don’t want to jump in the deep end of the pool with it, but a little bit of splash won’t affect the speaker’s functionality.
Connect How You Want
I prefer to connect with my Bluetooth speaker via Bluetooth whenever possible, but it may not be possible if you’re using an older device such as one of the earliest iPods that didn’t have Bluetooth functionality. Not to worry, if you do own an older device like this you can still connect it to this speaker system using its aux-in port.
When Apple bought Dr. Dre’s company there was no doubt that they would have some influence on the products it released going forward, and that can be seen in the Pill+. This speaker uses Apple’s familiar USB lightning cord for charging purposes and that means it will charge relatively quickly. It will only take you a couple of hours to recharge your speaker even after it has completely run out of power.
Just Don’t Turn It Too Loud
While the speaker does have great sound it doesn’t do so well at the highest decibels. Many customers have complained that the sound is quite harsh when you turn it up to the higher volumes. The system just doesn’t have enough bass because they haven’t included passive radiators in its design. It’s certainly disappointing to know that a speaker designed for a generation that likes to listen to their music a little louder can’t do so without running into problems.
It Has Potential
Beats By Dr. Dre Beats Pill+ compares fairly well against other Bluetooth speakers at this price point, but it’s not without some problems. It’s very disappointing to know that it doesn’t do well at higher volumes. On the other hand, it does have some unique features and I really like the DJ sharing idea. If they can improve the bass sound at higher volumes in future incarnations, this has the potential to be one of the best products on the market.