Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Review

Hey there. Time to reach into my bag of awesomeness and pull out another wonderful item to review.  Today, we are going to look a the Mpow AquaPro Bluetooth Wireless Speaker!  Our good friends at Mpow have provided me with one of these bad boys to try out and review and I'm sure glad that they did.  This small speaker is shock proof. dirt proof, and water proof so it's perfect for the outdoors or for the shower.  Let's be honest here, friends.  We all do our best singing in the shower and with this Mpow water proof speaker, we can have the music to back us up!  But before I get into my experience with this bluetooth speaker, let's talk specs!

SPECS
  • Bluetooth Version 2.1 Compatible
  • Bluetooth Modes A2DP/AVRCP//HFP/HSP Compatible
  • Bluetooth Connectivity Range of Approx. 30 feet
  • Connect via 3.5mm Jack Audio Cable
  • Rechargeable 800mAh Built in Battery
  • Full Charge from Dead to 100% in Approx. 2.5 Hours
  • Up to 8 Hours of Continuous Play Time
  • Call Answering/Ending Capability
  • Emergency SOS Button
  • Waterproof Level: IPX7
  • Shockproof
  • Approx. Size: 3.25 in. x 3.25 in. x 1.5 in.
  • Weighs approx. 0.4 lbs
CONTENTS
  • 1 - Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
  • 1 - 3.5mm Jack Audio Cable
  • 1 - MicroUSB to USB Cable
  • 1 - Instruction Booklet
FIRST IMPRESSIONS

First off, the box does not impress.  The Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker came in a pretty blah looking brown box.  The box had a white sticker with a picture of the AquaPro and some details about the device.  Nothing too special at all.  It was a bit of a disappointment, actually.  Mpow has really dazzled me with some of the pretty awesome boxes that their goods have come in recently and it was a bit of a let down to see a run of the mill, standard brown box.  Eh... in the end, it's just a box so it's not a deal breaker.
Just a plain ol' brown box with a white label.  Kinda boring, Mpow
Once I cracked open the box and peeked inside, I saw the AquaPro, wrapped in a thin, plastic bag, on one side, and small compartment label, "User manual + Accessories".  The AquaPro and the accessory stuffs are packed in nice and tight.  This is great, since this greatly reduces the chance of receiving your AquaPro damaged.  There is no padding whatsoever inside so it great to see that Mpow took this into consideration and decided to make a smaller box and have everything inside be secure with a tighter fit.

OUT OF THE BOX EXPERIENCE

I went ahead and pulled out the Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker from the box and unwrapped the plastic from it.  It's a lot lighter than it looks.  The AquaPro looks pretty rugged.  The mesh protecting the speaker looks like it's made out of metal but after touching it, I find out that it's made out of plastic.  Also, the back end plays the same trick.  It looks like it's made out of metal but it's actually plastic.  Looks like it's some heavy duty plastic, though.  It looks tough, it has to be, right?  How else will it be able to withstand the elements.

The edges of the AquaPro is surrounded by a neon green color.  I thought this would be made of a soft, non slip rubber, but once again, I think it's plastic.  It looks great, and I would have sworn that it would be that soft rubber that you find on many speakers, but Mpow really fooled me with this one.  But it's not a bad thing.  I still think that the plastic was used to make the AquaPro more rugged, more durable against the elements.  Come to think of it... it is water proof so maybe the rubber wouldn't be so water resistant and plastic is needed.  Either way, it does look real good.

The buttons stick out slightly from one of the edges and small flap on another protect the MicroUSB port and the audio jack input.  I absolute love that the flap has a very small notch in it.  This made it an absolute breeze to open it up.  I've had experiences where the flaps were nearly impossible to open unless you came equipped with claws so I was really happy about this small notch.

"But Metallman, wouldn't a small notch mean that there is a small opening for water to get into the ports?"

Great question, my friend.  Mpow made a genius decision that protects the port and the input in regards to the small notch in the flap.  There is a tiny wall that surrounds the port and input jack.  The flap has a small ridge under it for that small wall to snugly fit inside.  This creates an extra barrier that will protect the port and input jack from any water getting inside, even though the flap has a small notch in it!!!  That is absolute genius and smart design!  Excellent job, Mpow!
Small little notch on the flap is no problem at all.  See!  That little wall
fits into the groove on the underside of the flap!
While messing with the flap, I noticed that there is a SOS button right next to it.  It raised my curiosity and wonder if this is an emergency button.  Maybe something to press while lost or in trouble, maybe?  Will have to give that a go once I turn it on.

I then focused on the accessory section of the box.  Nothing to special here.  Lifting it up reveals a small plastic bag that housed an audio cable and a USB cable.  Now... let's turn this bad boy on and see what it has to offer.

CONTROLS

The controls on the Mpow AquaPro are simple enough to find and understand.  The buttons are found on the top (if standing upright) of the speaker.  The circle button is the on/off button, the + and - buttons are the turn up and turn down buttons, and the play button plays and pauses the music/video.  Easy right?  Long pressing (press and hold for a second or two) the circle button will turn the AquaPro on or off, long pressing the + and - buttons works as the next song or previous song respectively.

One great feature about the sound controls that I really, really love is that the AquaPro has it's own volume control.  Let me explain.  In a lot of connected devices, the sound controls will controls the sound from the connected device.  In other words, if you turn the volume up on any other speaker, it will control the volume of the connected device as well.  The AquaPro has it very own independent sound control.  Meaning that you can have your device turned up all the way and the AquaPro can still add a little extra volume if not turned up all the way already.  Pretty awesome, right?

The next thing that I thought that was pretty cool is that the AquaPro comes with a SOS button.  That's right, it comes with an emergency button.  Because the AquaPro is awesome enough to be taken during a hike, or pretty much anywhere, a SOS button is perfect in case you find yourself in a bind.  While on, if you press and hold the SOS button, a LOUD siren, similar to that of a cop car, will blare from the speaker.  It's a wonderful idea that I believe all travel sized speakers should have.  

BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY

The Mpow AquaPro Speaker is super easy to connect too.  Once you press and hold the on button for a second or two, the device automatically goes into pair/connect mode.  You'll see a small blue indicator light flash quickly on the top right corner of the speaker when the it is looking for a device to connect to.  Once you have your Bluetooth enabled on your smartphone, tablet, or other device, the AquaPro will be detectable.  Simply tap on, "Mpow AquaPro", on your device and you're good to go.  You'll hear a small chime, which will let you know that you are now connected.  This was quite welcomed.  Most of the Mpow products that I own will have the "Mpow female voice" stating that you are connected or disconnected so to hear a chime was quite the welcomed surprise.

Anyways, another awesome thing about connecting is that the AquaPro will remember the last device that was connected to it so you won't need to pair up each and every time.  I absolutely love the fact that Mpow clearly labels their devices by their name instead of cryptic code.  It sucks when you look for a device to connect to but you see it labeled as, "XDC780S" or something crazy like that.  You don't appreciate a small gesture like that until you spend 5 to 10 minutes trying different weirdly named devices trying to the find the correct one.

Once connected and music on full force, I decided to test the range.  I picked up the AquaPro and started to walk away.  Once I reached a bit past the 30 feet range, the sound started to crack a little.  A few more steps and I hear a different chime come out of the speaker.  I determined that this was the disconnected chime since music was no longer coming out of the speaker.  Nice.  After doing the test a few times, I determined that the range is closer to 35 feet than 30.  Not that big of a difference from the 30 feet advertised, but a few extra feet can't hurt, right?

Now... if by chance you do not own a bluetooth enabled device, fear not, friends!  You can connect with the AquaPro via audio cable.  The AquaPro comes with one of those cables so you'll be able to enjoy the sound with or without bluetooth capabilities.  

SOUND QUALITY

Now, once I connected the Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker to my smartphone, it was time to put the sound quality to the test.  When testing the sound of the speakers or headphones, I usually go through a gauntlet of music genres.  Anything and everything from rock, metal, R&B, classical, and pretty much everything in between.  I think this give me the absolute best way to really hear what the speakers are capable of.  After hours and hours of listening to music, I can say that the sound quality is pretty good.  Most of the music came out loud and clear.  The highs were pretty crisp and the lows were booming.  No complaints there, but I did notice that on some music genres the mid sounds were coming in a bit muddy.  Almost muffled a bit.  In no way is this a deal breaker and most untrained ears won't even notice, but for someone that listens to as much as music and has a trained ear to listen to these types of things, I tend to notice it.  Also... I figured that it's possible that the sound quality suffers a little bit because the AquaPro is water proof.  It could be that the muffled mids are a result of the extra layers of protection to assure that water will not get into the speaker.  Again, this is no way a deal breaker or that big of a difference and you may not even notice it, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't at least make mention of it.

Speaking of water proof...

WATERPROOF CAPABILITY

Let's be honest with ourselves, friends.  If we're getting a waterproof speaker, it's because we plan on placing that sucker somewhere in the bathroom.  Personal, I placed the Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker inside the shower.  Who doesn't like to sing in the shower, right?  After more than a few uses, the AquaPro does exactly what it is supposed to do... Provide the tunes while getting splashed with water.  The water in no way affected the sound quality and it didn't seem to affect the speaker in anyway, shape or form.  The only thing that I didn't do was actually submerge it in water.  I've always been reluctant to do anything like that with water proof devices because I feel like if the water proof sucks, then there goes the device!  So if you want to submerge it under water... do it at your own risk!!!

A photo posted by @metallman on

CALL FUNCTIONALITY

Now, the call functionality on Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is something that I don't see myself using much.  You can can answer a call using the AquaPro but it lacks a microphone so it's not like you can speak into the speaker to respond to your call.  If that's the case, it would be better to just use your cell phone for the call.  The only way that you would want to answer a call using the AquaPro is if you want someone else in the room to hear your conversation.  Voices come out clear through the speaker and it is super easy to answer and end a call using the AquaPro, but other than that... the call functionality a nice feature to have, but not something that I feel is the AquaPro's best.

BATTERY LIFE

The battery life of the Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is pretty good.  I was able to charge it up from dead to fully charged in about 2 and half hours.  When charging, a small red light will come on next to the microUSB port.  When it's completely charged, the light will go away.  This bugged me little bit since I'm so used to seeing a green or blue light when fully charged.  When I first noticed that the light was off, I thought that it wasn't charging.  It took me a bit to realized that it was fully charged.  lol  Anyways, once connected to my smartphone, I was able to get music playing continuously for a tad bit over 8 hours.  That's pretty good, actually.  A single charge could have the music playing for a good chunk of the the day.  It will definitely get through many a run/jog/shower before you'll need to charge it up again.  

CONCLUSION

So there you have it, friends.  My review of the Mpow AquaPro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.  It's one pretty awesome speaker that is great to take while out on a jog or run and shines even brighter while in the shower.  It's small enough to be able to carry around with you anywhere and even though it is pretty small, it does pack a pretty powerful sound.  Another solid entry to the already impressive Mpow lineup.  You can pick up one of these bad boys at Amazon for under $30.
No, Dwight.  This is my Mpow AquaPro!  Besides... do you even shower?!
So what do you guys think of the AquaPro?  Are the features of the AquaPro something that you look for in a wireless bluetooth speaker?  What kind of experience have you had with bluetooth speakers?  What about waterproof ones?  Let's hear it in the comments, friends!  Later!



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