Bluetooth speakers are a convenient way to share your music when you're with your friends. They are now widespread, and like many other common types of accessories, there are numerous options to choose from. The accessory manufacturer Xmate has a new Bluetooth speaker on the market, the Volt. The Volt has two drivers and LEDs that light up depending on the music. So should you put your money on the volt, or are there better alternatives in this price segment? We put it to the test to find out.
Xmate Volt design and specifications
The Xmate Volt is made of plastic and is quite light for a speaker of this size. It has two drivers that are visible from the front and a passive cooler that is located behind the front cover. Xmate designed a plastic strip over the drivers to protect the drivers. These molded plastic parts have blue LEDs that pulsate depending on the audio that is played via the volt.
The Xmate Volt has five buttons to switch on and off, fast forward and rewind, select the mode and play / pause. They are all arranged in a line and have the same shape, so you can't just take an action without looking at the speaker. However, these buttons have good feedback so you don't have to guess any input.
On the back are a micro USB port for charging the speaker, a status LED, a full-size USB host port, a microphone, a 3.5 mm AUX input and a microSD card slot. It has two rubber feet at the bottom, which ensure that the loudspeaker does not move during audio playback. We found the build quality of the Xmate Volt to be acceptable for the price, and you get a micro USB and an aux cable in the box.
The Xmate Volt has two 5 W drivers with a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. It is packaged in a 2,000 mAh battery and promises a playback time of 10 hours. It also supports Bluetooth 5.
Xmate volt power
Turn on the Xmate and it will play audio cues to let you know that the device is ready and can be paired with a smartphone. We paired the Xmate Volt with our Google Pixel 3 (Review) device to see how it works, and the process was easy. The LED lights pulsate according to the music you are listening to. You have the option to turn off these lights.
The audio quality of the Xmate Volt is not particularly good, but acceptable for the price. It gets loud and we rarely played it at full volume. When we did that, we could hear distortion at high volumes. When streaming music with JioSaavn, we found that the top mids are shrill even at a volume of 50 to 60 percent. When the volume was raised to 80 percent, the treble sounded even sharper and forced us to turn it down. We heard AC / DC's Highway to Hell through the Xmate speaker and found that we couldn't distinguish between the different instruments used in the song.
We played Lock Doh, a song with a lot of bass, but the Xmate Volt couldn't deliver the blow. There is no bass at higher volumes because the treble drowns it out completely. At lower volume, however, this speaker produces a somewhat more balanced sound. The mids are average, but acceptable for the Rs. 1,699 price that this speaker commands.
The M button on the speaker makes it easy to switch between different audio sources. While listening to audio stored on a microSD card, we found that the quality is better compared to the same files that were streamed via Bluetooth. Music did not distort as much at higher volumes and the bass was slightly better. We then connected the Xmate Volt directly to a MacBook Air using the included aux cable and found that the audio quality is exactly the same as in the previous mode.
When streaming audio via Bluetooth at a volume of 60 percent with the LED switched on, we managed to achieve a playback time of 10 hours and 40 minutes. When the 2000 mAh battery was empty, we were able to charge it in four hours with a 10 W charger. We found the charging time is long, and some of the other Bluetooth speakers we tested charge much faster.
Since the Xmate Volt has a microphone, we made a few calls with it. Xmate has positioned the microphone in the back, which is not ideal. Our callers complained that they could not hear us clearly and that we occasionally had to turn the speaker over. If you want to use the Xmate Volt as a speaker for calls, this is a problem.
The Xmate Volt is not very expensive at Rs. 1,699, but it's not very good either. At this price, there are smaller Bluetooth speakers on the market that aren't as loud, but sound better, such as the JBL Go and the Logitech X50. If you want the loudest output and long playback time, the Xmate Volt is the one for you. If not, we recommend spending a little more and choosing F & D W19 instead.
Price: Rs. 1,699