“Our take on the budget-friendly Energy Sistem Music Box 1+”
I’ll wager that for the majority of people, their smartphone also doubles up as their music player. Now, on occasions when you don’t want to keep your music to yourself, a Bluetooth speaker comes in handy, allowing you to share your playlists with your friends. However, figuring out which speaker best suits your needs is a daunting task, to say the least. If you’re looking for a massive, rugged speaker with oodles of bass, then you should head over to my review of the LG-RK3. However, if what need is a compact speaker which is light on both your wallet as well as your backpack, then the recently launched Music Box 1+ from Energy Sistem could fit the bill. I’ve been using the speaker for over a week and here’s what I make of it.
Design-wise, the Music Box 1+ does little to stand out from the competition. In fact, the unit looks eerily similar to JBL’s GO, which is one of the most popular Bluetooth speakers priced under Rs 2K. With that said, I must admit that the Music Box 1+ still looks quite good, and ships with a rubberised finish which is soft to the touch. You can also pick the unit up in three different trendy hues, including the pear colourway I was sent for review. More importantly, the Music Box 1+ is extremely compact and tips the scales at just 120g, making it extremely travel-friendly.
As for the controls, you’ll find all the buttons positioned neatly at the top of the speaker, which include keys to turn the speaker on/off, switch between various modes such as FM or Bluetooth, play/pause the music and increase/decrease the volume. You’ll also get three ports positioned towards the back of the speaker, comprising a microSD card slot, a micro-USB port to charge the device and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Suffice it to say, the Music Box 1+ comes with a plethora of connectivity options, allowing you to listen to your music, your way.
Audio quality and Battery life
The Music Box 1+ is driven by a 40mm driver which works alongside a passive radiator positioned towards the back of the unit. By using a passive radiator, the speaker is able to deliver thumping bass, which would otherwise have been impossible owing to the unit’s compact form factor. Now, bear in mind that the bass output will still fall short of say, an Ultimate Ears Wonderboom (review). However, for the price and the size, I didn’t have any complaints with the speaker’s performance in the low-end. What’s more, the speaker automatically rotates and moves if you crank the volume all the way up and place it on a flat surface which is a lot of fun to watch.
The mids are arguably the strongest suit of the Music Box 1+ and listening to Tory Miller’s Baby Blue on the speaker was an absolute treat to the ears. Thankfully, the speaker doesn’t distort the singer’s tone even at high volumes which coincidentally, also makes it ideal for listening to podcasts. Unfortunately, the speaker faltered at reciprocating highs clearly and I couldn’t quite get myself to enjoy hits from bands like Guns’ n Roses and Soundgarden.
Moreover, the image separation in tracks wasn’t up to the mark either, which made listening to songs with a lot of background instruments an unpleasant experience. I’d also like to point out that the speaker doesn’t get too loud and therefore, I was almost always listening to music with the volume set to max on the Music Box 1+.
If you’re a fan of ‘bauuaa’ on Red FM, then you’ll be glad to know that the Energy Sistem music box 1+ comes with a built-in FM radio too. Unfortunately, getting the speaker to lock on to a radio frequency is extremely difficult and since the unit doesn’t ship with an LED display, you’ll have to guess which station you’re on and then change the frequency accordingly. Lastly, the speaker managed to last me a little over two hours before running out of juice, though your mileage could vary depending upon the volume you listen to music at. As for the Bluetooth connectivity, I didn’t come across any track skips or latency issues so long as I maintained a line-of-sight with the speaker.
For its asking price of Rs 1,999, the Energy Sistem Music Box 1+ gets a lot of things right. The speaker comes in colourful hues, sounds good and offers a number of ways for you to listen to music. However, there are a ton of other options you could choose from which offer a better sound output at this price range.
JBL’s GO instantly comes to mind, along with Logitech’s X50, both of which cost lower and can give the Music Box 1+ a run for its money in terms of the overall sound quality. Therefore, while the Music Box 1+ from Energy Sistem is a compelling offering, it’s overshadowed by better Bluetooth speakers from the competition.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Colourful, compact design
- A range of connectivity options
- Solid bass output
- Below average battery life
- Highs sound muddy