These days portable yet powerful wireless Bluetooth speakers are just about everywhere and finding a good one at a relatively low cost is a hunt. Add to that a robust design, balanced sound quality and waterproof design, and your search is even tougher. A lifestyle brand, boAt is a company that is beginning to now be a familiar name in the Indian accessories market, seems to plan out a cut-throat competition with its rivals, especially when it concerns the audio market. BoAt recently released Stone 700 that boasts of a 360-degree high-definition sound and a rugged enclosure for all those who are looking for a perfect portable audio accessory.
At first glance, the 10W Stone 700 looks like an expensive audio system. It sports a robust design and built with a silicone plastic and rubber combination along with a water-tight certification for any outdoor conditions. Large rubber hardware control panel buttons on the top make it even easier to locate and operate, while the rubber on all around it adds for a perfect shock absorbing armour. In short, the Stone sports an IPX6 certified water and dust resistant shock-resistant body that is suitable for almost anything — the build quality is top-notch.
While the speaker is designed for maximum portability, it does not make itself unnoticeable — weighting in at a whopping half-a-kilo (503g) and stands just short of the size of a brick. However, there is a reason for the weight and bulk — with a powerful driver and amplifier combo, this baby needs to stay tough when laid down.
The large control buttons are not as easy to operate in complete darkness, but once you know the speaker for long, you won't have any complaints ahead. Look around and you will find a cleverly camouflages rubber flap that seals the water and dust away from a micro USB charging port and an AUX in jack. On one right side is a tiny handle allowing you to hook up the speaker to a carabiner or a lanyard for easy portability.
Well, while the exterior is a rock-solid combination, what good is a speaker if it cannot perform in its core area — audio. We were surprised. The not-so-tiny speaker managed to turn heads around our office.
The volume is pretty high and can get really loud if you are in a closed room. Outdoors, it is good enough during a hike or whilst camping — in short, a small group of friends can party all night. Yes, this baby has an internal batter that can rock your outdoor life for almost 8 hours at a stretch without fading your spirits. An internal 18650 battery rated at 2000mAh ensures that you can go without that charger all day or night.
While the audio is loud, it is also high above average. But we must admit that we have heard better. The Stone can be loud, clear and punchy, but when it comes to turning up the beats to its max, distortion tries to hamper the quality. At higher volumes, the bass and mids distort a little and mix together to ruin the experience. But you still won't complain as you have to turn up the dial to more than 80+%, which is normally never needed.
As for the audio performance, the bass is just right for a good punchy music that is the need of the hour. The trebles and mids are clear, and using the speaker for smartphone/tablet movie binging is an great advice, especially when outdoors. The bass, as claimed by the company as extra powerful bass, is pretty good — it does not sound boomy or hollow — thanks to the powerful drivers, the compact-but-roomy interior and the added weight of the overall enclosure. The bass, despite how loud the Stone can really get, we wanted just a little more.
The boAt Stone 700 is a perfect companion for those who travel a lot, especially those into adventure and/or nature activities. The speakers can connect wirelessly over Bluetooth or can also be used with an AUX port, but with the sacrifice of losing its water-tight feature — but that's a given. However, we noticed something that could have been eliminated by boAt. Every time you power on the Stone or connect/disconnect to a smartphone, the speaker's internal voice system speaks out loud about the status. While we appreciate the vocal status call but would have been better off with a simple beeping system. The male voice, though pleasing, is pretty loud and there is no way you can reduce the volume on that.
Overall, the boAt Stone 700 seems to have won some hearts between our office colleagues and is sure to win many out there too. However, you cannot simply buy an audio system from an online portal. If you get a chance to hear the Stone out, you will definitely find it worth the price tag it wears.
The Stone 700 is a great option for all small outdoor parties. It is waterproof, offers great battery life, and sports a very robust design with a premium look. With a good and balanced audio quality, we would definitely recommend the speaker to those seeking a portable audio system in a budget of around Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500. The boAt Stone 700 has an MRP of Rs 4,990 but is available online for half that price (around Rs 2,363 on Amazon).