Solar panels are very cool. They are super eco friendly but also very convenient at the same time. That’s why I was quite excited to see these speakers ‘Solar Sound 2’ have a huge solar panel on the top which seemed very impressive to me and you can also play your music from any Bluetooth device through these speakers as well.
It comes with a case, two cables (a USB, and Audio Jack) and a wall charger. You can see everything in the unboxing video below.
First impressions of how the device was packed were goodish. The manufacturer has put some time into thinking about how everything will look when the consumer first opens it.
The actual unit itself looks a bit plain, with a matt finish all over - something that I see has changed from the ‘Solar Sound 1’ which had a glossy look that I actually prefer. However the kind of people who may use this device in situations outside such as gardening might not like the gloss as it tends to encourage dirt to stick, making matt to be a better option in those types of situations.
As I've already mentioned a huge solar panel covers the whole top surface. At the front there are three touch sensitive buttons which work well. Above these three buttons you’ll see an LED light - actually several LED’s representing many different things from pairing to playback. On the back you see line in and line out audio jack inputs and a USB for charging the device if the sun isn't out.
The solar panel on the ‘Solar Sound 2’ is very good. You can have a completely drained battery and plonk it outside or even in the window in direct sunlight and it will play and charge at the same time no problem. This does seem kind of amazing considering the only real contact I have had with solar panels is on a calculator.
The bluetooth functionality seems to be a bit fragile though. When I first tried pairing an iPhone, iPod Touch and iMac, it refused to establish connection. It was very frustrating, I basically found if I try to pair the ‘Solar Sound 2’ three or more times it would eventually work. Once a device is paired it works seamlessly, plus Apple have built in lots of great functionality into the music App which carries across many other audio streaming Apps in iOS for Bluetooth speakers. Of course other non Apple Bluetooth devices are compatible. The audio line in and out work fine. The range of the Bluetooth is good, with about 5-6 meters of range. I found it worked anywhere where both devices were in the same room but move one out of a room and trouble arrives with audio hiccupping constantly.
The actual sound quality I wanted to leave until last. That’s a huge point of this device. If you’re going to use it as an outdoor speaker while washing the car or gardening it works fine with your iPhone in your pocket. The sound is loud with 4 watts in total but it lacks heavily in bass. The sound quality is better obviously with different genres and tracks which aren't so demanding on bass. When a track appears which demands a nice amount of bass the device really lets itself down. This is something that I hope is addressed in the next revision of the product.
‘Devotec’ may have decided to cut the bass a lot because it drains battery quickly leaving it not so good when relying on the solar panel to power it. The sound quality is nowhere near as bad as ‘transistor radio’ but a little more bass would really help this product.
Overall the solar and Bluetooth aspect of the ‘Solar Sound 2’ is good and if Devotec can just get that bit more bass into it I would kindly give the device more stars.