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Divoom Bluetune Solo wireless Bluetooth speaker review: Travels well, sounds relatively decent

As far as tiny wireless speakers go, the $49.95 Divoom Bluetune Solo stacks up well against the competition, with an attractive design, good features, and relatively decent sound.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
4 min read

With an ever-increasing number of tiny $50 wireless Bluetooth speakers arriving in our offices for review, the first thing I ask when I get a new one is what distinguishes it from the rest of the pack?

7.0

Divoom Bluetune Solo wireless Bluetooth speaker

The Good

The <b>Divoom Bluetune Solo</b> is a very compact wireless Bluetooth speaker that has a built-in rechargeable battery, offers relatively decent sound for its tiny size, has speakerphone capabilities, and both an audio input and an audio output, so it can double as a Bluetooth transceiver for your home stereo.

The Bad

Distorts at higher volumes, particularly with bass-heavy material; no volume or transport controls on the speaker.

The Bottom Line

As far as tiny wireless speakers go, the Divoom Bluetune Solo stacks up well against the competition, with an attractive design, good features, and relatively decent sound.

When it comes to the Bluetune Solo from Shenzhen, China-based Divoom, a couple of attractive design traits, decent sound for its size, and built-in speakerphone capabilities, plus an audio output, make it worth considering if you're shopping for this type of speaker.

The first thing you notice about the Solo is that it's got a little bit of weight to it. At 8 ounces, it's not heavy, but there's some substance here, which makes it seem like less of a toy speaker.

Not much bigger than a can of Red Bull sliced in half, the speaker comes in a few different colors and has a nice texture, along with some blue lighting at its base. Some people will like that lighting and some could do without it.

 
The Divoom Bluetune Solo is slightly larger than a Red Bull can split in half. Sarah Tew/CNET

There are no volume buttons on the speaker. Nor are there pause, play, or skip track forward/back buttons. Everything has to be controlled from your Bluetooth-enabled device, most likely a smartphone or tablet. A power switch can be found on the bottom of the speaker.

As far as extra features go, as I said, the Solo has an integrated microphone and can be used as a speakerphone. It works pretty well as long as you remain pretty close to the speaker when talking.

The Micro-USB port does double duty as a charging port for the integrated rechargeable battery (battery life is rated at 8 hours, which is decent though not fantastic) and an audio input (cable included).

The speaker also features an audio output, which means you can string a few of these together and augment the sound or just connect the Solo to a larger home audio system, turning the speaker into a Bluetooth receiver (translation: you'd be able to wirelessly transmit sound to your stereo from abut 30 feet away).

 
The speaker uses something called X-Bass technology to boost the bass so the speaker doesn't sound totally thin. Sarah Tew/CNET

I thought the Solo -- a mono speaker -- sounded relatively good. Yeah, it's a little tinny (all these small speakers are), but it output a lot of sound for its small size and had some bass (the speaker incorporates something called X-Bass technology, whatever that is).

If that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, it isn't. It's hard to get too excited about the sound of any of these tiny speakers. Most of them, including the Solo, distort at higher volumes, and they just don't handle bass-heavy or complicated music well (I found myself cringing at times). In other words, you can stick a logo on the speaker that says X-Bass, but if you run hip-hop through this guy, it's still going to sound comparatively thin and hollow to a bigger speaker that has some kick to it. However, with other tracks, particularly simple acoustical ballads, I found myself saying, "OK, that sounds pretty good."

All that said, I'll give the Solo credit -- it held its own against the competition. I thought the $50 Oontz sounded a little better. But the Solo is smaller, easier to carry around, and has an eye-catching design. In terms of sound, it's right there with the Philips SoundShooter Wireless but has that extra audio output and seems a little more durable.

 
The power switch is on the bottom. Sarah Tew/CNET

The $50 HMDX Jam Plus is a little bigger, and it also fires straight up. The Jam Plus' advantage is that you can pair two units together and turn them into a set of left/right stereo speakers. The Divoom Solo has the advantage of being smaller and having the speakerphone capabilities. It would be hard to pick between the two, but if portability is a priority, the nod would go to the Solo.

 
The Micro-USB port doubles as a charging port and audio input (there's also an audio output). Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion
I tend to encourage people to step up to more-expensive compact Bluetooth speakers such the $99 JBL Flip or even the $199.99 UE Boom or $199.99 Bose SoundLink Mini. Of course, a lot of folks are on a tight budget and want to stick to something under $50.

If you fall into that category and are looking for a tiny Bluetooth speaker, the Divoom Bluetune Solo, despite having its performance limitations, sounds relatively decent (compared with other tiny $50 Bluetooth speakers at least) and has an attractive design and good feature set. It tends to sell for $49.95, but I've seen it at some online retailers for $39.99, which is what I think it should cost. At that price (and even at $49.95) it's certainly worth considering if this is the type of very portable wireless speaker you're looking for.

7.0

Divoom Bluetune Solo wireless Bluetooth speaker

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Sound 6Value 7