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iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats (silver) review: iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats (silver)

For style-conscious buyers, the slick design of iLuv's Mo'Beats iSP245 Bluetooth speaker stand may trump its less-than-stellar sound.

David Carnoy
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, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
2 min read

iLuv's iSP245 Mo'Beats Bluetooth mobile speaker stand is a simple product but somewhat of a challenge to review. On the plus side, it's nicely designed, definitely provides a nice step up in sound quality from the speaker of your iPad (or the internal speakers of other Bluetooth-enabled tablets or smartphones), and features a built-in rechargeable battery, making it totally mobile. But the speaker is short on bass and doesn't sound great overall. That combination makes this product a little hard to grade, particularly when you factor in its price point of about $85 online.

iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats (silver)

iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats (silver)

The Good

The <b>iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats</b> Bluetooth speaker stand is sleekly designed and features a built-in rechargeable battery. It also accommodates a variety of tablets, plays fairly loud, includes a simple cloth carrying bag, and has a line input for connecting non-Bluetooth audio devices.

The Bad

Sounds thin; thick covers and cases need to be removed from iPads and phones in order to fit into the slot for the stand.

The Bottom Line

The iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats Bluetooth mobile speaker stand boosts the volume of your iPad audio, but it doesn't sound as good as it looks.

I ultimately think how you'll judge this Bluetooth speaker stand will depend on how you'd want to use it. If you're looking for an accessory to prop up your slate device so you can comfortable browse around on the Web, read, and also watch some video and play background music, the Mo'Beats should make you happy. But if that's not exactly what you're looking for, you'll probably feel less enthused.

I propped up my iPad vertically and horizontally without a problem; the stand was very stable thanks to a slide-out bracket on back that gives the stand more support. And it was simple to wirelessly pair the speaker with the iPad. The one big caveat here is that you will probably have to take off any cover you have on your device unless it's pretty slim. That's not a huge deal because the fact is, aesthetically the stand really does look best when combined with a naked iPad or other tablet.

Side view of the speaker stand. Sarah Tew/CNET

iLuv doesn't give a rating for the battery life on the 1.1-pound unit, which charges via an included Mini-USB cable, but it seems to be pretty decent, considering I was able to stream audio to it for most of the day at work. As I said, the audio's a bit thin, so don't expect much visceral impact when you're playing an action movie through the speaker. That said, it does play fairly loud.

Back: A line input for non-Bluetooth devices and a USB port for charging the internal battery. Sarah Tew/CNET

For music it sounds good enough at lower volumes but develops a harsher edge at higher volumes. It can fill a small room, such as an office, with sound. In other words, for casual listening and background music, it's fine, but just don't expect too much. Other compact portable Bluetooth speakers, such as Logitech's Mini Boombox, sound a little better for the money.

In the final analysis, the iLuv's iSP245 Mo'Beats Bluetooth speaker has some nice traits working in its favor: it looks slick, can be placed anywhere thanks to its built-in rechargeable battery, and can be used with a wide variety of products, including laptops. Alas, it doesn't have any extras such as a built-in speakerphone. And the sound is only OK. That all adds up to a solid product that's well worth considering if it does what you're looking for, but for others it may not seem like such a bargain at its price.

You can prop up your iPad horizontally or vertically in the stand. Sarah Tew/CNET

iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats (silver)

iLuv iSP245 Mo'Beats (silver)

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 6Performance 6
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