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Rocketfish Mobile SPX15 review: Rocketfish Mobile SPX15

Rocketfish Mobile SPX15

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
David Carnoy
2 min read

Ever since Jawbone jump-started the Bluetooth speaker market with its Jambox, the number of tiny Bluetooth speakers has proliferated. The Rocketfish Mobile SPX15 is one of several new models that have arrived in recent months, and it's decent enough, offering speakerphone capabilities and 10 hours of battery life in a small package weighing a little over 8 ounces. However, the only big strike against it is that it doesn't quite measure up to the competition at its $99 price point. (For the uninitiated: Rocketfish is Best Buy's house accessories brand.)

Rocketfish Mobile SPX15

Rocketfish Mobile SPX15

The Good

The <b>Rocketfish Mobile SPX15</b> is a very compact Bluetooth speaker that has a built-in rechargeable battery, a line input, and speakerphone capabilities. It plays relatively loud for its tiny size.

The Bad

It could cost a little less; it can't handle big bass at higher volumes; and it sounds a little thin.

The Bottom Line

The Rocketfish Mobile SPX15 is a decent enough little Bluetooth speaker that's very portable and plays fairly loud, but it doesn't perform quite as well as some of its similarly priced competitors.

For starters, it's a bit more low frills in the design department compared with the Logitech Mini Boombox, Monster iClarityHD, and AT&T LoudSpeak'r. It's got a basic, straightforward styling, with a glossy black finish. That's fine, but there's something a little generic-looking about it.

The speaker has a somewhat generic design (click to enlarge). Sarah Tew/CNET

To recharge the battery, you use the provided USB cable, and pairing the speaker was simple enough: you just hold down the power button on the top of the unit to put the speaker into pairing mode. Then you look for SPX15 on your Bluetooth-enabled phone or tablet from within the Bluetooth menu. Once it connects, you're ready to start streaming music or a movie soundtrack to the speaker.

Like those other mini speakers I mentioned, this model plays pretty loud for its size. While none of these mini speakers delivers really good sound, I felt the Logitech Mini Boom Box and AT&T Logitech Speak'r were a step up in terms of sound quality. They offer a little more bass and detail. Again, all these speakers have their limitations and most just can't handle heavy bass at higher volumes, including the SPX15.

Around back you'll find a USB port for charging and an auxiliary input for connecting non-Bluetooth audio devices. Sarah Tew/CNET

Unsurprisingly, where this speaker sounded best was on acoustic material and lighter fare. For example, the live acoustic version of Adele's "Turning Tables" sounded just fine and made me think I was listening to a larger speaker. I also found that it worked well enough as a speakerphone, though you'll want to keep the unit within a few feet of you when talking into the integrated microphone (Bluetooth speakers generally allow you to stream sound from a device up to 30 feet away).

The truth is I'd have no problem recommending this Rocketfish if it were cheaper. I understand there are certain costs involved when you include a lithium ion rechargeable battery (these types of batteries are fairly expensive), but the SPX15 just doesn't feel like it should cost $99 ($69 or $79 max would make it a more attractive buy).

To be clear, these is a decent enough product, but there are currently better options at $100 -- or even slightly less.

Rocketfish Mobile SPX15

Rocketfish Mobile SPX15

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 8Performance 5