CNET First Look
The Philips Flex is an expandable Bluetooth speaker with so-so audio qualityThe Philips Flex Bluetooth speaker can play wireless audio for 12 hours on a single charge, but other Bluetooth speakers give you better audio quality at the same price.
Hey it's Justin Yu from c|net and this is your first look and the Philips Flex Bluetooth Speaker. So with all Bluetooth speakers that you can buy on store shelves these days, it seems like every model has some kind of unique feature that helps it stand out from the crowd. For example, we have the JBL clip that has a built in carabiner and Soul Republic that has threads on the bottom for mounting it to almost anything. Which brings us to the Phillip's Flex, a budget bluetooth speaker that has an impressive 12 hour battery life in an eighth of it's sleeve. You can pull it apart on the top and bottom to expose the radiator. Which supposedly gives the sound better audio quality. And we'll get to that more in a minute. In terms of the design, the speaker is really lightweight, and wrapped in silicone, which helps it withstand the elements. Unlike some of Philip's other speakers, though, this one's not fully waterproof. But it can take a few drops of water. Let's call it, water resistant. There's two buttons on the side that helps you pair it to any bluetooth enabled device. You can also hook it up to a 3 and a half millimeter auxiliary cable to this port on the other side. And the speaker takes a micro USB cable to recharge the 12 hour battery. The hockey puck style design is meant to sit on it's back with the speaker firing up into the air. But you can also stand it up on its side or use the lanyard hole to hang it from a backpack or belt loop. It comes in two colors right now, this blue green combination and another black and white model. But the company tells us that we can expect to see more colors coming soon. So let's get to the sound quality. Despite what the marketing materials claim, expanding the speaker doesn't really do much to improve the sound, which isn't so great to begin with. There's only a 2 watt speaker inside, so we weren't expecting too much, especially when you've got competing models like an Amazon BTV2 that has a 3 watt speaker and actually costs 10 bucks less. I sampled a bunch of different music through the Phillips Flex, and wasn't very impressed with the sound quality. It tends to distort at moderately loud volumes, and there's a definite absence of bass and mid range frequencies, there. I get that Phillips is trying to keep costs low here, but if you're looking to expand your dollar the furthest and get better audio quality, I actually recommend bypassing this model and checking out either the JBL Clip The Logitech X100 or even the Amazon VTV2. All of those are the same price or cheaper and they all sound much better then the Flex. You can read more details in my full review on CNET but that's going to do it for me. I'm Justin Yu, this has been a review of the Phillips Flex bluetooth speaker.