This iClever Bluetooth Speaker is the oxymoronic Jumbo Shrimp of the speaker world.

I remain in awe of the Jumbo sound from the portable package. Where is the rest of the speaker hidden?

I have always been a fan of stuff, specifically electronics devices.  Whether perusing the wares at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Circuit City or any department stores, I have enjoyed window shopping.  Unfortunately, few of the smaller companies have caught my attention.  It was easy to note the big names, as they held prestigious shelf space, at eye level, with prominent lighting.  The stores know how to sell and showcase their devices to gain your allure.  I know I cannot be alone when I would desire to compare and consider those devices one shelf down.  Amazon has really changed the ability for the consumer to step out from their comfort zone and to look at other companies and other offerings.  It is through Amazon that I have come to learn about and to truly enjoy the iClever products.

I have had the pleasure of reviewing many Bluetooth speakers.  Some of these have proven to be more portable than others, more durable than others and more sound productive than others.  When I make my review, I am thinking to myself, how does this device compare to these other offerings.  For example, I have personally reviewed the iClever IC-BTSO3 outdoor wireless speaker, the DOACE M-Box, URPOWER IPX-7, Guioja Mini Bluetooth speaker, and a few offerings from Reacher.  One of the first questions that needs to be addressed is, what location are you wanting to have the amazing sound?

iClever Bluetooth Speaker IC-BTSO4 REVIEW

Many of the iClever devices come packaged in a plain cardboard box, with metallic colored lettering.  This packaging style has been one of my biggest complaints, regarding the companies products.  The packaging is not sloppy.  Rather, it is over simplified and suffers the problem mentioned in the introduction.  Why would I notice this device, and what promotes the desire to put it into my shopping cart?  iClever chose a different scheme with the packaging for the IC-BTS04 device.  The product arrives in a blue/white 7 3/16″ long by 4 1/16″ tall by 1 7/8″ wide box.  The front, side, and bottom panels are white and the remainder are blue.  The front has a clear depiction of the device, although it does give the speaker a bluish hue.  You are also given a SKU sticker in the top right, the logo is on the top panel and along the front.  On the back of the packaging, you will notice the standard product labeling logos and the “Made in China” icon.  OpenIng the top flap of the packaging, you can slide the speaker and accessories out easily.  The speaker is encased in plastic and has foam coverings on the top/bottom for protection.  Beneath the speaker, you will find the accessories:  6″ wrist strap, 41″ 3.5mm to 3.5mm AUX Jack, 32 1/2″ USB A to USB Micro cable, warranty card and user manual.

The Device:
Opening the box your eyes are immediately drawn to the aluminum housing, with black accent.   The device is 6 3/8″ long by 2 7/16″ tall by 1 1/16″ wide and weighs 8.6 ounces.  This device is rather eye-catching, with the silver/gray aluminum color (not blue like the cover) covering much of the surface.  Along the top, you will find a location to attach the carry/wrist handle, and the five rubberized buttons.   power, +/-, play/pause. On the side of the device is the access port for charging and for the 3.5mm headphone jack. This device can be used with Bluetooth and with direct plug and play. The center button is a call/Bluetooth button and has a Blue LED that illuminates.

Instruction Manual:
The manual begins by detailing the speaker specifications.  The device uses BT 4.0 A2DP, HFP, AVRCP (BT features that you would expect with the device) and shares the similar (30 feet) 10 meter, standard distance.  The included rechargeable Li-Po battery is an 1800mAh battery, which takes just at about 3 hours of charging time for 10 hours of playback. The device is listed as IPX5 water resistant, which means it is water resistant and not waterproof.  There is no listed dust protection.  To learn more about the Ingress Protection (IP) rating system, I direct you to the Wikipedia page, which is very informational.  This device is suitable for indoor/outdoor use, suitable for rainy environments, camping, bathrooms, jacuzzi rooms etc.  The manual further details the buttons of the device: power, play/pause, multi-function button, and the previous/next track buttons.  It then describes the connection instructions and details some troubleshooting. Start by pressing the “-” icon and hold this for 3 seconds.  You will hear a male voice announce “device is ready for connecting.”  Navigate to settings on your device (iPhone 6s plus), select IC-BTS04 and the same male voice will state “Connected.”  If you do not have a Bluetooth device, you can utilize this in AUX-In mode.  If the speaker is on, it will automatically start in BT mode.  Plug in the AUX-in and it will automatically change to AUX-in mode.  If you already had it connected, you will need to push the Bluetooth button to tell it to change.  The next step is the best of them all, enjoy the amazing sounds of the speaker in the small packaging.

iClever Bluetooth Speaker IC-BTSO4 REVIEW

The iClever BTSO4 speaker provides a sharp, eye-catching, artistic device and couples this with a really nice set of acoustics.  This speaker is really impressive in the size to sound output ratio, being small it really does pack a punch.  Whenever I test my speakers, I use the same songs.  I know this starts to get a bit boring and predictable.  However, this is the best way that I have found to compare Apple to Apple or in this instance iClever to iClever.  Turning to Amazon Prime Music, iTunes, and YouTube, I played my regular sources:   “Hotel California” from the Eagles, “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” Meatloaf, “Somebody to Love” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” from Queen.  This time, I mixed it up a little and played some CCR and then followed it up with some Johnny Cash and Josh Turner.  To test the bass of the speakers, I use 2 tracks regularly: “Why So Serious, The Joker Theme” Dark Knight Rises 2min-4min and the opening sequence to Star Wars Episode 2 Attack of the clones.  I also have recently started turning to to evaluate the sound production.  I was able to hear from about 40 Hz at the bass and 15kHz at the top range.  My son, 4 yr old, was able to hear 17kHZ.  This is beyond my hearing range at 34 years old.  The sound range and the quality are quite good.

This speaker produces more sound than I thought it would. I am a little disappointed in the next/back options as they seem to be reversed with the sound up/down options.  To increase the volume, you need to either use your phone volume up/down or hold the buttons on the device.  This is very imprecise.  A single click will advance the track forward/back.  Although this may be personal preference, I prefer the next track option to be a long press and volume changes to be a short press.  If you crank the sound to the max, it does get a little Tinny and has increased vibrations.  That being said, this quality improves when the speaker is further from the user.  It will easily fill a dorm, a living room or a patio with full, immersive sound.  Having been an instrumental music player in high school and college, I enjoy many movie soundtracks.  My favorites remain Braveheart, Gladiator and Far and Away.  The speaker does a good job capturing the layers of the instruments.  Personally, there is something special about bagpipes and Scottish music.

iClever Bluetooth Speaker IC-BTSO4 REVIEW

iClever Outdoor Wireless Speaker Summary:
Out of the box, I was able to get about 5 hours of use, before putting it onto charge. There is a convenient widget on the iPhone that alerts you to the available power.   The blue LED on the top will remain illuminated, alerting you to the “on” status.  It will power off, if idle for more than 10 minutes.  I was able to get full sound across half of my home, approximately 25 feet away and through 3 interior walls. Moving the device to about 40 feet from my phone (full line of sight), there was significant distortions cracking and the music started/stopped.  I experienced no difference in play quality from Bluetooth or AUX in. I did notice that there is a prominent difference from 1 bar to 2 bars of sound on the iPhone 6s Plus.  The amount of sound increases drastically in 1 click.  This does not seem to be as exaggerated as the levels are increased further.

This device does have the ability to answer calls by tapping the blue LED illuminated BT/Phone button. Press it again to end the call. This is an add-on feature that works okay at best.  The microphone is located atop the buttons, on the top of the device.  You need to be relatively close to the speaker to utilize this feature.  The person you are talking to will be exposed to a lot of background noise and the sounds are somewhat muffled.  Many of this type of speaker have included call features.  I have not yet experienced the need to utilize this feature.

Like many of the other iClever devices, the BTS04 speaker provides exactly what it promises: quality, affordable sound in a small portable package.  The speaker was stronger than I expected and works great for my outdoor patio speaker. I have tested my normal song queue and found the speaker to hold up to my testing.  At full volume, the sound is mildly tinny and the device will vibrate quite a bit.  This is likely due to the low mass of the speaker.  Moving the speaker further away, and placing the back of it near a wall, does help with the sound quality at higher volume.

I rate this device at a solid 5/5 stars.  The speaker, accessories and packaging work.  IClever clearly has provided another home run, in regards to this quality portable sound system. As a speaker, it works wonderfully well.  This is clearly an example of the more expensive speakers are showcased, leaving you to wonder what else is available.  This speaker will blow you away with its sound and size.  It is water resistant and it will work in just about any environment.  The gray color scheme is neutral and will work with just about any environment.   Pair this with a BT dongle on your TV and enjoy quality sound.  Listen to audible audiobooks (my favorite) and enjoy the clear tone of the narrator’s voice. Pair this with an iPhone or iPad and a portable projector and you have your own theater quality system.  These suggestions only scrape the surface of the opportunities that await you, when you bring home this gem from iClever.

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