NatulaRays Bluetooth Speaker works well in the shower.

If you are not aware, we live in the time of Bluetooth. The name Bluetooth was taken from a tenth century Viking King who united Scandinavia, King Harald Blatand (Bluetooth). It is not certain why he had this name. Some think that he may have had a bad tooth or that he dressed in blue. Blue was one of the colors of royalty as this was a much more rare color. So why Bluetooth? As the Viking King United the Danish tribes, Bluetooth unites devices to computers.

The NatulaRays speaker comes packaged in a plain cardboard box with an ink drawing of the device. Here is an aspect of the device that I feel could be enhanced. The packaging does show the object and does give an idea of the speaker. This is appreciated. However, I much prefer the clear plastic display that many companies have chosen to use. Removing the lid from the box, you can see the speaker in formed foam. Slide the device out of the box and you fill find the included accessories: MicroUSB to USB A cable and MicroUSB to 3.5mm Jack. This cable is actually quite unique in that most of the included cables are 3.5mm to 3.5mm.

NatulaRays Bluetooth Speaker Review

The last object in the box is the small white fold out manual. The manual is acceptably written, with some obvious English errors. Page 2 is probably the most useful part of the manual, detailing the design of the device. The portable speaker has 3 buttons across the top on/off/play/pause/mode, which is abutted on either side by volume up/next and volume down/previous song. On the opposite side of the device is a single access port that houses the micro USB charging port, aux in Port and reset button. The company really did a good job blending in this access hatch. There is also a TF card slot. It is important to note that no TF card is included. However, this is a really nice included feature that you can play from the device directly without the need for another device. It is handy to have this feature, especially for children who may not have a Bluetooth device to pair the speaker to.

The manual recommends that before you use the device, you should charge the 400 mAh included battery. Unfortunately, there is really no indication of battery remaining on the device itself. It does support battery indication on iOS and you can see remaining power in the top right of the iPhone. Page 3 details the features: play music via Bluetooth, stainless steel mesh over speaker, waterproof, dustproof and shockproof. There is no IP rating (the standard for dust and waterproof status). To charge the device, simply plug the included USB micro end of the (micro/USBA cable) into the device and the other end into a USB charger. You can continue to listen to music while the device is charging, which is quite convenient. At the back of the device is an LED. This remains on when the device is on. There is a RED LED hidden in the underneath compartment. The solid red light suggests the device is charging. The LED will turn off when fully charged. It takes just at 2 hours to charge the device. I was able to get about 4 hours of play from 1 charge.

NatulaRays Bluetooth Speaker Review

To power on the device simply push the center button on the top for 3 seconds and you will hear

“The Bluetooth device is ready to pair” in a somewhat French accent. Go to settings on your phone and find device AS888 (I really wish you had the option to rename these). You will then hear “The Bluetooth device is connect uh successfully” in an Asian accent. I did not have to use a pin. In case you do need it, the pin is 0000. The device is now paired and ready to play music. Go to your music source on your phone/smart device and begin playing. There are a few modes to choose from. You can push the center button to change between Bluetooth, TF mode, aux mode. The voice will prompt you to the mode. It will automatically chose the correct mode for you, which is yet another nice feature. If you put in a microSD card it will switch to this mode for you. Place the 3.5mm to MicroUSB in place and it will connect to aux in.

NatulaRays Bluetooth Speaker Review

The Device:
The device is conveniently sized to carry, to attach to a backpack or another purse/bag, weighing 63 grams or 2.2 ounces. The speaker is 1.5 inch diameter with a frequency of 80Hz-20Khz, which encompasses most of the range of human hearing 20Hz-20Khz. As you can see from the numbers it is weaker in the bass range and with a 3W output power, it is not going to produce as much sound as some of the bigger more powerful options. This is not designed to be a surround system/home center, as it is portable. It seems to respond well at moderate volumes. As you increase the volume it does get an edge to it and gets tinny. It is weak in bass. Don’t believe me? Listen to some Johnny Cash and his voice does not sound as deep as it does on other sources. Listen to The Dark Knight Joker Theme “Why so serious” and listen at about 3:30-4:00. Then pull out a really good pair of bass friendly speakers and listen again. With this device, You hardly hear anything. Try it with a stronger bass speaker and enjoy the sub bass. It really was acceptable for mid range songs, songs that did not have a lot of highs/lows.

NatulaRays Bluetooth Speaker Review

Summary:
When I evaluate a device, I try to compare it to other similar devices. It is not fair to compare this device to larger speakers, Hi Fi speakers, stationary speakers, devices that are well out of the price range of this device. Audiophiles, this would likely be below our radar (Bowers and Wilkins, Bose, Klipsch, JBL, Harmon, etc.). However it is a fun little device and is listed as waterproof. I did not find an IP listing in the packaging or in the manual. I attempted to find out about the speaker on Amazon and I did not find the waterproof rating. I did put into the shower and jet sprayed it. It continued to play just fine. The little hatch on the bottom needs to be closed. I would say it is probably IP65 at best. This means it is probably fully dust protective and splash resistant but not submersible. Submersible to 1 meter would be IP67. I would rate the device at 4/5 stars, losing points to the lack of bass. It is fun, it is portable, and it will do for most of the activities you will need. It loses some of its strength at lower volumes and does get a bit raspy at full volume. I did play it during the shower above and it muffled the sound quite a bit. Shake the water out of the head of the speaker and it returns to full sound. It did not stop playing the entire time. It is fun to watch water bounce on the speaker. Overall, the speaker does okay with mid range volume, with pop and rock songs.
BUY FROM AMAZON