Bluetooth. The proclaimed future of audio consumption. Whether it’s in your car, on your ears, or around your house, Bluetooth is the default wireless option. Because of that, there are a plethora of speakers available, but finding one that sounds great and doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet can be a challenge. Recently, I checked out the iDeaPlay W200 speaker, and it truly surprised me.
The iDeaPlay W200 from iDeaUSA, $69.99 on Amazon is a small Bluetooth speaker, offering rich sound and a modern design. It packs 20 Watts of power, spread across two 5W drivers are a 10W subwoofer.
Thanks to the design on the W200, the sound put off by this speaker box is surprisingly full and loud. The pair of drivers in the W200 point out through the speaker grill around the front of the device, and the sub pushes audio out the bottom, allowing the natural acoustics of the counter top, desk, table or floor to add amplification to those rich bass tones.
When listening to music, the highs were crisp, the mids stayed clear, and bass tones were well balanced and full – something many Bluetooth speakers truly struggle with. My only issue with volume was that the device’s volume control was independent of the iPhone, meaning you can max the speaker volume, and still get very little volume if your iPhone is turned down. Not a deal breaker, but there are other speakers that handle this more gracefully.
From a design standpoint, the W200 sports a silver plastic frame, which is matched quite nicely to the silver shade of most aluminum Mac computers. Around the front and back are dark gray mesh speaker grills, which allow all that sweet music to fill the room. Along the top of the speaker, a strip of rubberized buttons for power, play/pause, mute, volume controls (which double as track skip buttons), and input selection (Bluetooth or aux). On the back of the box, an AUX in port (3.5mm), and a micro-USB port for recharging the built-in battery are placed near the top for quick access. Ultimately, the speaker looks nice, but isn’t flashy, making it great for stashing on a kitchen counter, on a desk, or under the coffee table.
Speaking of the built-in battery, iDeaUSA promises 10 hours of playback, and in my tests, that held relatively true. After unplugging from a full charge, I was able to play music for 9 hours and 30 minutes before receiving a low battery warning; and, I was able to continue listening for about 15 minutes before the device disconnected from my iPhone. I imagine if you were listening at slightly lower volume levels, or over an aux cable, it could surpass the 10-hour mark.
I have tried a wide range of Bluetooth speakers and the W200 is near the top of the class for an under $100 speaker. It offers the volume, clarity, and quality of higher priced speakers, and the portability of many cheaper sound boxes. The 10-hour battery, easy pairing, and simple design make it great for around the house or on the go.
- Rich, full sound
- Great battery life
- Simple, easy to use controls
- Very affordable
- Discreet volume control can lead to confusion
If you’re looking for a solid Bluetooth speaker for yourself (or maybe as a Christmas gift for a courageous friend or family member with a new, headphone-jack-less iPhone 7), you can’t go wrong with the iDeaUSA iDeaPlay W200 – $69.99 from Amazon.