There are so many Bluetooth speakers to choose from out in the world, from home stereo solutions to mobile wireless options that you can simply throw in a bag and take with you anywhere. The latter of the two is a tough market as there is an endless number of companies trying to compete, from recognizable names to companies that hail from origins around the globe that you might not have even known existed.
Thankfully, today we are going to focus on one from a company you more than likely know all about–Kicker. We recently covered their Amphitheater Bluetooth speaker solution, that fits in quite well as long as you have an outlet to plug it into. Now we move onto the mobile scene with Kicker’s KPM50 wireless Bluetooth speaker, a formidable solution with plenty of range and battery life to get you through your day with.
They were nice enough to send one of these our way to test out and compare against the endless amount of speakers we see every year. A bit of a ballsy move on their part as we have witnessed some really nice options come out way, causing our expectations to rest pretty high. Lucky for them, those nerves of steel are backed by a wonderful product that met those expectations with a little extra…kick.
The KPM50 delivers just the right amount of sound for its size, providing you a perfect source of mobile sound for any occasion. Let it be a weekend camping, a day at the pool, hanging out after school with friends, a temporary soundbar solution, tunes for work and so forth. The quality of sound ranges somewhere in between the Logitech Mini Boom and the Boom (two of our favorite wireless speakers), with a little added bass, while retailing somewheres around the price of the Boom. It provides a great deal of volume with minimal distortion in the higher levels, with a wide range of sound that makes any track jump out at you. The range doesn’t quite make it as wide as the Boom has to offer on the mid-high to high frequency range, but it does pick up in the lows where the Boom lacks. So it won’t be a heavy hitter for audiophile ears looking for clear reference-level sound, but it will provide warmth and SPL.
The design of the speaker is fantastic. A great two tone finish with a silver metal housing and a darker gray face/grill. The buttons are located on the upper face and feature a chrome finish. You have cones on the sides that help deliver your lower frequencies that feature a chrome center with a radial-etched design. The metal housing is heavy and durable, so you know this speaker take some abuse. The only downfall to this is the fact that it is heavy. It may take a good lickin, but it also means it’s going to weigh down whatever bag or solution you are using it carry it with.
It is small though, so it will fit nicely into any bag such as a backpack, making it great for travel. It also comes with a nice to care to slide it into and protect it from scratches with. The case has an area within the upper lid that allows space for storing your cables and wall adapter.
Speaking of wall adapter, a wireless Bluetooth speaker that includes the wall adapter? Those are becoming a rare thing. A lot of today’s speakers require you to share your adapters from other devices in order to charge them. Looks like Kicker thought ahead on this one and made sure you you are taken care of. So leave the adapter for your cellphone or tablet plugged into your favorite spot in your wall as you won’t need it!
The buttons across the front of the speaker feature a power button that you hold down to turn the speaker on and off with. There is a volume up and down button with a play/pause button in between. Holding the play button places it into pairing mode so that you can pair using Bluetooth. An alternative option for pairing is that it does offer NRC (near field communication). As long as your device supports NFC, all you have to do is place it against the face of the speaker and they will pair with each other. The NFC area is dead center of the front grill.
The back-side of the speaker is simple, offering an aux-in (3.5mm analog) for connecting non-wireless devices with and a micro-USB port for charging. It does come with both of these cables.On the bottom, you find a really thick rubber foot that keeps it from sliding around while you are rocking out.
Battery life is up to 10 hours, providing more than enough sound for your day. We have been getting what seems to be around 9-10 hours out of it, which holds it to this promise. If you need any more juice than that, you may want to spice up your day a little by trying more than just one form of entertainment. So, you should be fine.
As for what comes in the box, we have covered it all. The carrying/travel case that stores the speaker and cables with adapter, a micro-USB to USB cable, a USB wall adapter, a 3.5mm aux cable and some documentation.
The KPM50 is a solid speaker offering both durability and good sound. There is plenty of volume to it and a fine range. It comes with all the cables you need as well as a wall adapter so you are ready to go right out of the box. It’s a bit heavy due to the durable metal housing, but then again, it is durable. I wouldn’t be surprised if it could take a bit of a beating from water and drops. It’s a little pricey at $199 and feels it should run slightly less than this. but does prove to be one of our favorites so far for a wireless solution that would work great for travel.
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
User Manual – Link
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