Philips BT50W has all the features to add life to a party. The highly portable and trendy device will arouse the envy of all. One can carry it anywhere for instant gratification of music needs. It has an ultra compact design and weighs merely 90 grams that makes it extremely easy to carry. One can simply connect to the music device and get your favorite music playing. The entire cylindrical Philips BT50W has a quality build that has been nicely styled. The ultra portable speaker is entirely coated in soft touch plastic including the grill that protects the driver on top. At the opposite end there is a non slip surface which does exactly what it is supposed to do.
The device is not waterproof. However, it does whether weather knocks and falls well. It is also easy to carry and sits in the pocket pretty well. BT50W is very easy to use and the speaker can be switched on, paired and ready to go in a couple of seconds. On the front, close to the brand’s logo, one will find a blue LED light that tells the status of the speaker and whether or not it is Bluetooth paired. The light turns white when one select the audio in mode using the adjacent switch. There is also a sound to tell about the successful pairing. Unfortunately, there is no play or volume button.
On the other side of the speaker, one can find wired connections in the form of a micro USB port to charge the speaker and a 3.5 mm mini jack for connecting an audio source. There is only a short cable in the box and no other accessories are provided. As per advertisement, it has a six hour battery life and in reality the BT50 manages five to six hours depending on its use. Nevertheless, it is not bad for a little speaker, even though some competitors have a longer period. One can see the battery level indicated on a paired compatible smart phone. However, there is no such indication on the speaker itself.
The only way BT50W reproduce sound is through its driver which directs sound out of the top of speaker. Its position is not great for monophonic sound. At least, it spreads the sound from the speaker around evenly. Nevertheless, the output is homogenous and the soundstage is quite defined while keeping the volume at a reasonable level. Quite obviously, one cannot expect any bass. The spectrum starts to be reproduced in the low-mids which have been boosted to compensate for the lack of highs. The extra emphasis will mask the voice. While moving the speaker closer, the sound becomes punchier and sharper and the highs reappear. However, there is some acidity to the sound. Finally, there is a slight lag between wired and Bluetooth connections with the later tending to suffer from great distortion.
Getting powerful sound out of the speaker is almost a miracle. User can use the BT50W at a close range and as a spare speaker. Obviously, it is not convenient for a large party or get together. One should not increase the volume past 70%, otherwise distortion will be apparent. There is also a noticeable difference in quality over Bluetooth. The signal is a little less powerful and there is more distortion especially in the highs.