Superb Sound: Kinivo BTX450 Portable Speaker Review
- -- Awesome sound quality for a portable!
- -- Simple to use / Excellent Bluetooth range.
- -- Competitive price / Solid build quality.
- -- Battery life is average.
- -- Cannot charge devices over USB without being plugged in.
The Kinivo BTX450 portable speaker landed on our doorstep recently and we decided to put it to the test. It’s a bit larger than a typical portable speaker, but the heft is nice and well balanced. Weighing in at about two pounds, the BTX450 sports two 5W drivers, includes a 3600 mAh rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and Bluetooth connectivity for your mobile devices. Interestingly, the internal battery can also be used to recharge your smartphone when connected via the USB port, but only when the BTX450 is plugged into an AC outlet.
The rounded edge design is fairly sleek, only four buttons can be found at the top of the device. These include the power button, the two volume buttons and the Bluetooth pairing button. On the back of the speaker, you will find the power input, USB output for charging and 3.5mm auxiliary audio port for connecting directly to an audio device that doesn’t have Bluetooth. Kinivo also includes a short 3.5mm cable with the speaker, ideal since that cable isn’t included with most portable music players.
Be aware that the BTX450 does not include a microphone, thus this really isn’t the speaker you want for conference calls. In addition, the USB port on the back of the BTX450 cannot be used for alternative music storage devices like a portable hard drive.
Connectivity / Sound Quality:
Syncing up over Bluetooth is ridiculously simple. I was able to sync various devices such as my iPhone 5, an Amazon Kindle Fire HD, an Android tablet and a Windows 8 tablet. Syncing was almost immediate and I typically got a 25 to 30 foot range before the connection failed. By the way, all music control functions are performed on your mobile device, thus you will want to keep it handy. There’s no included remote control with the BTX450.
Opposite from many portable speakers, you will immediately notice the high quality bass, even when cranking up the volume. The sound is extremely clean as well, ideal for music and video content like movies or television shows. I would say the speaker is best suited for the highs of classical to the lows of rock, but could stumble with extremely low bass tones in rap music.
The audio does carry very well. I often found that it would be overpowering in my office at times and had to reduce the volume. It would be ideal in a large living room or den. You could also position it in a central point in a small apartment and the sound would carry everywhere.
Interestingly, I also tested the 3.5mm cable with my PlayStation 3 as an alternative speaker when playing Assassin’s Creed IV. Dialogue was crystal clear, the bass effects were punchy during the fight sequences and the pirates singing on the high seas was fantastic. This is definitely a solid speaker for video games, assuming you are connecting your video game console up to a display like a computer monitor rather than a HDTV.
Compared to similar Bluetooth speakers, the BTX450 falls a bit short on battery life. While it’s rated at six hours of battery life, there are competing products that offer 10 or more hours of battery life. However, the tradeoff is reduced sound quality, in my opinion. The BTX450 is also somewhat larger than other Bluetooth speakers, so the odds are that you will keep it stationary and plugged in all the time.
Regarding the rating, I had no problem getting the full 6 hours our of the speaker. This is ideal for a party situation when you want to provide access to a speaker in a remote area of your home, outdoors for instance. The connectivity is also so simple that anyone at your party can connect with Bluetooth and jump right in.
Should I Buy It?
If you are looking for solid audio quality at a competitive price, the Kinivo BTX450 is definitely an excellent choice. On the flip side, it’s definitely not the most portable Bluetooth speakers that I’ve tested. I had trouble fitting it into my laptop bag with all my other things. But the sound quality is definitely a notch higher than smaller, more expensive competitors. I recommend the Kinivo BTX450 to anyone that’s looking for a solid, secondary speaker to move around a home, definitely ideal for families.