dodocool DA149 Review: An Exceptional Hi-Res Wireless Speaker in a Budget
In the past, we’ve covered a couple of products from dodocool and none of them left us unimpressed. Today, we’ve yet another interesting device for review from the same brand. It’s the DA149 Hi-Res stereo wireless speaker which unlike their Mini Wireless speaker isn’t surprisingly tiny but looks promising. Speaking of Bluetooth speakers, they’re a must-have accessory and there are high chances of you already owning one of them. Their portable form-factor makes them appropriate for people who love to enjoy music while travelling, camping or even in the comfort of their home.
Dodocool’s DA149 is one such offering that isn’t really compact, though surely packs a punch when it comes to design and technical specifications. Let’s now find out how the device fares in our review after using it for a period of over two weeks.
Box Contents: Speaker, micro USB cable, stand and instruction manual
Build and Design
At first glance, it’s apparent that this wireless speaker isn’t certainly a compact or pocket-friendly device. The speaker can be easily carried in a backpack or a handbag though in case you wish to club it on a vacation. The device measures 7.5 inches in length from opposite sides and is about 8.25 inch in height when placed vertically on a flat surface. The thickness at the thickest point is about 2.3 inch. With a weight of 460g, it isn’t a lightweight speaker and carrying it along during a daily commute won’t be convenient. We aren’t complaining though because this is something that best suits your home or office space.
Speaking of build, the device features a polycarbonate body with a smooth matte finish that feels nice. The curved sides both at the front and back further make it easier to hold. The front employs a high-quality fabric that resembles carbon fibre mesh and looks premium. Then you’ve dodocool branding highlighting Hi-Res Audio support and physical control buttons at the lower end. The buttons are clicky enough and feel soft to touch. Besides, a LED light sits at the bottom center that glows in blue and red during playback and while charging respectively. The back side of the speaker houses the USB drive port, microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB charging port and a power button. To prevent vibration with adjoining surfaces while playback, there is a small rubber lump on the rear bottom as well as rubber grip on the legs of the plastic stand.
We found the overall design and feel to be impressive. It comes in Black and Red colours.
Packing Bluetooth v4.1 support, the speaker can be wirelessly connected with most compatible smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Besides Bluetooth connectivity, one can use input audio sources such as Aux in, microSD card (up to 32GB) as well as a USB flash drive up to 32GB. The option to listen to music directly using a pen drive is one of its kind for a wireless speaker. In addition to music playback, there is a built-in microphone to answer incoming calls without delay.
The control buttons on the front serve multiple functions. With + and – button, the volume can be turned up or down by single tap while long pressing switches to next or previous track. The volume can be adjusted across 15 levels using the volume buttons itself. The round button in the middle aids play, pause, answer a call function and also assists in pairing or connecting devices via Bluetooth.
The speaker offers plug-n-play facility, thereby automatically recognizing the plugged device and playing its content. Pairing with Bluetooth devices is fairly easy and is even possible when the music is playing through microSD card or flash drive. The company claims 33ft transmission range which works as advertised as long as there are no major obstacles or turns in the path. In terms of hands-free calling, it works really well and the music pauses automatically if there is an incoming call or you make one. On hanging up, the music resumes without any manual intervention. We like the fact that the speaker turns off automatically after 20 minutes to save power when left unattended.
Behind the outer fabric, the 10W speaker houses two full-range speakers (each of 5W) and a mini subwoofer. The frequency response ranges from 20Hz to 45kHz which is considered very good for such a speaker. Powering it is a 2000mAh lithium battery that takes about 4 hours to charge from 0 to 100 percent. With respect to backup, the speaker can continuously play music for almost 7 hours and remain on standby for over a month. While the playback time is pretty good, the charging speed could have been better.
When it comes to performance, the speaker delivers a powerful audio output and an amazing sound considering its size and pricing. It gets surprisingly loud such that we often didn’t found ourselves going beyond 70 percent volume. Even the sound quality feels great which is crisp, clear and doesn’t tend to miss out the details. What’s impressive is the fact that it’s capable of producing a reasonably deep bass that you can actually feel. As opposed to Bluetooth, the sound quality including the Highs and Lows felt marginally better on flash storage. Moreover, we noticed little to no distortion even at the highest volume. Having said, the speaker packs ample power to easily fill a 500 sq ft. room with quality sound. This makes it perfect for small occasions including in-house parties or a dance session.
Wrapping up, the dodocool DA149 is undoubtedly one of the best wireless speakers that you can buy at a reasonable price of $35 (approx Rs. 2500). Though you can easily find various speakers in this certain price range, the DA149 from dodocool certainly offers the best value for your money. The device manages to impress with its elegant yet unique design and great sound output. It also complies with High-Resolution audio standards and comes with multiple connectivity options for uninterrupted music playback.
The speaker is a perfect addon for your living room or bedroom where it can sit nicely on a table. Besides fast charging, we wish it came with a controller to remotely turn it on or off and adjust the volume. That said, users looking for a powerful yet stylish speaker should definitely consider it. The DA149 is currently available on sale in UK and Canada for £18 and CDN$ 23 respectively via Amazon.
|Sturdy build and looks beautiful||Relatively long charging time|
|Gets very loud without noticeable distortion||No waterproofing|
|Amazing sound quality||No remote control|
|USB drive support|
P.S. Thanks dodocool for sending us the review unit.