In Review

Kinivo BTX350 Rechargeable Wireless Speaker

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars - 'Outstanding - Starkie!'
Price: 39.99
Clean, simple design sans gimmicks. Sound belies small size and low price. Dynamic range pleases.
Might be hard to find this model (BTX270).
"Outstanding - Starkie!"
A great sounding, low-cost toss-able speaker. Has a permanent home in my carry-on.
Review by Clinton Stark

We see a lot of portable devices around here. There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to small, Bluetooth speakers so it can be bewildering trying to make a buying decision. If you’re looking for a low cost, well-made, great sounding wireless speaker, look no further. This is the one.

Made by Kinivo, the BTX270 hits does everything right, and earns Stark Insider’s highest score. At only $39.99 it’s the kind of gadget that belies its price tag. Sure, it won’t quite light up a room like a Bose. And it doesn’t have the incredible versatility of something like a Jambox. But as a toss-able little speaker you can take just about anywhere, and pair with just about anything, you really can’t go wrong.

Design-wise, we particularly like the simple, understated matte black finish. In a world of Beats, sometimes less is more. Does the world need yet another statement already? The buttons on the front (plus, minus, square) are clicky with positive tacticle response. On the right side is a 3.5mm input jack, micro-USB charging port, and on/off switch.

Pairing, as is the norm these days, is a snap. I successfully paired the BTX270 with a Nexus 4, Microsoft Surface tablet, and iPad Mini. The process was fast with nary a glitch.

Best of all: the sound.

The dynamic range, in particular, is startling for such a small box. Bass is rumble-icious. I had the thing booming all over the office. Yet, that wonderful low end doesn’t come at the cost of crisp highs either. Nor does it muddy up the sound, as is often the case with other, bass-heavy speakers. Audiophiles will appreciate that the apt-X codec is supported. Keep your expectations in check (again, this thing is small) and the sound should please even the most staunch critic.

Battery life is rated about 8 hours. That’s pretty close to what I saw in my tests. Volume level, of course, will impact endurance.

If you have trouble finding the BTX270, check out the its sibling, the BTX350. Essentially the same audio system, the step up model adds track control buttons (forward/reverse), bass boost and a passive subwoofer. You can find more information on these speakers and other mobile accessories, and also buy direct from Kinivo.

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Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear