aptX: Yes | NFC: Yes | dB at 3 feet: 78dB | Tone: Poor bass depth | Mic/Calls: Yes | Aux in: Yes | Netflix test: Fail | Battery life: Up to seven hours
Given Beats is known for its bass, it’s a surprise (if you don’t know what’s inside) that the Beats Pill v2 is actually one of the worst performers here for bass. Low-end extension is very poor, meaning that bass drum hits sound quite weak and thin.
It uses four very small drivers, with no radiator to make up the difference in pure driver size. At certain point down the frequency scale the bass more-or-less just drops out. It does have bass ports, though, letting it create bigger bass than a 1-inch driver could make itself.
With this compromise, you’d hope the Pill offers spectacular portability, but it doesn’t. Thanks to its rounded shape, you can’t fit in comfortably in a jacket pocket as you can do with a i-box slid of Jambox Mini. All these niggles add up to a speaker that offers the poorest value in its class.
Volume and projection are fine, but we want a better, fuller-sounding tone when we’re paying £170 for the pleasure. Even the treble starts become quite scrappy at higher volumes, lacking the fidelity and detail we’d hope for in a speaker with treble-focused tiny drivers.
It will do the job for casual near field listening, though. Sound quality is superior to the Monster Superstar and i-box Slix, but then that’s the least we’d expect when it costs so much more.
This was also the speaker to perform the worst on the Netflix, where we see whether its Bluetooth module is capable of streaming video without experience-spoiling lag.