I have always considered Amkette one of the most innovative India companies. I developed this perception about the company, till then associated with floppy disks and other computer accessories, when I first used their EvoTV smart box for televisions. Over the next few years the company had brought in many new devices that have reinforced this belief of mine. Now, it has launched a smart Bluetooth speaker called Amkette S50 available on Amazon.
So what is a smart speaker? Well, let’s say it is something that does more than a regular Bluetooth speaker. And for those who know Amkette, they don’t leave anything to chance. So this small Bluetooth speaker can also play music from a USB drive, an auxiliary port, SD card and has an FM radio inbuilt.
Then it is also a bedside clock with the Speaker grille being used to display the time in large red. Plus, it has a microphone so that you can take your calls easily from the speaker, hands-free. It comes with a battery that is good enough for about eight hours of playback and can also be used to charge a smartphone if needed. Yes, it packs in a bit more than the regular Bluetooth speaker.
Specs: Bluetooth 3.0 | NFC, Aux, USB Micro SD Card (WMV,WAV,MP3) | 10W output | 52mm Neodymium Magnetically Shielded Drivers | ≧80dB | Micro USB 5V 1A charging | USB Flash Drives, up to 32GB, FAT32, NTFS | 5V 1.5A, to charge phones Frequency Response – 180Hz-20KHz | Up to 18 Hrs playback
Price: Rs 3,499 offer price (Rs 4,499 final price)
What is good?
The audio quality is what you would expect from a device that cost just under Rs 5,000. It is good enough to add some zing to a party and make a weekend more fun. The audio quality is good even at high volumes and you can use this for all types of music, except maybe hard rock. The Amkette Truebeats app allows you to connect the speaker to the smartphone or tablet and control all aspects of the device. It is simple to use and easy to navigate. The alarm function lets you select the music source of your choice to wake you up in the morning. Yes, you can select FM too, but given the state of that medium in our cities, I wouldn’t really suggest it — unless you want to wake up to a real estate ad or a char bottle vodka replay. The battery can last you a full week with the alarm on all the times and with occasional music playback. I am not sure it will be a good idea to leave the device plugged on and charging all the time. That could impact the battery over time.
What is not that good?
There isn’t anything really wrong with the device. The beta app I tested had some small quirks that need to be fixed by the time it goes live. Also, the design of the speaker makes it a bit difficult to see the markings on the top in low light — or maybe, I’m just getting old.
Should you buy?
If you have been holding off that Bluetooth speaker purchase, then it might make sense to take a look at the S-50. It ticks all the boxes and still does not end up appearing like a device that lacks focus. This adds a level of sheer utility which other speakers don’t have. Also, it is priced quite reasonably for the features.