Review: Inateck MarsBox wireless speaker — angular and playful

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Inateck has recently launched a trio of new speakers, one of which is the Inateck MarsBox BP2002 wireless speaker. The market has no shortage of wireless speakers, and so finding a way to stand out is imperative. Inateck managed to do that with its unusual, minimalist and vaguely LEGO-like design. The MarsBox features what appears to be two different angular components fused together at offset angles, forming a puzzle-like arrangement joined by four atypical buttons reminiscent of older gamepads. How does it sound? Read our full review to find out!

1. Design

The MarsBox speaker’s design is best described as being both playful and angular — there’s nothing round about this speaker, and that’s okay. The red color is heavily saturated and as such contrasts nicely with the solid black component. The speaker is dense and covered with a rubber-like material, giving it grip without an offending “tacky” sensation. The bottom of the speaker has two pads with a tacky feel, however, which prevents the speaker from slipping or sliding on hard surfaces.

The front red piece on the speaker has a dot-style grille. The buttons on the top, meanwhile, are the same red color with a soft rubber feel. The right button is a play/pause button, and the opposite round button is a multi-function mode that toggles between FM radio and a hands-free speakerphone mode (if you’re paired with your smartphone). A blue LED nestled behind the grille indicates when the speaker is on.

Back

Three features adorn the speaker’s back: a USB port for charging, the AUX port for using a 3.5mm audio cable rather than Bluetooth, and the power button. A red LED indicator illuminates when the speaker is charging. Both a USB cable and an audio cable are included with the speaker — both are wrapped in red woven fabric and are promised to be durable (they certainly feel durable).

bottom

The speaker measures in at 7.3in x 2.4in x 2.4in, making it relatively compact but not absurdly small. You can hold it in one hand and stow it away in a backpack or purse, but also place it on a bookshelf and have it stand out among the books and knickknacks. If you’re instead eyeing it for a child’s room, it feels durable enough to handle jostles and small drops, though we don’t advise tempting fate in this regard.

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2. Sound Quality

The speaker features a pair of 8W speaker, and can stream audio via Bluetooth 4.0 in addition to the AUX line. Inateck says the MarsBox offers “great bass”, and while it does have a bass response (so much so that you can feel it while holding the speaker), it is not bass-heavy…and some users, mostly depending on what you’re listening too, will find the bass lacking. That’s not to say it sounds like a tin can, because it doesn’t.

cables

If there’s any criticism about the speaker’s audio quality, it is the slight muffling that can make the audio feel restrained. You won’t notice this if you have it hooked up to the TV, if you’re listening to audio books, or non-bass heavy music. You will notice the muffling effect if you’re listening to rap or rock, but it is not severe. The sound quality can be described entirely as “average”, and it is comparable enough to other speakers in the MarsBox’s price range.

3. Conclusion

Whether the Inateck MarsBox wireless speaker is right for you depends on your needs. There’s nothing wrong with the speaker — it is very well made and the design is appealing. If you’re an audiophile and your primary concern is music quality above all else, you’ll be disappointed with the speaker.

front

If, however, you’re okay with average audio quality and want long battery life, the speaker is excellent — you can expect ten or more hours on a charge when you’re listening to the radio, for example. The speaker is also a good choice if you commonly listen to podcasts or audiobooks, as vocals are the most prominent and clear aspects of the audio it produces. The speakerphone functionality and FM radio are icing on top.

(slashgear.com)

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