What we liked about it:
- Quality build
- Can get really loud
- Balanced sound quality
What we didn’t:
- Uninspiring design
RJ Electronics, an arm of the famed RJ Guitar Center, has entered the wireless Bluetooth speakers market with the RJ Armadillo. It’s a fairly compact rugged wireless speaker priced at Php2.5k. Here’s our quick review to find out if its worth the money.
Design and Construction
The RJ Armadillo is a rectangular rubberized Bluetooth speaker with a good amount screws around it that gives it the rugged appearance. It doesn’t look intimidating like most rugged device in the market thanks to its color accents which comes in four options — blue, green, pink and yellow.
On top of the speaker are the soft buttons for power, volume up and down, and play. There are slits separating them that shows the color accent of the speaker. The rightmost one though is a LED light bar.
There’s a carabiner/clip bracket on the right so you can hang the speaker wherever possible while on left there’s the micro-USB port for charging and the 3.5mm AUX port just in case you want to go wired. The ports are protected by a thick plastic flap cover since the device is IPX6 water and dustproof. It’s also shock resistant according to the manufacturer.
Despite the added protection against water, dust, and accidental drops, the RJ Armadillo remains light on hand. Overall build quality is good as the device doesn’t feel cheap especially for its price.
Setup and Features
If you’ve used any Bluetooth-enabled device, you’d know how to kickstart the pairing. Simply turn the device on and it’ll automatically broadcast that it’s open for pairing. As mentioned earlier, there’s a LED light indicating its status. Rapid flashes mean it’s awaiting pairing and when paired, a beep will sound off and the light blinks slower.
The device has Bluetooth 4.1 with a range of up to 10 meters. Also, it’s got a built-in microphone to let you make calls through the speaker.
We paired the RJ Armadillo with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X we also have for review and, as always, we resorted to streaming with Spotify.
Inside the rugged casing, there are stereo speakers capable of producing a total power of 10W. That means this thing can get really loud when in max volume. Although, you have to keep the speaker in check because deep bass causes the speaker to vibrate too much that it moves on its own. There’s a time when we just noticed it already fell on the floor.
Aside from its loudness, vocal sounds is also a noticeable strength for the RJ Armadillo. The mids during playback are clear and smooth but cracks when in max volume. Highs are generally okay as well while the bass is acceptable since it doesn’t have a dedicated woofer.
It’s got a balanced sound quality throughout. Perhaps the fact that the bass overpowers the physical body of the speaker is quite concerning so keep this one away from high drops.
There’s a 1600mAh rechargeable battery inside. Unlike other more expensive speakers, there’s no reverse charging or power bank feature here. The speaker is rated to last for up to 20 hours of continuous music playback.
For Php2,499, the RJ Armadillo offers balanced sound quality, and on top of that is the quality build with waterproofing and shock resistance. It’s also lightweight which is great for travel.
It’ll not win any design awards for its looks but we welcome the understated color accent that’s available in four color options.
RJ Armadillo specs:
- Power output: 5W*2 (RMS)
- Working distance: 33 feet
- Audio Input: Wireless + 3.5mm AUX in
- Wireless: Bluetooth 4.1
- Battery: 1600mAh Rechargeable Li Battery
- Charger: Micro USB cable
- Working time: Up to 20 hours
- Dimension: 158mm x 53mm x 62mm