We tested the speaker with a number of devices: laptops, iPhones, and desktop PCs. The sound from the speaker was decent, but it lacked any type of bass “oomph” (as noted previously, this was not unexpected, given both its specifications and our visual inspection). We were unable to test the link function of the speaker, as we only had one unit on hand to review. Our theory is, judging on the performance of one speaker using the 3.5mm jack, you could definitely get a decent level of sound going with a few of these speakers linked together. Getting the same volume while using the SD Card function of the speaker is another story, unfortunately.
While utilizing the speaker using a SD card as the source of the music files, we found that the sound level was uniformly lower than when we tested using the 3.5mm jack on our devices. During our tests, a group of us were in a small room having a conversation while the speaker was playing music from a SD card, and we actually forgot the speaker was playing. Linking a few of the speakers ought to increase the amount of sound produced, but we found the better option, at least in terms of max volume, was to use the 3.5mm jack option.
The SP-i400 Magnetic Portable Speaker is ideal to use in places where there is low noise like study halls, and libraries who want to enjoy listening to their favorite tunes but don’t want to have headphones on. The volume of the speakers itself is loud enough for one person to take advantage of, while not disturbing others in the process. This is clearly evident when utilizing the SD card function. There is almost no chance of a mean old librarian (or even a hot young one) giving you the stink eye for using one of these speakers in her nigh unto silent domain.
I know some of you are saying, “But if you don’t want to disturb others while listening to music, why not use headphones?” While its very hard to argue that headphones would be the ideal choice for personal enjoyment of music, or listening to a lecture, audio book, or whatever without having someone tell you, “Turn that !@#$ down!” there are some people who complain that headphones hurt or bother their ears when being used for extended periods of time. Also, some people like to listen to music while they are in the kitchen, basement, or elsewhere but don’t want to turn on the main stereo system (due to folks being asleep, or gaming on the home theater, or not wanting to expose their unholy love of show tunes). This solution is pretty much perfect for them.
Also, some people just love to stick stuff on their refrigerators (the author’s female relatives included). Having something to stick on their fridge that plays music the user’s choice of music is pretty much an instant win for someone like this. Admittedly, they’re not necessarily a TechREACTION reader, but we can heartily recommend the SP-i400 as a stocking stuffer or small thinking-of-you gift if you’ve got someone like this in your life.
In closing, the speaker is not something any serious audiophile would run to get, but it is a niche item that fits a very particular role well. The design is cool, unobtrusive, low profile, and can be stuck to any surface. The travel bag is also a neat extra even if you don’t use it to carry the speaker in. Linking two or more of these speakers will give you additional volume and that kind of setup could come in handy for an intimate gathering of a few people hanging out on the porch or patio in the summertime, or in a dorm study area where loud music is frowned upon.
We are happy to give the Genuis SP-i400 the TechREACTION.net Silver Silicon Award.
The Genuis SP-i400 speaker can be found on sites like Amazon.com for a little over $30.