Inateck MercuryBox: Stylish splash proof Bluetooth speaker with superb sound

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  • Editors' rating
    8.8 Outstanding

Pros

  • Well constructed
  • Light and portable with hand strap
  • Clear sound over audio and voice
  • Rugged charging cables

Cons

  • Tinny sound in the mid range on some tracks

The MercuryBox BP2101 Bluetooth speaker indicates quality right from the start. The outer packaging often gives a clue to the quality of the goods inside. The sleeve indicates that the product has been been built to a very high standard.

The satin finish cardboard sleeve covers a high quality inner cardboard box. Think of an expensive shoe box and you would be thinking along the right lines.

The box contains the speaker, a PVC carrying pouch, a hand strap and an instruction leaflet. There is also a braided covered audio cable and USB charging cable. Both have Velcro cable ties.

Inateck MercuryBox: Stylish splash proof Bluetooth speaker with superb sound ZDNet
Eileen Brown

The speaker is compact and light at 9.4 ounces (267g). It looks stylish and sleek. It has a smooth touch anodised aluminium external case and soft touch rubber controls.

It has rubber feet to ensure it does not slide. The dc-in and auxiliary ports are behind a flexible cover which fits snugly into the casing. It takes about three hours to fully charge the speaker from the micro USB port.

Pairing the speaker to Android and Windows phones was quick and easy. The sound from its two 5W speakers is good, although some of the tracks I chose seemed to emphasise the treble ranges. Choosing a track with a good bass made the desk in the office vibrate.

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The volume up and down buttons are alternatively raised and sunken so that you do not need to look at the case whilst adjusting the volume. You can also control the output volume from your smartphone.

Inateck MercuryBox: Stylish splash proof Bluetooth speaker with superb sound ZDNet
Eileen Brown

The MercuryBox BP2101 acts as an external microphone for taking voice calls and if you have enabled Siri or Cortana, then it will read and respond to your texts.

The audio is clear and the other party on the call reports that there is no sound distortion and that call clarity is good.

It is slim enough to slide into a shirt or jeans pocket whilst on the move, and solid enough to take up permanent position in the office.

It has a battery life of up to 15 hours of playing time. If you forget to turn it off, its power saving mode will turn the speaker off after 10 minutes of inactivity.

It is splash proof and moisture resistant, and works in humid atmospheres such as bathrooms and pool rooms. Its sound is surprisingly loud, but clear in smaller rooms.

The USB chargers of most smartphones and tablets meet the charging requirements of 5V/1A output and will charge the speaker effectively.

This speaker does not come with a charger to "lessen needless repeat purchase and reduce environmental damage caused by industrial manufacture" according to the user guide.

The BP2101 is certainly one of the nicest Bluetooth mini speakers I have seen, useful both outside and in the office. The MercuryBox Bluetooth speaker ticks all my boxes for simplicity of use, functionality and its stylish, splash proof design.

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