Published on November 27th, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan0
Tronsmart Element T2 Plus Speaker Review: Budget Speaker With Premium Features
The audio-space of today’s world is a hotly competed area. While older brands with established portfolios might have an easier time with a built up customer loyalty base. The same might not be the case for other upstarts, that aren’t household names to begin with but hold enormous potential. Which neatly brings us into today’s brand review of the Element T2 Plus speaker by Tronsmart.
I’ll confess, before proceeding with this review that I wasn’t aware of this brand. I’m a sucker for high quality audio peripherals but I equally find the budget space very intriguing because of the sheer value that some of these lesser known audio brands bring to the table. The Tronsmart Element T2 Plus turned out to be a personal favourite of mine for the same reason.
- Drivers: 2×10 Watts [20W RMS Total]
- Bluetooth: Version 5.0 [Supported Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HFP]
- IP Rating: IPX7 [Splash Proof]
- Battery: 3600mAh [Upto 24Hr. Playback @50% Volume]
- Additional Connectivity: AUX-In, Amazon Alexa Voice Compatible, USB Type-C, Chain Pairing
- Memory Expansion: SD/TF Supported
- Weight: 480g
- Warranty: 12 Months Limited [[email protected]]
The speaker comes in a very compact packaging which looks smart and discrete. There are some feature listings behind the box, but on a whole, nothing much to write about here. The quality of the packaging is pretty decent but I kind of wish they had used some protective foam for packing the main unit inside the box, since you can never tell what might happen during shipping.
Inside the package, there is the unit itself, a small box of accessories, a user manual and a warranty card. Contents of the accessory box include:
- 1x Aux Cable
- 1x USB Type-C cable
- 1x Tying Thread
Unfortunately there is no supplied charger but given the price point, but I’m sure we have plenty of those lying around the house by this stage. What is a bummer is the length of the supplied cables, namely the Type-C cable and the AUX cable as both are approx 1 Feet in length which is absolutely pointless, unless you plan to carry the speaker with a power bank.
The Impressive Bits
What I cannot fault the manufacturer for is the overall build of the speaker itself. It feels like a brick, both to hold and in weight. There is a rubber covering outside the package that should protect the unit from accidental falls from a height. During the course of the review, mine actually fell from a height of about 0.7 Meter and worked just fine afterwards. The rubber also acts as a waterproof seal in case you happen to take this to the pool. Just be sure not to submerge it in the pool as the IP rating is best treated as an insurance to accidental splashes. In any case, it isn’t a fully Water-Proof unit and you should keep that in mind.
The speaker has a dedicated media controls on its top, which is a part of the same rubber outline that covers the speaker. The front and rear speaker grilles are metal and has the “Tronsmart” name printed in white. To one side of the speaker there is a rectangular hook which can be used to mount the speaker on suspended surfaces. The rear houses the I/O slots under a very thin rubber cover but the fit itself is quite good and water is going to have a hard time seeping into the cavity when its properly sealed. Lastly it has two rubber feet on what is intended to be the bottom of the speaker, which absorbs the vibrations from the speaker when it is placed on a smooth surface.
Despite being a relatively affordable portable speaker, the unit itself is respectable when it comes to the overall feature set and certainly offers a lot given the price tag.
Bluetooth Daisy Chain: Very obviously it supports Bluetooth upto v5.0 but in addition the speaker has a unique feature where you can connect two of them for simultaneous playback. We weren’t provided with a second unit to test out this functionality, so take it as per the manufacturers claim.
Memory Expansion: It has a TF/SD card slot as well to which you can store audio files offline in MP3/WAV/FLAC/APE formats. Also present is an AUX-IN port to which you can connect a source for wired playback.
Voice Assistant Compatibility: One of the most unique features of this speaker is that it is compatible with Various Voice assistants. It has a built in microphone that can pick up commands when paired with Alexa. This isn’t a standalone feature so you need to have your voice assistant paired with the speaker for this feature to work.
It all boils down to this essentially. Before I conclude my thoughts on the overall sound quality, it is important to note that this is essentially a $35 speaker. The test comprised of 9 different audio tracks encoded in lossless .flac format.
So bearing that in mind, here is what we can conclude:
For passive drivers, the Element T2 performs quite well when it comes to low impact bass delivery. While the it did well on impactful bass notes, the more intense bass boom is definitely lacking due to the absence of dedicated bass drivers. As a result tracks like deadmau5’s – Raise your weapon that see substantial bass drops, definitely don’t sound their best. We also noted that bass guitars among rock and metal songs didn’t sound all that great and sometimes the whole detail will go faint because of its Mid-heavy tonnes. But that being said, the overall bass response isn’t really bad either and considering its passive drivers, we can give it a pass.
Treble is handled quite well but we did notice bias towards the mids when playing tracks like Highway Star by Deep Purple. We would have like slight emphasis towards cleaner treble though. However, the heavy mids are actually great for most genres of music, especially Indian classical.
The sound is bright and overall quite pleasing, if a bit lacking in overall presentation of finer detail.
As we said earlier, the speaker has noticeable bias towards Mids and tends to overemphasize them in many instances. As a result, the lows are quite inaudible in lower volume levels and finer details are lost too. The sound is overall bright and mid-centric but in some specific instances can get a bit dark owing to the loss of tonality from the speakers. Loss of detail is very apparent as a result and we wish the drivers were tuned to sound more neutral. Perhaps the biggest drawback that we could clearly notice is that on higher volumes, our unit seems to distort a little depending on the type of music that we were playing. We cannot confirm if this is a defect with our unit or is it something that the speaker has inherently.
These speakers definitely aren’t meant for audiophiles. They will do justice to the average listener, where the bright sound is very enjoyable for most instances. EQ tuning is heavily recommended to bring out the lows and calm the mids for these speakers as we found it too overbearing as compared to some other options in the same price range.
The Element T2 has a 3600mAh battery, which isn’t that big to begin with and we seriously doubted the 24 Hour playback claim from the manufacturer. The device itself came with around 80% charge right out of the box but for testing purposes we charged it up to full and used it for 3 days with a mix of around 30-100% volume levels on Bluetooth. We used a mix of Electronic, Indian, Bass Heavy Hip-Hop and Metal throughout the endurance test. Most of the tests led us to crank the volume to almost 3/4 of the total output of the speakers.
As we suspected, the backup of this battery isn’t that great, which is hardly surprising, considering that most manufacturers severely overstate the actual capacity of the battery in their marketing material.
On day one, we used the unit for a little over a single working day for around 12 hours and had about 20% battery remaining . The day comprised of listening to audiobooks for 3-4 hours, taking calls for a little over 60-70 mins and over 2 hours of music.
Day 2 surprisingly got us close to 11 hours of playback which is quite respectable considering how we used it. The day was spent outdoors and the speaker was kept at close to 70-100% volume for most times. Which leads to the conclusion that there might have been memory issues with the speaker firmware and after depleting the battery fully, we reset it somehow. We used a mix of bluetooth and AUX-In for connectivity.
Day 3 was a torture test, where we put the speaker on Heavy-Metal and EDM playlist to see how long it would last if we were to blast it with 100% volume on Bluetooth. Its no surprise that we got a measly 9+ hours of playback time.
Overall the battery backup is about what we expected. Your mileage may vary as for casual home use, you can easily get over 15+ hours of backup with light to moderate usage. The speaker also has a cut off feature which turns it off, if it detects 10 mins of consequent inactivity. You can either find helpful or really annoying because we had mixed feeling about this.
Getting one for Yourself
Tronsmart Element T2 Plus Speaker is available for sale on Amazon, AliExpress and Geekbuying for US$ 34.99. During Black Friday sale from 28 November 2019 to 4 December 2019, the speaker is available at a discounted price of US$ 27.99. Click any one of the below links to purchase:
For $35, the value of this speaker is hard to beat. The feature set alone makes this a very decent choice for individuals looking into a cheap IoT enabled speaker system that does the job fairly well. While it may not sound the best for the price, the overall quality is easily decent enough and you can take it to the pool. What’s not to like?