Beats Pill + Portable Speaker...G5

For sale by MEMBER24 Aug 1:56 pmRajagiriya, Colombo

Rs 3,199

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The Beats Pill+ is a small wireless speaker. However, it’s totally different to the Pill and Pill 2.0 that came before.

Slightly larger and using bigger bass drivers, the Pill+ is the first small Beats speaker that really sounds bigger than it is. It’s a very significant, long overdue upgrade.

It’s nice not to have to tell people to run for the hills as soon as they see a Pill+. But the Beats Pill+ isn’t quite as good as the best at this size in several areas. And that's an issue when, at $229 (likely to equate to around £179 in the UK) in the US, it's one of the most expensive choices in its class.


How good does the Beats Pill+ sound? For those familiar with the range, the best answer is: much better than its predecessors.

Where the Pill and Pill 2.0 use a whole array of tiny drivers, the Pill finally adds a pair of larger bass drivers in the middle to avoid it becoming the tinny mess the earlier Pills are. It works, for the most part. On first listen I simply assumed the speaker had a passive radiator, which is what 90% of speakers this size use to create bass despite their tiny stature.

The Pill+ victory also disperses its sound quite widely. This is because it mounts its ‘tweeter’ drivers on the further reaches of each side of the speaker’s front, at a slight angle according to Beats’s diagrams. There no word of the clever psychoacoustic nonsense Bose uses to get the same effect in the SoundLink Mini II, but it works fairly well. The sound isn’t too directional and can have a stab at filling smaller rooms.

Tone-wise, Beats seems to have aimed to make the Pill as loud and ferocious as possible. This isn’t about bass: the Pill actually sounds less bassy than the SoundLink Mini. It is pretty loud, though, and has a much more aggressive mid-range that really spits vocals out at you more than any other speaker in this size class.

However, there are problems. There’s a relatively narrow volume ‘sweet spot’ where the Pill sounds its best. Turn the volume down low and, as is so common in small non-radiator-equipped speaker, the bass loses much of its weight. Keep it quiet and the Pill ends up sounding smaller than many cheaper alternatives.

The real weakness of the Pill , though, is what happens when you turn the volume up to 70% or above. Its mids become quite harsh and abrasive, making the output grating and not all that nice to listen to. It may be loud, but the Pill just cannot handle its own output without sounding bad.

At all volumes the Pill also struggles to deliver lower-frequency deep bass at the scale/size of a speaker with a radiator. That’s the beauty of using a passive radiator, it means the bass isn’t as limited by the back-forth motion of the main drivers. Even if that is still ultimately what powers it.

The Beats Pill gets you a good impression of detail and, like the Beats Solo 2.0, there’s a certain aggressive attack to the sound that can seem energetic when the volume is at the right level. However, that doesn’t leave the speaker with as natural a sound as the Bose SoundLink Mini II, and ultimately sound isn’t as tonally well-separated as most of the best contenders in this class.

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Item type:
Speakers / sound system
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