Do you remember the first Devotec Solar Sound from late last year? As it turns out, Devotec already has a follow-up to that product, attempting to improve on the Bluetooth speaker in just about every way. It still serves the same fundamental purpose, receiving a stereo Bluetooth signal from your music phone, but the new Devotec Solar Sound 2 does appear to be better than its predecessor. Let's find out if it really is!
Features and Box Contents
The large solar panel covers the entire top surface of the rounded rectangular prism and this can be used to charge the internal 1600mAh lithium-ion battery. It supports A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles, so it should work with most modern music phones and smartphones.
Replacing the glossy black surface of the first Solar Sound, the Solar Sound 2 now features a matte black finish. I prefer this, as it minimizes unsightly fingerprints.
Even the retail box has been upgraded. The original had a cheap white generic box, but the new one is black with much more cover art. This speaks to the quality found inside. In terms of included accessories, you get a carrying pouch, retractable 3.5mm stereo cable, retractable USB cable, wall charge adapter, and user manual.
Ports, Jacks, and Buttons
While it could be used as a Bluetooth speakerphone like the similarly solar-powered Scosche SolChat II, the Devotec Solar Sound 2 is meant to be used primarily for musical enjoyment. It's a good fit for barbecues, beach outings, and park visits.
There are just three touch-sensitive "buttons" on the front. The left is both for lowering volume (short press) and rewind (long press), the right is for raising volume and fast forward, and the center is for power and pause/play.
Audio Performance over Bluetooth
Given the relative size of the Solar Sound 2, I didn't expect the world when it came to audio quality. You also have to realize that there are just two 2W speakers in there.
Even so, I'm still anything but impressed with the sound quality here. It can get loud when you crank up the volume on both the mobile phone (a Nokia N97 mini, in this case) and the Bluetooth speaker, but the sound really starts to distort at higher levels.
What if I try a more reasonable volume? Unfortunately, that's not much better. It doesn't distort, per se, but the audio quality is barely better than that of a clock radio. It's better than playing through the built-in speakers in most cell phones, though, so it could still serve its purpose in this respect.
MegaTechie Solid or MegaTechie Forgettable?
Are the Devotec Solar Sound 2 Bluetooth speakers a significant improvement over the original? Yes and no.
Aesthetically, I like the new design. It is still fundamentally the same, but the matte finish makes it look more like a premium product. The large solar panel is good and connectivity is an absolute breeze. Like the original, it's also good that there is a built-in mic for taking voice calls too.
On the down side, the audio quality still leaves a lot to be desired and this makes it challenging to justify the $100 asking price. I'm not asking for it to be any louder; I just want the audio production to sound cleaner. For that reason, I can't yet recommend this product. Solar Sound 3, anyone?