MEGATech Reviews – Rosewill R-Studio AMPBOX Bluetooth Portable Speaker Michael Kwan February 6, 2014 MEGATech Reviews Some people know Rosewill as a “computer” company, selling products like computer cases and power supplies, but there’s actually a lot more to Rosewill than meets the eye. You might remember some of the highlights they had on display at CES 2014 last month, including an expansion of their small kitchen appliances line. And they’re also into the mobile market with a range of accessories, like power banks and car chargers. One of the newer additions to the Rosewill family is the Rosewill R-Studio AMPBOX Bluetooth portable speaker, capitalizing on our growing need to share our music without wires. Is it really all that different from the many other options in this niche? Let’s have a look. On the Spec Sheet Measuring six inches across and a little over three inches tall, the R-Studio AMPBOX is a little bigger than many of the more compact Bluetooth speakers on the market, but it should still fit into your bag quite comfortably. There are two 2″ full-range speakers on the front, plus a passive bass driver on the back for some extra oomph. You get a frequency response of 80Hz to 20KHz, up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge, and the standard 30-foot range over Bluetooth with support for A2DP stereo and Bluetooth 3.0+EDR for calls. Yes, there’s an integrated microphone. Inside the retail box, you’ll find the Bluetooth speaker itself, the standard user manual, a 3.5mm audio cable in case you want to use a wired connection, a USB to microUSB charging cable and an AC to USB power adapter to charge through a wall outlet. Build and Design Most other Bluetooth speakers, like the Antec AMP SP1, take on a typical “brick” shape, but the AMPBOX is a little different. The sides are angled, resulting in an almost triangular profile, saved the flattened-out top where you find the four main control buttons: play/pause, phone, volume up and volume down. You’ll also the blue indicator light in the center. This will largely be a matter of personal preference, of course, but I like the overall design of this speaker. It’s not generic, offering a spark of personality in a product that’s supposed to be fun. This is especially true with the red version, as reviewed, but would be a little more understated in the alternate black color. I would have liked if the speaker grilles were a little more opaque, though, as you can currently see the drivers behind the non-removable covers. While plastic, the R-Studio AMPBOX does feel reasonably solid and should be able to hold up to some mild abuse. I don’t suggest throwing it around or dropping it on the ground, but a few tussles in your backpack shouldn’t be a problem. Along the right side, you’ll find the aux-in jack, microUSB charging port, battery light and on/off switch. I would have appreciated a basic battery meter, though, so that you can know how much life you have left. Audio Performance It’s relatively small and inexpensive, so I didn’t expect the world of this little Bluetooth speaker. There’s no way that it would be able to compete against the decidedly pricier Sonos PLAY:1, but I am still mildly disappointed with what you get here. Even at the highest volume setting, it’s not particularly loud, though there wasn’t all that much distortion either. Even aside from the sound production, the sound quality left something to be desired too. The passive bass driver only adds a little to the low end, while the full-range speakers don’t offer the rich and full sound that we desire from even speakers like these. The AMPBOX gets the job done in that it’s easy to connect and easy to use (and looks good doing it), but the audio could certainly be improved. MEGATechie Totally Amped Up or MEGATechie Feeling Blue? From a design standpoint, the Rosewill R-Studio AMPBOX is definitely admirable. It discards the generic brick in favor of a shape that is different and fun. The overall fit and finish is good, using materials that don’t feel cheap. Battery life is also good, generally standing up to the “up to 12 hours” claim, depending on volume and content. That being said, there is also a lot of room for improvement. The speaker is not as loud as some of its competitors, nor does it offer the same level of audio fidelity. It’s also strange that I can’t simply hold the volume up button to increase the volume; you have to keep pressing the button to increase the volume in pre-defined increments. If you’re looking for a Bluetooth stereo speaker that you can also use as a speakerphone, the Rosewill R-Studio AMPBOX is one of the more affordable options. You can find it in red or black, with the latter listing online for as low as $59.99. Considering that most similar products are closer to the $100 range, maybe you are willing to sacrifice some of that sound to have a few extra bucks in your pocket instead. Share This With The World!