If you're in the market for a portable Bluetooth speaker, but don't want to shell out more than $100, you'll be happy to find that there are several options available in this price range. Unfortunately, many of these sub $100 speakers aren't very good, and let's face it: you get what you pay for.
One option that won't break the bank and give you a serviceable experience is the Dell AD211. The $70 speaker sits nicely in the middle between expensive, high-end options and cheap, no-name speakers. The AD211 is a no-frills speaker that simply gets you where you need to go.
Played down design
The AD211 design is functional and to the point, making no attempt to compete with more expensive portable speakers. It's doesn't vie for your attention with flashy colors, though I personally wouldn't complain if it did. The combination of its unassuming design and silver finish will allow the AD211 to blend into its environment.
The speaker grill covers the front side, with the top housing only the NFC connection space and the microphone for calls. The rear is equally minimal, with the aux-in port, Micro USB port, and Dell logo.
The right side of the AD211 is where all of the controls are kept, with volume, pairing, and talk/mute buttons all accounted for. A LED sits in the middle of the buttons to signify when the speaker is powered on or when the pairing mode has been enabled.
The AD211 is very light, coming in at a only 300 grams. Lighter than the Beats Pill and Samsung Level Box Mini, Dell's speaker doesn't add much heft to your bag or backpack when you're on the go.
The speaker projects well, and for the most part, it's plenty loud. In some instances, I felt that it could stand to be a tad louder. I did find it to be lacking in the bass department, and music that heavily relies on it can suffer. Though these may be deal breakers for some, I didn't take (too much) issue with either of the missteps, given the price.
Battery life matches the advertised 10 hours. The speaker was pumping out the tunes and taking calls for over 9 hours over the course of a weekend on a single charge, thanks to its 2250 mAh battery.
It's important to keep in mind that this is a $70 speaker, as it won't blow you away like higher-end options. If you're looking for a premium experience that offers everything and then some, expect to add at least $100 to the Dell AD211's price point for something else, like the Samsung Level Box or Beats Pill.
The Dell AD211 might not offer the quality you can find with more expensive portable Bluetooth speakers, but it was never meant to. It's a cheap solution that will woo you with it's price and not its design. The same can be said for many other, cheap Bluetooth speakers, but the AD211 actually delivers. Since I don't have $200 to burn on one, If I were in the market, I'd probably opt for Dell's offering.
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