Hands-on review: Tronsmart Bang party Bluetooth speaker
Image credit: Tronsmart
The big Bang has arrived: time to get the party started.
The Bluetooth speaker market is, much like the Bluetooth headphone and earbuds market, a very overcrowded space.
There are myriad options to choose from, from the well-established, mega-budget, big-brand names (JBL, Sony, Beoplay in the speaker space, for example) to a roiling sea of hundreds, if not thousands, of cheaply cheerful wannabe, me-too new Chinese brands.
Tronsmart, for our money, has been quietly establishing a niche for itself somewhere between the two. Still far from being a household name, at least by doubling down on the twin pillars of quality products at a reasonable price, their hardware rarely disappoints.
We previously tested, and also enjoyed (true to this day), Tronsmart's Studio 30W, a sleek and inconspicuous black belter of a portable speaker, ideal for home and garden.
Now for summer 2022, we're going large – and loud – with the Tronsmart Bang. With its 60W output, chonky carry handle, IPX6 waterproofing and entire rainbow of RGB LED bright flashing light colours front, back and sides (which, mercifully, can be both customised and turned off completely), sleek and inconspicuous this speaker is not.
And that is the Bang's niche. This is a speaker intended for parties, get-togethers, hootenannies, shingdigs and other general drink-em-ups. After two years of Covid-enforced isolation, people are understandably keen to get back out there when the sun is shining. The Bang is a fun speaker, your partner in crime for getting any party started, any time, any place. Any weather, too, in fact – that IPX6 rating will help the Bang shrug off rain, snow, sand and dust just as well as liquid splashes, so it's not just a pal for poolside parties.
The Bang's vital statistics are 361 x 150 x 183mm (W/D/H), with a weight of approximately 3kg. A couple of nice headline touches are the built-in USB-A power bank – so you can charge the device you're streaming the music from – and the ability to daisy-chain up to 100 other Bangs for maximum sound all around. This multi-device functionality was also present on the Studio: as was the case there, we didn't have 99 other units to test this feature with this time either, but we have every reason to believe it works as advertised. We've seen videos. For most people, one Bang will be plenty.
Further tech-spec highlights include the beat-driven lightshow (because nothing screams "Party!!" like loud music and flashing lights), customisable EQ effects, personalised control via the Tronsmart app, NFC connectivity, built-in microphone for voice assistant interaction, and a blissfully broad range of connection and playback options, including Bluetooth 5.0, TF Card, U-disk and good old 3.5mm auxiliary in jack. Yep, Apple might have finally discontinued the iPod after 20 years, but right up to the end even the 2019 (now last-gen) iPod touch still had that 3.5mm jack, god bless it's enduringly reliable, analogue heart. We applaud Tronsmart for maintaining this physical connection on its speakers – and for including a 3.5mm cable in the box.
On paper and in the hand, the Bang looks promising. How does it sound? Pretty darn good. Certainly loud enough to wake the neighbours, with a strong, clear and commanding performance. There's detail and separation if you pay enough attention, ably abetted by Tronsmart's patented 'SoundPulse' aural-enhancing technology, which works kind of like the 'Presence' boost on 1970s hi-fi systems: it kicks things up a notch without being unpleasant or overboosting specific frequences. Everything simply sounds... 'fatter'. Or phatter, depending on your vernacular. The Studio speaker also has this SoundPulse feature and it's constantly turned on whenever we use that.
The Bang's twin tweeters, twin woofers and twin passive radiators help put the music across as a solid audio picture, with a decent sense of L/R imaging and clear, clean stereo space. Frequencies don't get too muddy or indistinct, from low bass up to high treble. The Bang doesn't really do an ultra-low, subsonic bass throb thing; it's more a balanced full-spectrum realisation. This translates better across more genres and types of music. The bass is definitely present, though, just more as part of the overall sonics, not as a dominating factor.
Not that the Bang was expressly designed for audiophile, analytical listening. This is a speaker intended to cut through the background chatter of a gathering, large or small, so the delivery is more about excitement and energy than precision positioning. That's not to suggest that the Bang can't deliver quality sonic goods at a lower volume, when it's just you clearing away the empties at the end of the night. It sounds subjectively "good" at any level.
Battery life from the 10,800mAh Li-ion is OK. Not amazing: more fair to middling. Standard, really. As with much of the competition's products, battery life with the Bang depends on how loud you crank it. At 50 per cent volume, you'll get up to an estimated 15 hours of playback. With 'Party Mode' on, at 100 per cent volume, this drops to around four hours. You can, of course, use the speaker plugged in at the mains, via its USB-C port, although if you're on the beach or up a mountain, wall sockets might inevitably be harder to come by. You can also disable the lightshow entirely, which helps eke out more battery life.
Whether you bag a Bang or not depends on your specific needs. As we said at the top of this review, there are many, many Bluetooth speaker options already out there, with a steady stream of new products undoubtedly ready to ship in spite of Shenzen lockdowns. Some speakers are smaller. Some are ma-hoosive. Some are waterproof. Some will be louder. Some boast battery life for days. And so forth.
What the Tronsmart Bang delivers is a solid, splashproof, musical, loud, fun and flexible speaker experience, for not too much money, which will seamlessly slot into many aspects of your life – both indoors and out. If that sounds like something you're looking for, Bang on.
Amazon UK RRP £109.99
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