Bluetooth technology is rendering wires passé in a world where using a mobile phone is an essential part of daily life. Staying connected no longer requires continuous tethering of devices to cables, so why shouldn’t audio listening enjoy the same freedom as well?
Bluetooth speakers such as the Genius SP-925BT allow for rich audio enjoyment without the need for a hardwired source. All that is required is a push of a button on the speaker and a flick from the phone. Utilizing a CSR Bluetooth 4.0 chipset inside, the Genius SP-925BT seamlessly handles the audio input from any device and outputs it in stereo via two 50mm speakers and a passive radiator bass driver sub-woofer.
Review Sample Provided By: Genius
Product Name and Website: SP-925BT
The Genius SP-925BT is packed in a two-piece cardboard enclosure with the features listed at the back and sides of the external box, including the various color options and the specific unit color marked on the side.
A form-fitting plastic bed houses the actual Genius SP-925BT inside with the accessory cables and a fold-out user manual underneath it. The accessory cables provided include a 112cm long male-to-male 3.5mm audio connector for the AUX jack and a 56cm long USB charging cable.
In terms of size, the Genius SP-925BT is much larger than most portable mono Bluetooth unit but is still relatively compact for a stereo Bluetooth speaker. It measures 98 x 99 x 99mm and weighs 452 grams. It has a more compact twin called the SP-920BT which measures 78 x 79 x 79mm and only weighs 298 grams. The larger size of the Genius SP-925BT gives it the advantage of being able to house larger driver units, 50mm to be exact, one on each side for stereo playback. Each are rated at 5W output.
The body of the SP-925BT itself is essentially an extruded square tubing and is seamless from the side. The sides where the drivers are located have perforations on a neat row and column across the entire side surface. The front has the Genius brand badge on the bottom with a pinhole dot at the center top. This dot is actually where the microphone is for answering calls. At the rear is a USB charging port, an LED indicator and a 3.5mm AUX in port. While the device is being charged, the LED indicator lights up red. Total charge time for the 1500mAh battery from empty takes four hours, and continuous playback lasts eight hours. When powered on, the LED indicator flashes alternating RED and BLUE LEDs.
The stand of the SP-925BT spans the bottom area with four dampeners on each corner and there is a gap where the actual body of the unit is raised. This is because there is a subwoofer firing downward and the gap is a necessity of design.
It is difficult to show the sub-woofer without removing the stand here so I’ll remove the four screws underneath the dampeners for a bit to show what the sub-woofer looks like.
Unlike the Genius SP-906BT which is more designed for more rugged environments and the outdoors, the Genius SP-925BT does not have a voice indicator when turned on or when pairing, which is a good thing. It is just a simple series of beeps. The voice indicator on the SP-906BT, although handy when outdoors, can be irritating when heard so many times, especially since the voice actor they used on the SP-906BT does not exactly have the most pleasant voice or accent to listen to. The SP-925BT is much more elegant, including in the way it pairs with devices as it is fairly quick and seamless if a previous device is in range.
Due to the larger size, a much more powerful sound is generated than most portable Bluetooth speakers. Because of the stereo speakers on the side and the subwoofer at the bottom, the sound coming out of the SP-925BT also fills the room much better than something like the SP-906BT and other mono speakers. The sound is of surprising clarity as well even when I was listening to some jazz music in FLAC format.
A nice bonus is the inclusion of a microphone so phone calls can be answered. Smartphones are usually used for playing media to Bluetooth speakers so having this ability is a lovely option. Keep in mind that you have to be within arm’s length of the speaker to actually use the microphone to effectiveness.
Media controls are usually done on the smartphone as well but the onboard buttons at the top is also available for those who want a more tactile option. The top area is rubberized with the control indicators extruded so it can be felt without looking. The only downside is that this rubberized surface tends to attract dust quite a bit, especially the black version.
Overall, the Genius SP-925BT is a lovely little palm-sized solution for both indoor and outdoor wireless audio. It is currently available for only $29 for the black version (pictured in this review) from Amazon, Walmart or NewEgg. It is also available in a variety of colors including brown, white, and blue but they consistently command a higher price than the black version at around $34 to $40.