Review: Beats Pill brings the volume, style [Video]

Beats by Dre is the latest company to enter the portable Bluetooth speaker market, going into the ring with its challenger: the Pill. And Beats delivers.

Earlier this week, the Santa Monica company famous for its line of headphones announced and started selling the Pill, which goes for $199.95.

The Pill is unsurprisingly shaped like a gel capsule and looks like a perfect circle when viewed from the side. On the front, there’s a button stylized to Beats’ famous logo, which is used as a Bluetooth sync button. The speaker sits on a slim rubber pad while its four speaker drivers shoot sound out of two metal grills in an upward angle.


The number of drivers matters because they give the Pill its standout quality: volume and a lot of it.

The Pill is capable of reaching decibels unexpected for a speaker of its size -- it weighs less than a pound and is just 7.5 inches long. Nonetheless, the Pill can pump volume to really high levels before starting to finally blow out a little bit.

If you’re in a room where you can really let the Pill go, its volume can reach annoyingly loud levels. With so much volume, the speaker is capable of keeping a hotel room party going, but it’s not so loud that it’ll get you kicked out.

But despite all that volume, the Pill isn’t perfect, and that’s noticeable when you grade its sound quality.

With the Pill, you can’t really sit down and enjoy all the individual parts of a song. You can hear the bass but don’t expect to feel it. High sounds, especially at louder volumes, also tend to sound metallic and tinny. If you’re looking for a portable little concert hall, look elsewhere.

But the Pill isn’t trying to be a concert hall, it’s just trying to be a concert.

If you want crystal clear sound for your kitchen or bedroom, get the Jawbone Jambox. That speaker has been out longer and costs about the same as the Pill. While it can’t go as loud as the Pill and is better suited for more intimate situations such as date nights, the Jambox provides a much higher-quality sound than the Pill.

But if you want something you and some friends can really rock out to, take the Pill.

Besides volume, the Pill’s other features include both an input and an output jack. The Pill is also NFC-enabled, allowing for quick Bluetooth connections with other NFC devices, such as Android phones.

The Pill has seven hours of battery life and can be recharged through a USB-cable either to a computer or to a wall through its AC adapter. Additionally, the Pill comes in a stylish hard case that zips up to protect the compact speaker.

You can get the Pill now for about $200 in either red, black or white.

If you’re looking for a small little speaker you can take around that will get you style points and really let music flow, you can’t go wrong with the Pill.


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