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realme's latest AIOT launch included a new portable Bluetooth speaker. See how it fares.

What's in the box

  • realme Cobble Bluetooth Speaker
  • Type-C Charging cable
  • User Manual

2021 realme CobbleBT 01

Specifications

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Connection Range of ≤ 10m
  • IPX5 Water-Resistant
  • Weight 200g
  • 5W Dynamic Bass Boost Driver
  • 1,500mAH Battery
  • 110Hz-18HKz (-10dB) Frequency Response
  • ≥85dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio
  • 88ms Super Low Latency
  • AAC, SBC Audio Codecs 

Design

True to its name, the speaker is shaped like a big cobblestone with no sharp edges or corners. The device only has two working buttons -- Power and M (Mode) -- plus a tiny pinhole for mic input, as well as a pilot light. At the bottom is the Type-C charging port that has a cover to keep the elements away when not in use. The device weighs a mere 200g and is as big (or small) as your palm, making it an easy addition to your carry-on or work bags. The cord that comes with the device makes it convenient to hang or attach to whatever you want.

The Cobble speaker comes in two colors -- Electric Blue with the urban-camo mesh, matte body, and luminous cord; and the more conservative Metal Black with the low-key realme branding on the speaker mesh.

Hardware

realme’s Bass Boost+ is the sound enhancement solution tuned by the realme Music Studio that leverages the power of the large dynamic driver to deliver a robust bass experience. It is the same technology found in realme's earphones.

Also similar to the brand's earphones, the speaker includes a Game Mode that is not common among similarly-priced speakers. From the app, you can switch to Game Mode when playing games or watching movies, to enjoy ultra-low latency reaching 88ms, which delivers a more immersive experience.

Inside, the realme Cobble Bluetooth Speaker has a passive radiator that creates that popular bass effect that you can literally feel. It is called a “passive” radiator because it doesn't use electricity but is instead powered by the air pressure created by the smaller speaker cones that receive all power from the battery or AC source. The passive radiator adds a whole lot of extra oomph out of a sound system without using too much valuable energy. Even outdoors, with a reasonable amount of wind, the speaker does its job nicely.

Its IPX5 rating means you can bring it to the beach or to the pool and will survive a run-in with rain. You can't, however, jump into a pool with it or something as extreme. While the spec sheet claims to have an approximate 10-meter connection range, it's actually further than that with a clear line of sight. The palm-sized speaker definitely packs a punch with its 5W Dynamic Bass Booster that improves the output quality. Also, while its 1,500mAH battery is rated to last up to 9 hours, actual playtime is dependent on volume and audio content. Another not-so-commonly known feature is that its built-in microphone can be used to prompt your voice assistants (Hey Google and Siri) aside from using it for voice and video chats.

User Experience 

Out of the box, the speakers can connect to virtually any Bluetooth-enabled mobile device. Operation can't be simpler, primarily because all controls, including volume, are done on the connecting device. Literally, pair and play. While this rates high on the usability scale, using it this way doesn't give the user any options.

This, however, changes once linked to the realme Link app (that is now available for both Android and iOS). While it won't add a volume toggle to the device, doing so unlocks its other features only available via the app (and by extension, the realme Watch). Features include Game Mode; 2-speaker stereo pairing (which obvs requires 2 units); as well as three (3) EQ presets (Bass, Dynamic, and Bright) to choose from. Likewise, personalization options are only available via the app. These include customizable button settings (defaults are play/pause, next track, previous track, with the option of Voice Assistant and Switch Devices) and the Auto Power-off option that can turn the device off when idle for however much time you set it (from 5 to 50 mins, in 5-minute increments).

Sound quality is pretty good for what it is, but if you're looking for professional levels sounds, this might not be the portable speaker for you. However, its performance is not shabby either and it scores high for ease of use.

The Electric Blue variant I tested had a smooth matte finish that is nice to the touch. The finish helps the device stay in its place when placed on a smooth surface, but makes me wonder if it won't turn sticky in the coming years.

Value / Price / Availability

 The realme Cobble Bluetooth Speaker has an SRP of Php 1,590 but launched during the 8.8 Sale for Php 1,190. It is available where realme AIOT items are sold, including the brand's official stores on Lazada and Shopee.

Verdict

Everyone needs a portable speaker because they are so useful! Whether you are stuck at home like we are now, or at the beach where we all wish we were, this particular ones is pretty solid, plus it doesn't break bank. That's a plus because just in case you lose it in transit, it won't be too painful to get a new one.

What we like

  • Easy to use
  • Long battery life
  • Value for money

What we don't like

  • Not sure how the matte rubberized material will fare over time
  • I have yet to see the luminosity of the cord. 😉