Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Written by Cheryl Tan
Portable speakers are all the rage nowadays, and for good reason. People always want music, and blasting your songs from your phone just doesn’t sound as great or get as loud as a dedicated speaker will. For those moments where you need a lightweight speaker, the D.Lab BTS-NPLUS2 might be a good fit.
With IPX5 protection, it has found a spot on my bathroom wall for music playback in the mornings while I’m getting ready for work. I left the speaker there for about a month and it has held up surprisingly well. There’s still around 50% battery left from the first charge, with intermittent use here and there.
Water resistance is good as well, I’ve blasted the speaker with my showerhead a couple of times but it still appears to be withstanding the humidity from my hot showers relatively well.
You get what you pay for in terms of sound quality. This is a S$39 speaker, so temper your expectations. The bass is the most emphasised part of the spectrum and will do well with bass-heavy songs, but don’t expect too much detail, texture or extension here. Mids and highs aren’t the clearest either, but overall, it’s a decent speaker for S$39.
The value in these speakers aside from the water resistance, is that it’s shock resistant up to about one meter, so it can withstand knocks and bumps. That’s useful for people who are looking to bring these hiking, want to clip it to their bikes while cycling, or other activities. The NPLUS2 is a little rugged-looking though, so if you’re looking for something that doesn’t look too out of place at the poolside, or on the dining table, the NPLUS3 might be a better fit.
Coming in a rectangular form factor as opposed to the NPLUS2’s round shape, the NPLUS3 (S$49) is a little easier to stand up on narrow ledges if needed. The buttons are also slightly easier to press, without the same stiffness found on the NPLUS 2.
Sound quality here is better as well. Strings are cleaner and the highs are a little more detailed, but have a tendency to get a little harsh at louder volumes. The bass isn’t overwhelmingly prominent, but still packs enough of a punch.
Instrument separation is better on the NPLUS3, but I found that the vocals were a bit veiled and not as airy as the NPLUS 2, which is surprising.
If you’re looking for a portable speaker with the best sound quality, you won’t find it here. But for the price you pay, you’ll get a pretty decent speaker here in the D.Lab NPLUS 2 and NPLUS 3 if you’re not a stickler for excellent sound quality.
The D.Lab NPLUS 2 (S$39) and NPLUS 3 (S$49) are available at NTUC Xtra Fairprice stores.