24
May
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I use my Android devices to stream music and movies a lot. However, the sound quality directly from a phone or tablet leaves much to be desired, to say the least. For that, you could just wire in some earbuds, but that doesn't help if you're trying to listen to music or watch a flick with other people. In that case, you need an external source of sound. Enter the Logitech Z515 Bluetooth speaker.

I've spent the last couple of weeks using this speaker on a daily basis, and I have to say, I'm quite impressed with what it has to offer for the money. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

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The Details

  • What is it? It's a Bluetooth speaker for your mobile device or laptop.
  • How much does it cost? Directly from Logitech, it's $99. You can, however, find it for less on Amazon.
  • The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a good way to wirelessly stream audio from your mobile device, but don't want to shell out the $150-$200 for a Jawbone Jambox, the Logitech Z515 is a very, very good option.

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The Good

  • Wireless Bluetooth connectivity, because wires suck.
  • Good sound quality for the investment. Granted, it's lacking on the low end, the highs and mids are pretty fantastic.
  • Can be used wirelessly with any mobile device equipped with Bluetooth, and also features a dongle for laptops.
  • Rechargeable battery provides excellent battery life - up to 10 hours, according to Logitech (and I'm inclined to agree with this). I charged the speaker up as soon as I got it out of the box and used it for about an hour or two of streaming music, as well as at least an hour of Netflix for a week before needing to hook it up to the charger again. Pretty impressive.
  • Half the price of the Jawbone Jambox.
  • For the size, it's gets pretty loud.
  • Like most Logitech products, it feels really well made.
  • It has an auxiliary-in for wired input.

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The Bad

  • No external controls. Since it's Bluetooth, Logitech could've easily incorporated media player controls.
  • Due to Bluetooth connectivity, there's a small amount of latency in audio (only noticeable when watching videos, obviously).
  • It's twice the size of the Jambox, so it's not as portable.
  • It doesn't automatically reconnect to your device when it's turned on. You either have go into settings on your Android device an manually connect it, or wait to enable Bluetooth until after you've turned on the speaker. And that's pretty annoying.
  • Speakers get quite distorted at higher volumes.

Conclusion

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The Logitech Z515 is a good portable speaker, but it's not great. At half the price of the Jawbone Jambox (which, let's face it, is the king of all Bluetooth speakers), there's no arguing that the Z515 does offer a pretty nice bang for your buck. But, even though it's half the price of the Jambox, it's also twice the size, which makes it quite a bit less portable.

However, I can throw my tablet, a Bluetooth keyboard, and this speaker in my bag, and have a full audio experience no matter where I go. Depending on what I have to do, I actually prefer this setup over my laptop to get some work done. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what I did to write this review in its entirety. 

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • shaneyv

    There's much better bluetooth speakers out there, and they're not by Logitech OR Jawbone.

    • Spencerar

      And without providing examples, you've diminished the value of your statement considerably.

  • Sootie

    I still think there is a massive gap in the i device / bluetooth doc category. All makers seem to be obsessed with dicking around cramming as many tiny speakers into their designs as possible, all I want is 1 6 inch speaker with the correct sized box and a decent tweeter and amp I dont care about stereo or anything I just want something with good bass and mids that I can connect to and you cant do bass with small speakers (no matter how hard you try bose...)

  • http://twitter.com/betafan7 betafan7

    Or, for about 30.00, throw a britelink bluetooth receiver on your existing stereo/home theater. I've been using mine for a couple months now, it works really well. I'm glad I didn't throw down 100.00+ for an additional piece of hardware to jam up my studio apartment.

  • http://twitter.com/os1r15 O Siris

    With CM7 (less luck with stock 2.3), my phone (captivate) automatically connects when the speaker powers on. I think some people are missing the point of this speaker. It sounds pretty good, can get reasonably loud, and has a decent battery life. Your home theater system isn't portable. A 6" speaker + tweeter isn't really portable, after you add the battery needed to drive that decently for a few hours. I agree though, media buttons on the device would be a great addition. 

  • aphoto

    The Creative D100 is a good alternative. Cheaper, but a bit bigger.