We have reviewed many Bluetooth speakers before, with one of the best all-rounders being the Polk Camden Square for its size, sound quality and price. There are better choices on the market, but then you will have to start paying over the odds. Anyway, it’s not always about mid to high-range models, as those with less disposal income always look for more budget friendly options, and the KitSound Hive 2 speaker is just one example.
The reason we mentioned this model is because we were sent one to review, and we were a little weary at first because of its small size, and price, because while its usual price is £60, the likes of Amazon and Tesco have recently been selling it for much less than that.
It never really is a good thing to pass judgment even before giving something a chance, and so it was from that moment we had an open mind, as this is the best way to not be disappointed.
The Review – The first thing you will notice is just how small the Hive 2 speaker is, and so making it very portable – ideal for camping trips, or even travelling abroad on your holidays. We do find it strange when we have seen reviews in the past suggesting it is small enough to fit in the pocket of your jeans and still sit down – trust us, we did try this and it’s not something we would even recommend.
Stepping back a little, we have to tell you about the packaging, and that is a clear, hard shell to help protect your speaker. This sits on top of a cardboard box that hides the accessories inside, which includes 3.5 mm aux-in cable, USB charge cable, User manual and a Carry bag.
The speaker itself is heavier than what we assumed, which means the hardware doing all the hard work inside is of a decent enough quality. Often, the light ones are those that do not offer enough in terms of depth of sound, and so this did fill us with positivity. We are not too certain about the rugged, rubberised feel, but we do like how the feet seem to stick to the surface when placed in position, meaning it’s less likely to move.
We do like the copper-look grille, which does seem to give it a slight premium look, although its sturdy, honeycomb design at the front will stop any damage happening to that front metal fascia. The top of the speaker has four buttons, and these are on and off, Bluetooth, and the volume up and down buttons. There is not much going on at the rear, as you just have the headphone jack and a micro USB port.
You do not have to be a genius to get the speaker connected to your Bluetooth device, as you just need to turn Bluetooth on your phone, tablet or other device and then turn the speaker on and it will start to scan automatically. We have tested other products in the past, and connecting to Bluetooth has been some what tricky a times, but the Hive 2 connected every time without fail, and so this is something to remember if you have also had similar issues. We did have a little try with NFC connection, but there were some mixed results, and so never bothered after that.
Hiding inside are a couple of 40mm active drivers, which deliver 6W of RMS output, and so a total of of 12W, which works in conjunction with a bass radiator to offer some depth. We’re told to expect full bass with exciting sound reproduction, and so we are only too pleased to see if this is actually true or not. We did try several songs, across a broad array of music genres, and were very impressed with the sound coming from this speaker. Ok, so we were never going to get sounds like we did from the Polk Camden Square, although we never expected it to, seeing as though that cost around £150 at the time. However, the acoustics are great, and seems to hold up very well, although the quality does tend to suffer when that volume is turned up towards its highest setting.
Please do not let a little bit of distortion put you off though, as there are not many times you will want to play your music that loud – well not on this device anyway. We are not trying to put the Hive 2 down, as we know how much it costs, and so people should never expect too much.
We found during our tests that the battery is capable of lasting around 12 hours. Although with charging taking from 4 to 5 hours, you need to make sure you charge way in advance, or you might be left without music. What we do like though is how when we left the speaker untouched for 15 minutes with no music being played through it, the device powered itself down to conserve battery life.
Pros and Cons – The sound is better than you would assume with a decent amount of bass for its size. Its portable and light, although a bit heavier than you would assume, and Bluetooth connection works every time without fail, and its low price point is a huge positive. As for the negative, we feel that NFC is nothing more than a gimmick in this speaker and it is not the most stylish looking one on the market, and the material used means it is more susceptible to dust, sand, water and other such elements. The cables supplied could do with being longer, and of a better quality.
Our overall impression – The KitSound Hive 2 is a decent bit of kit when you take in to consideration two factors, its size and price. The hardware crammed inside does a great job and really will surprise you, and we were also impressed with the battery life. However, if we could change anything, then it would be that rubberised finish, because we can already see a huge number of fingerprints and dust on the speaker. Oh, and it would be better to have longer, better quality cables.
If you would more details, then please visit the official KitSound website.