The demand for affordable Bluetooth speakers has been growing of late, and a lot of manufacturers are getting into the game with interesting options. Many of these speakers are very basic in their approach, focusing only on sound, with a simple, acceptable design. Some others aim to be rugged, making them suitable for use outdoors and in seemingly rough conditions.
Today, we're reviewing the Envent LiveFree 530 BT Speaker, which is officially priced at Rs. 2,999, but can be purchased online for as little as Rs. 1,999. It features a plastic body with a rugged modern design, and offers some level of durability along with a promise of good sound. Does the LiveFree 530 BT have what it takes to challenge some of the established players in the affordable speaker market? Find out in our review.
Envent LiveFree 530 BT Speaker design and specifications
The Envent LiveFree 530 BT Speaker features a unique, all-plastic design that feels modern and rugged at the same time. It's primarily black in colour, with orange or blue accents depending on which option you go for, and exposed metal bolts. The speaker is front-firing, with two 40mm 5W drivers powering the sound. There's also a 2000mAh battery, which should power the speaker for about 5 hours on a full charge.
The ruggedness isn't only for show; the LiveFree 530 BT is rated IP65 for water resistance, along with dust and shock resistance. Charging is through a Micro-USB port, and there is also a 3.5mm input for wired connectivity. Both are located under a protective flap that seals them when not in use to protect against water damage. The bottom of the speaker has rubber grips to keep it firmly in place despite heavy vibrations when audio is playing. Strangely, there's also a tripod mount at the bottom.
The top of the speaker has a row of buttons, inclduing controls for play/ pause/ call answer, power, volume/ skip, and previous. There's an indicator at the front, which illuminates when the speaker is on or in pairing mode. Additionally, there's a rubber strap at the top for easy carrying, and the front grille features very small pores, which helps keep water out of the speaker drivers.
Envent LiveFree 530 BT Speaker performance
We tested the Envent LiveFree 530 BT Speaker with our OnePlus 3 (Review), connected over Bluetooth as well as using the stereo cable. Focus tracks for the review were Dave Horne's QED, Daft Punk's Get Lucky, and Jay-Z's Show Me What You Got.
Starting with the progressive house track QED, we noticed that the LiveFree 530 provides well-defined bass, and an exciting level of thump and drive. The low-end response is excellent, with an aggressive sound that is strong and pleasing, particularly with fast-paced electronic tracks. The mid-range sounds decent as well, as do the highs. On the whole, the sonic signature can be considered flat, with a bit of a spike at the low end. Bass sounds excellent at all volumes, with no tearing even at relatively high levels. Although there is a loss of quality at peak volume, this isn't a serious concern as the speaker can get loud enough for most situations even at less than its highest volume level.
Moving on to Get Lucky, we found that the speaker produces a clean sound, and the mid-range was a bit better than with the previous track. Pharrell Williams' vocals are well defined and good to hear, as are the synthesised voice parts. The speaker is particularly capable when handling variations and subtleties in the sound, with decent imaging as well. The soundstage does come across as a bit narrow, though.
With Show Me What You Got, we found that the speaker has a bit of trouble keeping up with tracks where too much is going on. Hip hop tracks such as this one don't sound as good as a result, with the mids feeling a bit too sharp at times. Nonetheless, the speaker does manage to read individual elements in tracks easily.
The Envent LiveFree 530 BT has an in-built microphone, which allows it to be used as a hands-free device for calls. Thanks to the speaker's strong handling of vocals, voices sound clear and defined, and this works well. We were able to have proper conversations using the LiveFree 530, and all of this makes the speaker one of the most capable options in its price segment.
The Envent LiveFree 530 BT Speaker is a surprisingly good option for the price, thanks to its good design and decent sound. The ruggedness is a huge added advantage, as there aren't a lot of products that give you this level of durability, particularly at this price. The sound is excellent with electronic music, but can generally hold its own with almost every genre. Bass sounds great, and volume can get quite high without any significant loss in audio quality.
There are plenty of excellent options from bigger brands in this price range, such as the Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker, LeEco Letv Bluetooth Speaker, and Altec Lansing Dual Motion Bluetooth Speaker. However, the Envent LiveFree 530 BT may well be worth considering over these, because of its better durability and styling.
Price (MRP): Rs. 2,999
Ratings (Out of 5)