We got our hands on the in-demand portable speaker system SDigital Bass Cruzer, and as I played around with it I couldn’t help but think about how implausible the price tag is for what I was hearing.
Design (4 Stars)
The Bass Cruzer looks like a jerry can or some sort of futuristic energy source from a 90s cartoon. And for the intended use of this device, the rugged polygonal aesthetic is most reassuring.
The outer shell is made of tough, molded plastic tightly sealed together by a combination of adhesive and large screws. The exoskeleton extends to a large carry handle on the top, while a metal mesh covers the front. It is dust-proof, with the whole thing sealed up including the control knob and buttons; the connection ports have glued-to-the-shell rubber covers as well.
The controls have a sixteen-segment display (SISD), a volume knob and buttons that are illuminated by LED lights on either end of the control panel.
In terms of portability apart from the main handle, the Bass Cruzer has a pull-out handle and built-in wheels allowing the speaker system to be wheeled around like luggage. The only issue I had with these features is that they do not feel as solid as the rest of the device–the handle doesn’t lock properly and the wheels could be bigger and rubberized–but otherwise the whole thing is built well.
Hardware (4.5 Stars)
At the heart of the Bass Cruzer is a powerful 8-inch main driver with a paper-polymer composite cone, and a secondary 3-inch, high pitched driver. Together, they have a frequency response of 20Hz to 20,000Hz and produce a maximum of 2800W in peak music power output (PMPO), allowing the speaker system to reproduce audio in high fidelity.
How is it, you may ask, that a portable device is able to produce that much power without needing to be constantly plugged in? Well, the thing carries a 12V, sealed, lead-acid battery (similar to what you would find powering a motorcycle) which does wonders to its power-to-weight ratio. Battery life is at a respectable three hours, considering the amount of sheer power it puts out.
To further enhance the listening experience, the Bass Cruzer has a built-in digital signal processor and five equalizer presets. The speaker system supports multiple connections from Bluetooth (A2DP and AVRCP), line-in, radio and USB sources.
The Bass Cruzer comes with a battery-powered wireless microphone and an AC adaptor. People can opt to use an analogue mic or plug in an instrument using the two quarter inch auxiliary inputs. The speaker system also has two 3.5 mm inputs and a USB port.
User Experience (4.5 stars)
SDigital’s Bass Cruzer is a great thing to have for people who can’t commit to an expensive audio system, but still want above average audio. It delivers on its promise of full sound at a fraction of the cost of similar speaker systems. Thanks to SDigital’s attention to detail, the driver is able to reproduce a broad range with a lively tone and no distortion. The highs, mids and lows all sound great even at high volumes–no broken or tinny sound here.
The Bass Cruzer is a great replacement for standard home Bluetooth speakers, as well as a portable PA system for events, or even as a nice little busking companion. Portability for such applications is no issue as well since it is not heavy, it stands quite petite compared to other portable speaker systems, and it can be pulled around on its wheels.
The only real problem I have with the Bass Cruzer is its lack of equalizer customizability. While the sound is already nice and neat when just using the Flat preset, the ability to tweak the sound a bit more to fit the preference of the listener or the type of music being listened to would have been nice. And the programmed presets don’t quite match what I want to hear 100 percent of the time.
Value (5 stars)
The Bass Cruzer costs PHP 8,999 retail. Let that sink in for a moment. This thing can compete with big brands in terms of output without having to put that big a dent in your bank account. And that is just the essence of value right there.
High bang-for-back ratio
Limited EQ settings
The Bass Cruzer is a highly functional beast of a device that could hold its own even against speaker systems twice or thrice as expensive.