+ neutral tonal tuning
+ precise, rich bass
+ MicroSD card reader and analog input
- with light effects hardly any battery life
Sound: Tonal Balance / Transparency5.8
Sound: Bass / Dynamics6.2
Ease-of-use / Connectivity9.1
Price / Performance9.6
The last mobile speaker by Tronsmart which we had been reviewing happened to be the rather heavy Tronsmart Studio. It somehow reminded us of a quite popular model by a well-known US brand. Now, with the latest model called Tronsmart T7 Mini, again this thought is imminantly arising: This shape we have seen before!
So what is the deal if from afare there is nothing new to set this model apart from the competition? We give you two figures which might shake up the market: 35 Dollars is the recommended price for this portable outdoor speaker, and 18 hours is the maximum runtime promised by the manufacturer. These are two bold statements in one, and buyers might be gladly welcoming additional features like a small LED ring, a nice carrying strap and the IPX7 class water resistance.
Lots of features
There is more than the standard to report when it comes to playback options: in addition to Bluetooth version 5.3, the Tronsmart T7 Mini accepts analog signals, and has a card slot for MicroSD memory cards. So you don´t even have to use your smartphone to let it play music.
The off/on button also lets you choose the desired source. Everthing about operating this little rounded speaker is based on multi-functionality of each key: The volume buttons you can use for skipping tracks by double-clicking it, the play button controls no less than 5 different functions. To cut long story short: You need a proper manual. And there is a quite detailed one. Once you have learned the functions, you will certainly appreciate the mic for accepting or rejecting calls as well as activating the voice assistant of your choice.
On the other hand, there is a separate button for the colored LED ring, which is creating some kind of a mini lightshow. Nice feature, but using it is eating up battery life considerably: from 18 to 8 hours. At least a wildly flashing red LED is calling for charging when it is getting close to critical battery level.
Advertising and reality
The Tronsmart T7 Mini is equipped with a full-range driver on the baffle and a passive compound drive for the bass in the back. Its power amplifier is supposed to provide a whopping 15 watts. Who on earth has told the brand to advertise “Ultimate Stereo Sound” with this arrangement? That, my friends, seems to be impossible with the given monaural system. You might, on the other hand, buy a second unit and activate pairing mode for real stereo.
A hint of megalomania can be found when examining the tec spec sheet (would anyone do that when purchasing a speaker for 35 bucks?). Consider us true believers, but the claimed frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hz would not fool anyone.
Colour options are somewhat limited to simply black. The manufacturer includes both a USB-C cable for charging and a jack cable for connecting analog sources.
The Tronsmart T7 Mini offers convincing sound
The Bluetooth speaker is not only called T7 Mini, it also sounds like a smaller rendition of the Tronsmart T7. You can easily recognise a similarly neutral tonal balance, pleasantly balanced vocal reproduction and well-structured treble. For its size, it delivers a decent, tight bass. You even get the impression of listening to differentiated details in the lower region and get certain kick. The max SPL is also convincing given the limited size of the speaker.
However, one thing is fundamentally different to the Tronsmart T7: the T7 Mini does not have a tweeter. Accordingly, one should not expect refined audiophile resolution, nor is it designed for ominidirectional sound. Mids and especially treble tend to be focussing to the area directly in front of the speaker, so it is a good idea to choose a reasonable listening position to get the maximum of sound qualitly. For people standing behind the rounded speaker, it might sound comparatively dull.
Tronsmart T7 Mini: Alternatives
As mentioned, the Tronsmart T7 Mini is not the only speaker of this shape: the more expensive Sony SRS-XB13 and the Dockin D Mini come to our minds. But it is without any doubt the best buy among this bunch. The Sharp GX-BT60 offers some more treble details, but sounds not as substantial as the Tronsmart T7 Mini. Even with the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2, which is more than twice as expensive, it can almost keep up in terms of sound.