Lumsing B9 speaker review: Don't let the cheap price fool you

The NFC-enabled Lumsing Bluetooth Speaker will you surprise you, especially after you see the £18.99 price tag (available from Amazon). Budget Bluetooth speakers never seem to be that good, mainly thanks to the low budget components used in such speakers. While this speaker does use low-cost budget components, the audio quality is surprisingly pleasant. That, coupled with its compact form-factor and 25-hour claimed battery life, makes it an ideal companion for those spontaneous trips to the beach.

See also: All Bluetooth speaker reviews

It has Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR, which means that it’ll connect to any recent Bluetooth-compatible PC, laptop, tablet or phone. While this is fine, more and more Bluetooth speakers these days use Bluetooth 4.0 LE - the new Bluetooth standard that consumes less energy, maximising the battery life of your device. With that being said, this is a budget speaker and for £18.99 what more can you ask for?

For those of you that shy away from Bluetooth (for reasons such as audio compression or connection issues) there are several other ways to connect. It has an Aux In connection for use with an audio cable with a 3.5 mm jack and a 55 cm cable is included with the speaker. There are benefits to using the physical connection opposed to Bluetooth with the main one being no further audio compression. When you use Bluetooth to play music, the audio stream undergoes lossy compression, reducing overall sound quality.

We noticed an unusual loss of volume when using the Aux In connection with an iPhone’s headphone jack. While the speaker is quite loud when using Bluetooth, the volume was almost cut in half when using a physical connection - and that’s with the phone’s volume up full. It’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, but definitely something to keep in mind if you intend on using it as a wired device.

It also has a microSD Card slot that’s very simple to use - just slot in the card and the speaker will automatically change modes, giving you an audio prompt as it does so. During testing we used an SD card with 5 songs, each a different file type to see what’s supported. To our surprise, we noticed that the only file format that is apparently supported is MP3, a highly compressed (while still popular) file type.

The speaker itself has 2x 3W amps with 2x full range drivers at the front with a passive bass radiator at the rear, helping to deliver a more rounded audio experience. While it uses a Class D chip (which is very efficient in terms of the battery power it sips) the audio quality was overall quite impressive, even at high volume - something that seems to catch many budget speakers out.

The mid range is impressive, making it great for spoken word and singing. The bass radiator on the back of the speaker also helps to deliver low range audio, getting rid of the tinny effect that some speakers have. It held its own and sounded great against a variety of genres of music, from Jazz to Dubstep.

There’s one thing about this speaker that really threw us out when we first used it; the +/- buttons on the top of the speaker change the track by default, with volume control possible only by holding the button down for a few seconds. Having the ability to skip the track directly from the speaker isn’t something that’s particularly frowned upon; we just don’t understand why it isn’t the other way around. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have volume controls set to button press and track skipping set to button hold?

Overall we’d say the Lumsing Bluetooth Speaker is definitely worth its £18.99 price tag because of the features that it has and that it doesn’t sound as tinny as other Bluetooth speakers of a similar price!

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Lumsing B9 Bluetooth Speaker: Specs

  • Stereo Bluetooth speaker
  • 2x 3w nominal power rating
  • 2x full-range drivers
  • 1x 60 x 30 mm bass radiator
  • Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR
  • 3.5 mm aux in
  • microSD card slot
  • NFC
  • USB cable
  • 3.5mm audio cable
  • 177 x 50 x 70 mm
  • 300g
  • Stereo Bluetooth speaker
  • 2x 3w nominal power rating
  • 2x full-range drivers
  • 1x 60 x 30 mm bass radiator
  • Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR
  • 3.5 mm aux in
  • microSD card slot
  • NFC
  • USB cable
  • 3.5mm audio cable
  • 177 x 50 x 70 mm
  • 300g

OUR VERDICT

The Lumsing B9 Bluetooth speaker is a good speaker for a good price. It has a variety of connection options and is fairly straight forward to use. Its reported 25 hour battery life means that it'll keep on going and the audio quality is a lot better than others in the same category.