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Ivation Acoustix
Splashproof Bluetooth & FM Speaker

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   

Usage   Recommendations   More

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ivation Acoustix

Ivation Acoustix (Bluetooth, FM radio & 3.5mm inputs, 14.7 oz./416g, IPX 7 water resistant, about $99.99). enlarge. I'd get it at Amazon.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

September 2015   Audio Reviews   All Reviews

ivation Acoustix

Top, Ivation Acoustix. enlarge.

 

Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   

Usage   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

The Ivation Acoustix is a rechargeable battery-powered, splashproof Bluetooth speaker with a built-in FM radio, as well as a 3.5mm audio input.

It has a vacuum-fluorescent display that's legible day and night, as well as buttons to control music and phone calls back on your phone. It has a microphone for incoming calls.

I use it with my iPhone 6 Plus; it should work with everything Bluetooth.

It uses the same hot-rod bass technology as Bose to cram as much sound as possible into a speaker the size of a jumbo hot dog bun. If you play it loud, it's doing all it can not to jump off the table from all the vibration.

 

Specifications         top

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Water Resistance

IPX 7, rated for shower and boat use.

I didn't try it, but it's rated to float, and keep the speakers pointed up so it plays while relaxing in the pool with you.

 

Inputs

Bluetooth 4.0.

FM (internal antenna) with 10 presets.

3.5" stereo mini jack.

Microphone for use with phone via Bluetooth.

 

Amplifier

"4 watts per channel."

 

Drivers

Two 35mm (1⅓") flat drivers.

One rubber passive radiator.

 

Cabinet

Soft plastic with perforated metal grill.

Rubber cover for connectors.

Silver-painted plastic fold-out handles on each end.

 

Power and Battery

Micro USB port for charging.

Internal 2,500 mAh lithium-polymer battery pack.

Rated for 9 hours play time.

Universal (100-240V, 50/60 Hz) USB wall adapter included.

 

Size

2½" x 7" x 2¼" HWD.

 

Weight

14.680 oz. (416.1g).

 

Included

Speaker.

Nice rubbery USB cord — now my favorite that I use for charging everything!

USB wall power adapter.

Short lanyard with carabiner.

 

Model Number

IVACTXSL.

 

Compatible with

Apple and Android.

 

Price, USA

$99.99, September 2015.

 

Performance         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

 

Sound

As I expect today from most speakers, it's optimized to sound smooth and well balanced.

 

Bass

Bass performance depends on where you put it.

Put it in a corner to reinforce the bass for best results.

There will be no bass placed on a table near no walls. This is the same as with all speakers.

It has solid response to 140 Hz, and falls off below that. It has clean output down to about 70 Hz, below which it's more harmonics than fundamental.

It does as well as any other good Bluetooth speaker this size.

 

Volume Control

The volume control only has 16 levels, including mute. It has only 15 levels for Bluetooth.

Sadly they seem to be a linear taper, so it only controls the volume over a small range. Most of the top 8 levels are about the same.

Nice it that is recalls the volume you last used for each input as you switch among them.

Bad is that the limited range of the control makes it impossible to play the radio softly indoors; even the first step will be too loud for background music.

Oddly the radio's level is much louder than Bluetooth, and the volume control isn't much help. The radio goes very loud, while Bluetooth is quieter.

 

Power Output

It plays more than loud enough indoors.

Outdoors it works well, too, especially if you put it in a corner or against a wall. It won't be earshattering in a large yard, but it can fill your yard with plenty of background music or annoy everyone at the beach.

Put it in a corner and it can fill the yard with background music.

 

Bluetooth Range

Bluetooth range is about the same as everything else; about 30 feet (10 meters) in my house, same as the $300 audioengine B2 with its outboard antenna.

 

Bluetooth Function

It's easy to pair. It comes up simply as "Acoustix."

Really slick is that the VFL display rolls the name of what music is playing!

Also slick is that the waterproof remote controls on the speaker control music playback from my iPhone. I can leave my phone where it's dry, and control and see most of it from this speaker.

The volume control on either the phone or the speaker controls the volume on both devices at the same time. The display shows levels as changed from either end as 0 to 15.

Oddly Bluetooth doesn't plays as loud as the radio.

You have to hit "Play" again when returning from out of range. It will reconnect automatically, but doesn't restart playing.

If you've turned off Bluetooth on your phone, you'll have to go into settings and reselect this speaker.

A big blue LED blinks every 11 seconds, visible through the front grill.

 

FM Radio

The antenna is hidden inside the case, so it only gets local stations.

If Bluetooth is connected, the blue LED still blinks every 11 seconds while playing the radio.

It's a pain to program the presets; it's much easier to tap the << and >> to scan among the few stations it gets.

 

Phone

If a call comes in, it will show the caller ID on its display. Tap the phone icon to answer.

You can't dial out from the speaker, but a one-press redial calls back the last person in your call log.

Call waiting should let you switch between 2 calls.

 

Display

The display is the best part of this speaker.

The vacuum fluorescent (VFL) dot matrix display tells us what's playing as well as the volume and battery levels.

It's always on.

It's visible in any light. It's perfect indoors and in bright shade, and it's even visible somewhat under direct sunlight.

It has caller ID and reads what's playing from the Music app in my iPhone. It's also supposed to read songs when you're playing from apps like Pandora.

 

Battery & Power

It draws 400 mA when playing and charging, or when just charging.

You'll see a red LED from the front while charging. It turns green when charged to abotu 80%.

It still draws 110mA when it turns green, and the current draw drops to 20 mA over the next several hours as it approaches 100%.

Don't worry about hitting 100%; it's acually better for the battery to charge to 80% each time.

 

Usage         top

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Battery & Power

You have to hold the power button for three seconds to turn it on or off.

There is a small amount of power drain even when off, so it will run down by itself after several weeks of disuse. If you want it always ready to grab, leave it plugged in.

ivation Acoustix

Top, Ivation Acoustix. enlarge.

 

Input Selection & Pairing

A quick tap of the dot button immediately to the left of the display swaps inputs.

Hold it several seconds to pair Bluetooth.

 

Radio

Any radio app will play any station from anywhere on any Bluetooth speaker. This speaker has a separate FM radio tuner to pick up local stations with no need for any phone or data or anything else; just turn it on and it will play the radio.

A quick tap of the << or >> buttons will scan the radio.

A longer hold on the << or >> buttons will tune manually in 100 kHz steps.

I never bothered to figure out how to program the presets; it's faster simply to tap to scan the few stations it receives.

 

Use in the Dark

The display is always on and works great day or night, but the the dark buttons are invisible.

You'll have to memorize them by feel.

 

Recommendations         top

Sample Images   Intro   Specs   Performance

Compared   Usage   Recommendations   More

This Bluetooth speaker stands out for its great daylight-visible, always-on display and built-in radio. it sounds as good as anything else this small, and will take a beating and a dunking.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you get yours via these links to it at Amazon. When you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live, it helps me keep adding to this free website — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. I use the sources I do because they have the best prices, service, return policies and selection— and they ship from secure remote warehouses where no customers or salesmen can get their sticky hands on your new speaker before you do.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

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22 September 2015