That’s the name — The Beats Pill. It doesn’t have Dr. Dre’s name attached, which is odd for something from the Beats line. But with that distinct red “b” logo and the $200 price tag, there’s no mistaking the pedigree.
Also odd is the size. It’s very small. But after listening to the Pill’s quartet of 1-inch drivers firing in unison, you’ll realize size doesn’t matter — well, at least not when it comes to decibels.
Indoors and out, I was consistently amazed at how loud this portable, 12-watt Bluetooth unit could get. Even in a larger room, the Pill had no trouble drowning out all existing ambient sounds.
Unfortunately, while volume was never an issue, bass response was. Given its diminutive design, I certainly wasn’t expecting a floor-shaking performance. But the Pill’s low end is nearly nonexistent — not a transgression you’d expect from the company that built its sonic signature around the bottom-most frequencies.
That means while acoustic and vocal tracks sounded acceptable, any other genre of music where a drum is involved sounded lifeless and anemic. There’s definitely something to be said for shrinking things down for more portability. But in this case, physics definitely won out over engineering. And considering there are better-sounding Bluetooth speakers for half the cash (and great ones for just a little bit more), this ultimately became a bitter Pill to swallow.