We’d like to thank xqisit again for sending us the new and latest xqPRO, we’ve had a brilliant time using and testing the xqPRO, but as always we’re here to point out what we liked and didn’t like about the speaker (check out our unboxing gallery if you haven’t done so yet).
The brand name says it all – xqisit, and the product itself is nothing short of that, the xqPRO is a very glossy speaker. Touch controls are all built within the top of its glossy shell, there are no actual buttons to press until you reach your fingers to its rear where you’ll find its on/off switch, USB port and AUX-in.
xqisit has called the xqPRO a pocket speaker , this seems to be a term used very frequently, however we think ‘portable speaker’ maybe more suitable because the xqPRO is certainly not something you’ll be able to manage to fit in any pocket. On the other hand, a purse, a camera case, you might have better luck with.
If you took this out of your rugsack in front of your friends, they’re be intrigued by its high-end elegant design, it feels well built, and sturdy for a portable speaker. However, because of this, you’ll also feel very protective of it, the xqPRO is best placed someone on a bookshelf or next to the TV at home, its not been designed with going outdoors in mind – it’ll easily be scratched if one is not careful (hence xqisit have provided a carrying case).
Here’s a quick recap of all its key features:
- Hands-free kit with integrated microphone
- Touchpanel for extremely simple operation
- 6W HD stereo music power with passive subwoofer
- Integrated LI-ion battery pack (USB charger cable included)
- Up to 10 hours operating time
- Recharging time: 3 hours
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Bluetooth 2.1: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
- Voice prompting in English
The basic functions of the xqPRO are fairly straight forward to use, we paired it to a range of devices with ease including MacBook Pro, iPhone 4S, Galaxy S3 and even the car – Audi MMI 3G. To initiate pairing, start by pressing and holding the circle on the top of the speaker. From there on its simple because the xqPRO talks to you and tells you what is happening.
Because the xqPRO has its own built in microphone, once you’re paired, it acts more than just a bluetooth speaker, given that your device supports it, the xqPRO will be your hands-free microphone as well, this worked well when paired with my car but also with my MacBook Pro for Skype for example.
As the xqPRO has its own integrated passive subwoofer, it is capable of amplifying your music or what ever you’re asking it to play substantially, the sound quality is average.
In addition to just tapping ‘-‘ or ‘+’ to change volume, xqisit have also given the xqPRO additional functions to make it standout from the crowd, but here is where we are not so sure.
By tapping the touch panel you can control the paired bluetooth device, for example iTunes on my MacBook Pro or my iPhone. Tapping the circle will either play/pause iTunes or answer/end a call. Sliding two fingers from left to right will allow you to play the next song and likewise, sliding to the left plays the previous song. Tapping the circle again but twice will allow you to answer third party or to toggle between third party call and original call.
There are also other combinations, sliding one finger from left to right rejects an incoming call, while doing the same during a phone call will activate mute. To deactivate mute, tap on either ‘-‘ or ‘+’.
As you can see, all the different combination of strokes and functions seem very clever but are quite confusing, my criticism is that I’m not sure the xqPRO needs to have this feature. You see, there are only a few situations where a bluetooth speaker is needed. With majority of devices these days having decent built in sound systems, the need for an external speaker is when you need to play your music even louder in a spacious environment for example at a BBQ in your garden. However in situations like these you’d usually have your paired device (ie iPhone) in your hand, its unlikely that one would walk to the speaker and stroke it to change songs. I agree with tapping it to change volume but probably not to change songs as it doesn’t have a screen anyway to tell me what the next song is.
In addition to my dilemma the touch control isn’t exactly the best, its not very sensitive, sometimes its abit of a hit and miss, my greatest bugbear of all is that there is no feedback from the device, it doesn’t give you a vibration or a shake, on several occasions we’ve sat there stroking and tapping it but nothing happened. If I can’t control it at home on my desk how could I tap it to answer phone calls when driving and my eyes are on the road? I am sure xqisit would not endorse anyone trying to master this while driving however this is the whole point of having a handsfree kit.
Hence, we think xqisit should stick to what they’re good at, making a decent portable speaker.
The xqisit xqPRO costs £119.99 to buy via MobileFun and Amazon, that is not unreasonable however there are certainly more affordable options available that offer similar features. But if you’ve seen the design and you’ve fallen in love with it, you’ll be getting yourself a decent portable bluetooth speaker that will last a good 10-hours playing time with every charge. We’re not so sure about its multi-touch control panel but if you’re only after a good looking speaker that does its basic job well then you can’t really go wrong.
Be sure to check out our unboxing gallery as well.
What we liked:
- Elegant, high end glossy design
- Built in microphone to act as hands-free kit
- Built in passive subwoofer
- Options to use bluetooth or AUX-in
What we didn’t like:
- A little pricey
- Too bulky to be pocket size
- Difficult to use multi-touch controls
- Average sound quality