With the Life n Soul BM101 Bluetooth Speaker, you get what you pay for in terms of sound, battery life, weight and size. At $24.99, this pair of speakers is straightforward in its function with only three buttons: one for on, off and Bluetooth connect, and two for the track and volume.
During a hike up Mt. Werner in Steamboat Springs Resort, Colorado, I synched the speaker to a strap on the side of my pack with the speaker’s retractable loop. The speaker amplified the sound more than loud enough for me hiking alone and while hiking with two other men I had met along the trail. Especially for such a small speaker, it adjusts well to bass-heavy songs, muffling neither the bass nor the lyrics and other instruments.
The main downside to these speakers that I found during this hike was the life of the battery. The battery lasted two and a half hours of continuous playing on a full charge, leaving me without music for the final two hours of my hike and for dinner at the top.
Batteries of other speakers of similar size tend to last double the time, and that of speakers three times the size can last ten hours longer. For a very short day hike or a night star gazing, these speakers will last just long enough. For anything longer, bring a portable battery pack and the supplied charging cable for a re-charge on the go.
The speaker compensates for its short battery life in size and weight. It stayed snug to the side of my pack the entire hike, never swinging around or hitting me in the back of the arm, and weighs about the same as my MSR PocketRocket Stove.
My second trip with this speaker during a camping trip at Stillwater Reservoir in the Flattop Mountains in northwest Colorado tested its “water resistant build.” During a thirty-minute period of rain, the latex exterior prevented the water from seeping inside the speaker, so I never needed to shelter the speakers inside my pack. Throughout the brief storm, the speaker continued to deliver consistent sound and bass and dried easily once the rain had stopped.
Although the speaker performed well during this and two other stints in the rain, I would not completely submerge the speakers in water nor leave it on the outside of my pack in heavier rains. Life n Soul has designed the BM215 IPX7 Waterproof Speaker series for situations in which the speaker is in extremely wet conditions.
The speaker’s battery again lasted only two and a half hours, long enough for the beginning of the hike, but not for the end or the night, during which I switched to another Bluetooth speaker.
The Life n Soul BM101 Bluetooth Speaker is portable, lightweight and plays your music with good sound quality. However, its short battery life makes it more suitable for short day hikes or using at home.
Size/Model Tested: Life n Soul BM101 White Speakers
Colors Available: Black, white, pink, blue, purple
Dimensions: 1 inch in diameter, 1 ½ inch height
Weight: 3 oz