I am going to start by explaining why I was so keen to review the Bric Connect. I like listening to music while I work sometimes. There, glad that’s out of the way. The Edifier Bric Connect is a portable Bluetooth Speaker, portable because you can use it with a battery not because it fits in your pocket. At a foot long, that’s 30cm to you crazy European guys, it’s not what I would call small and weighing in at 1.4kg, that’s 3.09lbs for you guys over the pond I wouldn’t call it light, however, it is small enough to fit in a bag and join you on your picnic.
I like opening boxes with gadgets in, I like the thrill of seeing something for the first time and looking at how lovingly packaged something is tells me a lot about the product. Having previously reviewed the beautiful Edifier Luna Eclipse desktop speakers I was quite disappointed by the box opening experience. I was hoping for more and I think I was let down by the overall aesthetic of the Bric Connect or as my wife called it “You’re not keeping that in the living room”. Inside the box, there was everything I would need, the speaker, an AC power supply, a remote control and a 3.5mm audio cable. However, there was also a lot of cheap vacuum formed plastic that did nothing to eschew the quality I had come to expect from Edifier. The Bric Connect is under £100 so I think that maybe my expectations were too high. The unit itself is fairly heavy and the two reflex ports make it look the part. There are power, volume control and phone button on the top of the unit and you can feel this product is an Edifier product when you press them. It is surprisingly well built especially considering that price tag and even though I could not really find a need for the remote most days it’s certainly nice to have.
When I test speakers, there are certain tracks I like to use, I am not an audiophile but I know what I like and I have a decent ear. I wanted to see whether the bass reflex ports were just for show or if they actually had a purpose and so I started with Hip Hop by Dead Prez, the deep kicks show up a lot of speakers but I was pretty impressed by the result from the Bric Connect. It was surprisingly clean and there was very little distortion if you know the track you have probably been annoyed by that long-sustained bass on speakers that sound bad, “stay real dogs”! Not part of my test but Hell Yeah may get added to my next review set simply because it sounded so good on the Bric. Next up was River and Sticks by Oakhurst, this is where I found a few holes in the Brics ability. Despite the fact that its 30cm long it struggled to separate the stereo and the midrange suffered a little being overpowered by the bass tones. The strings were bright and overall the sound was fairly good especially considering the size of the unit and I think I should point out that this test is unfair as these types of tests are designed to test the quality of a different type of product designed for a different type of job. Take the results of my audio tests for what they are, just a way to keep consistency. Finally, I finished by listening to Across this sky by Rag and Bone man, a bass-heavy track which is quite “clicky’ and with a hiss track over the top. It’s a great test for many speakers and again, it highlights the deficiencies of a product in this category but I would like to say that overall, for general use, this speaker did really well, it filled the room with good, well-balanced sound. If you want the best from it and you can be bothered, make sure its pointed directly at you.
Edifier claims the Bric Connect will give you 8 hours of continuous use if using batteries, well, this just isn’t true. I slipped a new packet of Duracell Plus Power batteries in, told Alexa to play my album list and went to Sunday lunch with the in-laws. It was awful, the chicken was dry, there were far too many sprouts, not enough roast potatoes and very watery gravy. However, when I got home that night the speaker was still going, it had made its way to John Legend on my playlist and showed no signs of slipping up. I gave it another hour and then it was time to let the kids sleep but the speaker was still going. I stopped the music at 7:15 pm. I had started my test at 11:45 am. That was 7 hours 30 minutes, the following day, I started the test at 9 am and finally, the music stopped at just after 12 pm. That’s 10.5 hours, isn’t it? I was using good quality batteries and didn’t have the music at full volume but I was very impressed and I wondered how long we could have gotten if I had used a phone or iPod with the audio jack.
I took the Bric to a gathering of friends and the great thing about using the Bric Connect with a group of you is the ability for anyone to connect their phone and share music. What isn’t so great is when one of your friends lets their wife play music “the kids will like” and you are forced to let everyone know that it is your music machine and you get to choose what is good or bad music. Susan, you are a wonderful woman but I refuse to listen to the wheels on the bus when I am having a drink. Susan’s stupid suggestions aside there were no complaints about the quality or volume of sound, in fact, one friend was so impressed he ordered one from Amazon (he got a refurb for £39.99) on the spot. He and his wife said it looked great but they drive a 2007 Fiat Multipla so we really should never listen to their opinion.
The Bric Connect features a mic so can be used as a hands-free kit for your mobile which means you don’t need to do something so uncivilised as put a handset against your ear and, whilst the incoming sound was fabulous the same could not be said for the outgoing. I found most people asked me to take them off of speaker. I suspect that the incoming sounds were bouncing off of the walls and playing back through the mic so whilst the sound was good, it wasn’t good enough to be used like this continually.
The dual 70mm speaker drivers and the class D amplifier work well to make the Bric Connect perform better than the sum of their parts and I was surprised that we managed to utilise the full 12 Watts of sound without distortion.
The Bric Connect is a solid performer. It doesn’t excel in any area but what it does it does really well. If you have to have the portability that this speaker provides but still want a device that will fill a room with good clear sound then you will struggle to find anything else in this price range that could compete.