Bytech Portable Mini Speaker

Review updated: 07.21.09 – see end for update

Up this week is a product that I found a week later than I actually needed it the Bytech Portable Mini Speaker from Best Buy in the mobile phone department for $19.99. It is a 2 inch speaker with a rechargeable battery and accordion type “subwoofer”.

In the box:
2 inch speaker with 3.5mm connector
3.5mm extension
2.5mm adapter
USB cable
“user manual” (using the word manual very loosely here)

The USB and 3.5mm extension cable are convenient and retractable and stow easily, the 2.5mm adapter on the other hand is something that if you don’t need immediately will most likely make its way to the back of your junk drawer never to be seen again.

Not sure what to expect from a 2.8 watt speaker that fit in the palm of my hand and featured an accordion subwoofer I was actually very unimpressed when I pulled it out of the box and plugged it into my iPhone, mainly because the GSM noise coming from it, this was sold in the mobile phone section. I promptly unplugged and added the 3.5mm extension and turned it on with earplugs firmly in place, no need to flare up the tinnitus if I don’t have to. Once again, not really that impressed, I was glad that I bought it local and not online so I wouldn’t have any problem taking it back, but I decided to give it another go, turn down the volume and let it run for a while and see if a little break-in period would help. I’m glad I did, the speaker actually doesn’t sound that bad and that’s fully closed so I unlock it and ready myself for the accordion subwoofer to shake the room and well, it didn’t but it did add some depth to the sound and was quite pleasant. For what it is and what I need it for, basically chucking it in my backpack for a little music relief this summer when out in the world, it is small, doesn’t require much space and it can be used with the items I normally carry around if needed. It is far from the sound quality of a decent set of headphones or speakers but for a 2 inch speaker it pumps a nice volume level.

My walking around pack has a Solio charger (and adapters), iPod/iPhone cable, and now the small speaker with retractable cables and they all fit in a tiny pocket with an energy bar and my lucky platypus and I still have room for the odd Clif Bar or two.

+ price, in the grand scheme $20 isn’t that much and it is small, I’ve seen other versions for around $10

+ you could plug it into an iPod and put it in your pocket playing music at a low level all day and when people ask if you hear that music you could look at them and say “what music” as you pull out your phone that isn’t playing music
+ if you are a cubicle dweller and “the man” frowns upon you using company equipment for entertainment it is easily slid into a desk drawer 

+ battery life is pretty impressive
+ the possibilities for use are actually pretty open
+ the retractrable cables are convenient for other items, the USB adapter is USB to mini-USB


- requires a small break-in period to sound good
- GSM noise if you don’t use the extension

  • it would have been nice instead of a retractable extension 3.5mm cable if the retractable extension was built into the unit

Final: Recommended Conditional Recommendation*

*UPDATE – As I stated above this was bought in the mobile phone department of Best Buy which is unfortunate since it suffers from an annoying GSM static feedback issue with prolonged use and this is with the 3.5mm extension cable, it should be sold in the portable audio section, it pairs well with an iPod or other portable player but not with an iPhone.