Who would you trust to design a wireless speaker for a light party on a sunny beach? The residents of hot California, the temperamental Spaniards raging in a constant fiesta and, of course, the businessmen of Palanga should understand this best.
The latter are silent for the time being, we know very well what the Californian developers offer – JBL is one of the most popular choices in this product group, while the Spaniards create Energy Sistem products. Today you will have the opportunity to get to know the latter.
Energy Sistem’s first product was a UPS uninterruptible power supply system, but after some time the company discovered a musical streak within itself. Currently, Energy Sistem specializes only in products related to sound reproduction and offers a wide variety of products. The range starts with miniature MP3 players and ends with speakers more than a meter high. One of the most important places in the range is occupied by wireless speakers. Urban Box 5+ is the second most powerful cylindrical speaker of Energy Sistem, which will try to prove its worth today.
N. Davalga’s photo/This speaker is trying to become a cheaper alternative to JBL products
“Energy Sistem Urban Box 5+” is a compact column that fits in the hand and costs about 50 euros. It’s designed for small outings, room-filling with reasonably sized sound, and, as the name suggests, for city use. If you need to make the party stronger, you can make two such speakers work together from one sound source.
A detailed look
Energy Sistem Urban Box 5+ is not an expensive Premium class model. I’m glad that it was decided not to spare the beautiful box – this kind of unpacking experience can be found in a product three times more expensive. It seems that the Spaniards have learned from their colleagues in the wine sector. Attention has been paid to even small details such as the included decals.
Photo by N. Davalga/Energy Sistem provides a first-class unpacking experience
I was hoping that the column from Spain would have a temperamental Mediterranean-inspired design, such as a bright juicy orange or clear sea blue. “Energy Sistem Urban Box 5+” sets a completely different mood – the speaker is painted in a green color that creates a military mood. If army colors do not evoke good emotions, you can choose a more conservative black option.
Photo by N. Davalga/If the color of military style is not to your liking, choose the black option
Not only the packaging, but also the body of the product surprises with its high quality and attention to detail. The used plastic is pleasant to the touch, the same can be said about the selected rubber. Everything is assembled solidly, so the Urban Box 5+ gives the appearance of a well-finished product and hides the real price of the product.
The case provides some protection from negative environmental factors, but its capabilities are not defined. More expensive models boast an IP67 protection certificate. It shows that the speaker is not afraid of the sand blowing on the beach or the sea waves that have rolled too far. Nevertheless, such solutions cost a lot, so it is hard to call the absence of the above-mentioned certificate a product defect.
N. Davalga’s photo/The management system is simple and unremarkable
The control system of the Energy Sistem Urban Box 5+ is simple, the same as most other wireless speakers, so there is no point in talking about it in detail. I was pleasantly surprised by the weight of the column. Judging by the size and power, I expected it to weigh around half a kilo. The actual weight is significantly higher at 822 grams.
Portable speakers are designed to get a lot of sound at the lowest possible cost. This means that the sound quality in such products is not ideal. Not only is the goal to get as much sound as possible at the lowest possible cost, but the design features of cylindrical speakers are not conducive to reproducing the sound of high-end music.
N. Davalga’s photo/The speaker’s sound will be enough for a small party, and those who want more can connect to another one.
Considering that this is a compact model, this speaker has quite a lot of sound. Two speakers with a diameter of 2.25 inches produce 20 W of power. This will be enough for a small party at home or moderate volume music in an open space. After purchasing two such speakers, you can easily pair them and get even more music for a bigger celebration.
Those who want more serious power have another way – choose the 30 W “Urban Box 7”. Meanwhile, thrifty buyers should pay attention to the 16 W Urban Box 3 and 10 W Urban Box 2.
The sound reproduced by the speaker could be a bit more expressive. Middle frequencies are best heard, and low and high frequencies are quite dull. The narrow frequency characteristic leads to poor separation of different instruments, taking away some of the life from the music.
This effect is typical of all cylindrical speakers, it is the price we have to pay for a comfortable shape, but more expensive competitors manage to deal with this issue a little better.
Photo by N. Davalga/Music does not reach the speaker only via wireless connection
By default, the sound will come via Bluetooth wireless connection. However, there are several other alternatives – a 3.5 mm AUX input, a connection for USB media and a memory card slot. The capacity of USB sticks and SD cards should not exceed 64 GB. It doesn’t sound impressive these days, 128GB cards have become the standard choice, but the current capacity will be enough to hold 5000-10000 high-quality MP3 songs. If you’ve already had enough of all the available songs, Urban Box 5+ also has an FM radio receiver. I’ve noticed that the FM radio receiver is becoming a standard attribute of Energy Sistem products – it can be found in products where you wouldn’t even think to look for it.
The speaker has a built-in microphone for telephone or Internet conversations. The sound quality it offers is sufficient for smooth communication with the interlocutors at the other end of the line.
“Energy Sistem Urban Box 5+” currently costs about 50 euros in Lithuania. When buying this type of product, I would seriously consider getting two of these speakers at once and combining them into a TWS system. A single 20W speaker is only enough to support a light party, so amplification would be very useful, and it would also allow you to enjoy Stereo sound.
Urban Box 5+ is the first product in the budget class where I see such a high quality of materials and assembly. After taking the product, unpacking it and looking at it, you will think that the speaker costs several times more than it is really worth. Energy Sistem has done its job perfectly in order to create a feeling of Premium class.
Photo by N. Davalga/If you have a modest budget, “Energy Sistem Urban Box 5+” deserves your attention
The only thing we would like to improve on this wireless speaker is the expansion of the reproduced frequency range. I do not believe that such a project can be easily implemented without changing the final price of the product. This is the only reason why the Urban Box 5+ costs only 50 euros, and not two or three times more.
The Spaniards managed to create a not bad product of the budget class. Competitors from sunny California are a step ahead, but that step is not as big as the price difference. This makes the Urban Box 5+ a worthwhile option for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on a portable speaker.