One of my favorite accessories is the Bluetooth speaker. It can be so incredibly versatile and it allows you to take music with you wherever you go. I’ve had a variety of speakers over the years and really enjoy the musical freedom they bring me. I especially like it when they are small enough to toss in a handbag or even your pocket. The Zenbre D3 Mini Wireless Speaker falls into this category. It’s a portable speaker that is actually small enough to hold in your hand.
The Zenbre D3 speaker features a built-in Li-Polymer battery that is perfect for use outdoors. It contains a 2600mAh capacity battery which supports a 10 to 15-hour play time and the ability to recharge your phone from the 5V/1A charging port. The speaker has a 3W/2IN driver for deep, dynamic bass and clear, crisp sound. The ports are covered with a silicone seal to keep the speaker protected. It’s rated as dustproof and shockproof, but not waterproof. The speaker features Bluetooth standard 3.0 and has a frequency range of 70Hz to 20KHz. You can connect to it using Bluetooth, the TF card slot, Micro USB input charging port, or USB output charging port. The speaker only weighs 5.15 ounces and comes with a lanyard preinstalled on the speaker, a felt carrying bag, a Micro USB charging cable, Welcome Guide, and a warranty card.
The first thing I noticed about the Zenbre D3 Speaker was the packaging. It comes in a fairly common white product box that has thick walls and some basic information stamped on the outside. There is a product image printed on the front of the box and the color is clearly marked (blue, green, or red). The first thing you will find when you open the box is the Welcome Guide. This simple booklet gives you the basic instruction for how to operate the speaker. There is also a diagram that shows you where all the ports and controls are on the device. The written instructions are actually pretty precise but unfortunately, the speaker doesn’t really comply 100% of the time.
When I went to start up the speaker, I found that you have to press the on/off button quite hard for it to register with the speaker. When you finally are able to make a connection, you have to hold it for at least one second for the speaker to power up. If the speaker has not been paired with anything yet, the Bluetooth LED indicator will flash. If you have paired it, the speaker should automatically connect to it. I decided to connect the speaker to my MacBook Pro. I’ve been trying to make more use of the iTunes library lately and thought the D3 would be a good opportunity to do so. In addition to the computer, I also paired the speaker with my iPhone 7.
With the MacBook Pro connection, I ended up having quite a few problems. I experienced a lot of break-up with audio while I was using the D3 speaker. The computer was only about 3 feet away from the speaker and even with the two devices right next to each other, there was just a lot of distortion and drop out. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting, but nothing seemed to help. I did not have this same issue with my iPhone connection. I also found that the D3 connected to my computer while it was asleep. One day when I was at work, I hadn’t even taken my laptop out of its bag and the speaker was turned on — it connected without the computer being active and it was very odd. Finally, the D3 is a speakerphone as well as just a music player. When I connected the speaker to my iPhone for the first time, I got a prompt asking me to sync my contacts like I would get from a car speakerphone. Even though the D3 can act as a speakerphone, that is the first time I have gotten that kind of a prompt from a standard Bluetooth speaker. It’s not really a malfunction, but something that struck me as odd.
Finally, the sound quality from both the MacBook Pro and the iPhone was subpar. I thought it was muddied and at times it sounded like I was listening to music being played through a phone call. I didn’t expect this tiny speaker to push out the same powerful sound as some larger devices, but it actually held its own when it came to volume.
While the D3 can offer a lot from its small size, I wasn’t impressed with its sound quality and the myriad of issues I had with it just turned me off to it. One other thing that I would love to see fixed is the inconsistency of information for the speaker. For example, the box of the speaker states that you should be able to get 15 hours of playtime, while the product page from Amazon shows 15-hour, 10-hour, or 8–10 hour playtimes. As a pocket speaker, the D3 does a good job of quickly connecting to devices and giving you the option of an affordable wireless speaker.