Today’s review is of the I-VENSTAR S406 high quality Bluetooth speaker. I-VENSTAR (A.K.A. VENSTAR) is a company which is becoming pretty well known for producing quality Bluetooth speakers. In this review we will attempt to test the S406’s capabilities as well as their claims of waterproof and dustproof. Let’s see what it has to offer, shall we?
The S406 comes packaged in a very appealing red and black box, it will no doubt look good on a store shelf. The top of the box has an image of the speaker along with the product features. The sides are identical and simply define the product. The bottom lists the technical specifications, which states the battery is a 3.7 V Lithium Ion with a capacity of 3600 mAh. It has a power output of three watts and two speakers with a frequency response range of 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz. Bluetooth CSR4.0 rating and a water resistance rating of IPX4 (more on this later). The dimensions are 66 x 66 x 170 mm.
Opening up this bad boy we see the S406 prominently displayed. Underneath the speaker is the small folded user manual. There is also a small white box containing the USB charging cable, 3.5 mm audio patch cable, and a small D-ring for attaching or hanging the device to whatever you choose. I’ve already installed the D-Ring here.
A Closer look
Looking at the product itself, it is wrapped entirely by a steel mesh grill with a silicone rubber sleeve and the front has is a small plastic loop for the D-Ring.
The top is where the controls are located. There is an LED indicator, a power button, a volume down/previous track button, a volume up/next track button, and the NFC pad area.
The bottom of the speaker has a rubber cover for the physical connectors for this device. There is a 3.5 mm Aux Input, a Micro USB connector for charging this device, and a standard USB for charging your smart phone or other MP3 device with its power bank function. If you look closely you can see a very tiny LED indicator to let you know the device is connected during charging.
|I-Venstar S406 Bluetooth Speaker|
|Bluetooth Profiles||A2DP, AVRCP, Headset, Handsfree|
|Power Bank||3600 mAh|
|Operation Range||10 m|
|Work Time||10 hours|
|Frequency||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Standby Time||>90 hours|
|Charging Time||3-4 hours|
|Dimensions||66 x 66 x 170 mm|
Now for the fun part. The first thing we need to do is charge the S406. The manual states the LED will indicate red when charging and blue once the battery is full. It goes on to claim the battery will be fully charged in three to four hours. The LED they are referring to here is the one located on the bottom and in fact does flash red when charging though it never turned blue even though it was allowed to charge over night.
Next, it was necessary to pair my Samsung Galaxy S6 to the device. Holding the S406 power button for a second turns it on and it immediately says “Connect Me”. Turning your phone Bluetooth on and scanning for new devices should result in finding the Venstar S406. It should be noted that some devices may require a password in which case you should enter “0000”. This was not the case here though.
Once connected, I opened up Pandora and was jamming to my favorite stations. I found the volume to be adequate at about 75% from anywhere in my open floor plan basement and at 100% was loud enough to require yelling to hold a conversation. If you’re a fan of loud music, this small speaker puts out plenty. The sound quality was only slightly diminished at 100% and was very clear at 75%. It reproduces high and mid ranges very well but is slightly lacking deep bass. This is largely due to its small size.
During music playback if you press the “-” button it will play the previous track (when available) while pressing the “+” button will skip to the next track. To adjust the volume press and hold the “+” or “-” button until the desired volume is reached.
The battery life is listed as “about ten hours”. With the device at 100% for about four hours and at 75% for about seven hours plus charging my Galaxy S6 from 5% to full charge while still playing music, I can fully confirm the life of the battery is as advertised. The Power Bank feature seems very useful as it allows the speaker to charge your smart phone. This feature will definitely come in handy for anyone interested in extended duration hiking, camping, mountaineering, or canoeing.
The option to answer or reject a call is also available while using the S406. Simply press the power button when a call is incoming and the call will be answered. In my case I did notice it was necessary to switch the phone to speaker mode for the caller to hear me. You can also reject a call by holding the power button for two seconds.
The last feature to test is the IP rating. This determines how dustproof/waterproof an item is. This product is rated at IPX4. The X is the dust rating and the 4 is the water rating. It should be mentioned that this sample may vary from what you receive as it is a review sample. The item listed at Venstar has a rating of IP54. It’s possible, at the time of this review, the 5 dust rating wasn’t confirmed or perhaps there has been a minor engineering change. Either way, while doing this review, I was performing a major renovation to my basement and to say there was a lot of dust would be a gross understatement. A rating of 5 means dust may enter the item but not enough to affect its use. It has passed this test. Now for the waterproof test. The S406 has an IP rating of 4. This means water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect. This product is NOT immersion proof, only splash proof, so it should be safe to take into the shower, but not the tub. So into the shower it went. after about a ten minute shower the S406 was still jamming away. Again it has passed the test.
The I-Venstar S406 has passed every test I threw at it with flying colors. It is well built and currently available through Amazon for $42.88 it is very competitively priced when compared to similar products. I was unable to find a single negative on this device as it’s designed. If you love a lot of bass, you may want to look for a larger device, but for everyday use, indoor or outdoor, the S406 has become my go-to Bluetooth speaker.