If you are like me you love to have some kind of music and or podcasts or some audio along those lines playing in your shop while you are working. Something about having some of your favorite music playing while you work just seems to make the time go by faster. You will find that you can lose yourself in what you are doing. I have only ever had small Bluetooth speakers in the shop and for the most part I though that was fine, until I had tried a good speaker.
Dewalt recently sent me one of there new Toughsystem 2.0 Bluetooth radio and charger. I had only ever used small cheap Bluetooth speakers from walmart. While these speakers do allow you to listen to music and even make calls. So I decided to compare the two. I know this is not necessarily a perfect comparison due to the price comparison but the small speaker is all I have to use and also it is a common speaker to have.
They are usually a very basic speaker with the ability to change volume, and song maybe have a small mic to allow you to answer phone calls.
In this particular instance this is a Black web Bluetooth speaker from Walmart. I believe that they can be purchased for around $25 or less depending on the particular model. There are also other brands that a good bit more expensive and do produce better sound quality. Than the Blackweb.
The Blackweb speaker is I believe a 15 watt speaker. It is powered by a rechargeable battery. It is recharged with a micro usb cable. Due to the speakers smaller size it will only last a few hours on a single charge. In real-world usage I have gotten about 3 to 4 hours of run time out of a single charge on the Blackweb speaker. That is about it. This is a very basic and simple speaker with it being slightly water resistant and dust resistant.
Let me say this first off Dewalt is not paying me to make this or do a review but they did send me the speaker. With that being said the Dewalt Toughsystem 2.0 speaker is one awesome portable Bluetooth speaker setup. It is large. About the size of a small suitcase. But with all that size comes a ton of power. Also a lot of features.
One of the reasons for the large size is the ability of the speaker to be attached to the Dewalt Toughsystem boxes. This allows you to take the speaker to the worksite and makes moving it around with the rest of your Dewalt tools a breeze.
Like mentioned before the speaker is a large system and does have a bit of wight to it. But all of that can be over looked when looking at why the size is needed. Unlike the walmart speaker with one mid range tiny speaker and a couple of micro tweeters, the dewalt is packed with features. First what makes the sound. The sound comes from 4 smaller speakers that are responsible for supplying you with mid and high range sound. Also along with these four speakers is a sub-woofer and resonator. With the entire system putting out 55 watts.
The speaker can be powered in a couple of different ways. One is the ac power cable. This plugs into the system on the back using the supplied cable. The secondary way is to use a Dewalt 20v or 12v battery. I have now used a 20v battery in the system for about 3 to 4 hours on a single charge and the battery has not dropped a single bar on the indicator. This tells me the system would get a lot of playing time out of a single battery charge. This is also where the secondary function of the speaker comes in. It is also a charger for the Dewalt 20v and 12v battery systems. This is a great function to have> If you are on a worksite this means you do not need to give up one of your power plugs for he speaker when it could be used for recharging batteries. This system will give you the ability to do both. It also allows you to keep a battery in the speaker to allow for maximum portability.
The battery is housed within a compartment on the top of the speaker. This compartment is sealed and is dust and I believe water resistant. Rain and dust on the worksite should be no problem but I would not suggest allowing to much water to onto the speaker. Remember water resistant is not water proof. There are also a couple of other nice features in this compartment. One is a provided is a place to house your phone while using it with the speaker. Also there is a USB port as well as an aux input. This allows you to charge your phone directly from the speaker as well as if you do not want to use Bluetooth you can connect your phone via an aux cord.
To control the speaker along with being able to download the Dewalt Sound app on google play and the apple store. The speaker can also be controlled with the display on the speaker. From this display you can control features from what audio source you choose to the display. The display is easy to use and easy to setup for your particular need.
The display also can be adjusted from the settings menu. You can change the brightness, and also the rotation of the display allowing you to use the speaker laying flat or on its edge. Also from here you can access what to me is the best feature on the display. You can change the audio setting. Being able to adjust the bass, treble, and mid rage sound allows you to customize the sound to what is best for your application. Also you can choose the sound dynamics for use indoor or outdoor depending on where you are using the speaker. All of this is easily accessed and changed on the display.
For the audio comparison I placed both speakers on my miter saw station and turned them to there maximum volume. With the sound measured with a db meter on the table and also using water to show visually the amount of bass that comes through each speaker. I started with the Blackweb speaker. With a maximum db of 84 on this meter the small speaker did an ok job. As you can also see from the water base test there is almost no base coming from the small speaker.
For the dewalt speaker the meter and water were in the same locations as before and running this test if shows that the Dewalt put out a maximum of 89 db and the water test shows that there was a ton of bass coming through the Dewalt speaker.
One thing these test have trouble measuring is the quality of the sound. The sound quality in the small speaker is not to high honestly. With the lack of bass and how much the sound carries from the small speaker it does work but it highly affects the sound quality especially as you get further away from the speaker.
This is not an issue as much with the Dewalt The sound carries well and there is a lot of bass. You can literally feel it in your feet across the shop.
In conclusinon the Dewalt is awesome. Yes it is a bit heavy and on the large size. So it could be a bit much to carry in a few instances. I do not belive this is a bad drawback though for all of the features the speaker and charger offers. Allowing you to have an awesome sounding speaker and charger on your worksite or in your shop is well worth the weight. I do understand that this comparison is a bit one sided as one speaker is a $25 speaker and the other is aorund the $200 range. But like most things in a shop it is usually better to spend more in the beginning for high quality compared to multiple cheap products over time. Let me know what you guys think. What do you use? Do you listen to music while you work?
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