What do you expect from a wireless Bluetooth speaker for less than Rs. 1000? A decent offering with quick connectivity? Loud and clear sound to fulfil the need for music sessions coupled with long battery life? And some easy controls, right? Boat takes all these basic necessities and packs them inside a beautifully crafted Superman DC Edition themed-Boat Stone 190. On paper, the Boat Stone 190 seems to be a safe bet considering its impressive features at a price of Rs. 999 and stylish design. But how does it sound in the real world? Does it make any compromises for a tight budget? To know, I listened to Boat Stone 190 for over a month, and here is what it is capable of.
It is like an old wine in a new bottle! This updated DC edition Superman design is the main highlight of the Boat Stone 190 speaker. That's all because we already saw the standard version a couple of years ago. The traditional dotted-textured design of the Stone 190 took a stylish turn with the addition of the Superman logo in red, imprinted on the blue-coloured fabric -- just like the Superman costume! However, if you are not a fan of Superman, then there are the Batman edition or Marvel Superheroes designs to choose from, which slightly differ in price.
Look beyond its design, and the Boat Stone 190 is one of the best budget portable-friendly speakers as it weighs just 182 grams. Plus, its sturdy build quality and cord-like hanging support make it even more practical. And yes, it has an IPX7 water resistance rating too.
Most of the affordable wireless speakers aren't designed for outdoor conditions filled with noise and end up being a personal listening experience for a small area. The boat Stone 190 is no exception! Inside this stylish stone-shaped mini speaker is a 52mm sized driver with a 5W sound output, which is enough to fill the room with its clear and loud sound. Considering its price, the Boat Stone 190 manages to deal with all sorts of music without any disruption in sound. Even at its peak, the Boat keeps the audio quality intact with clear vocals of the lyrics. Whether it is pop or classical, you can enjoy almost all sorts of music with a loud sound. However, it skips bass-oriented output, hence ‘bass-holic’ music fans should look at other options.
Boat Stone 190 delivers impressive audio output on its highs and mids only; lows are flat, hence leaving room for improvement here. Though, the best part is that you don’t need to disconnect your speaker if you get calls while streaming music, as it comes with an in-built mic to attend calls. Taking calls with Boat Stone 190 has been a smooth experience calculating the proximity to the speaker.
It is a simple affair – there are dedicated buttons to perform a specific task, and that’s it! On top of the speaker, three conventional buttons – play/pause, + volume, and - volume – for multiple use cases. As the short press to volume up key will play the next track and vice versa. While the Play button can manage incoming calls to attend, reject by long press, and double tap to redial the last call. Apart from these, once you have set up the device, its power button helps to connect it to your smartphone within a couple of seconds.
Interestingly, you also have the option to connect the speaker via AUX cable with your smartphone or laptop. With this, you can switch between Bluetooth and AUX playing modes with a dedicated 'Switch Mode' button on the side. Sadly, there is no app connect or particular smart feature loaded on Boat Stone 190, but it gets a stereo link feature to pair it with another speaker to be forged into one. Although there is no built-in voice assistant for interaction, but the microphone helps to take calls and talk to the voice assistant such as Siri or Google Assistant on your phone. This can be activated via a short press of the power button. Having said that, app link support could have been better to customize button behaviour.
Boat claims to offer up to 4 hours of battery life with Stone 190 on continuous usage. To my surprise, I could easily play more than 6 hours of continuous music tracks, while keeping the volume around 60-70 levels. Hence, battery life may vary with full volume. To charge it up from its null point, I used one of my phone's charging adapters which took around 1.5 hours to get its refill. There is a LED that helps to indicate when your speaker is fully charged.
All in all, the Boat Stone 190 is simply one of the best options at this reasonable price for many reasons. It is small, light, and portable with a special Superman DC themed-design, which offers loud and clear audio performance for its size. Plus, the long battery life extended the stated runtime during our testing period. Quick connectivity, IPX7 water resistance, AUX cable support, and an in-built mic for calling are some other perks that make it an interesting option.
Although, you should avoid hoping for Bass oriented performance. Apart from that, it is the poor audio output below volume 40 and the lack of buttons’ customisation that make the experience sour. However, if you do not care for bass and customisation, then Boat Stone 190 is one of our top recommendations at Rs. 999.
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