Philips Izzy BM6 speaker review: Great concept, average reality

Philips Izzy BM6 review: The Philips Izzy BM6 is a Bluetooth speaker that promises great music both indoors and out with multi-room playback support through up to five other Izzys for an even richer experience. Sounds good on paper, but how about reality?

Philips Izzy BM6 review: Design

The Izzy wouldn’t particularly stand out in a line-up with its matte black (also available in white), rounded, rectangular design but it seems rather functional and fit for purpose if you’re after an unobtrusive speaker. Its main connections and ports are hidden under a rubberised flap making it splashproof and suitable for rained-out barbeques (all too common in Blighty) too.

You also get a fetching blue light illuminating the top face when the Izzy is powered up. Unfortunately, there is no battery indicator either on the speaker or via the phone/tablet you connect it to. So you only know when the battery dies when the music stops playing.

Philips Izzy BM6 review: Performance

Speaking of the battery, the Izzy is quoted as offering up to eight hours playback. In our tests volume had a notable effect on its actual longevity. At full pelt, you can expect around six hours of playback; significantly lower than Philip’s promise. Range was also a bit of a sticking point for the Izzy, as placing it just one room away from the source often lead to stuttering and drop-outs.

Philips Izzy BM6 review: Audio Quality

After switching the Izzy on and playing a tune for the first time, you can’t help but be slightly disappointed. Whilst there’s no denying that the BM6 has a very clear sound that isn’t readily muddied, much like Mike Tyson its overall punch betrays its size. A speaker of its dimensions (7.9×3.6-inches) should be pumping out tunes with far more power. The JBL Flip 3 (which is smaller than the BM6) puts out levels that rival or even better Philips’ offering.

Philips Izzy BM6 review: Verdict

If you had to describe the overall sound quality of the Izzy BM6, it would be “middling”. It won’t blow you away but at the same time it definitely doesn’t suck. What does suck and may be a deal-breaker for some is the fact that there is no way to tell how much battery is left in the thing, leaving you susceptible to under charging or running out of juice just as you were about to pluck up the courage to finally have that slow dance with Gwendolyn. At £139, we’d hoped for a little more.

 

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