Your summer pool party needs Urbanears’ portable Bluetooth speaker [Review]
No outdoor party is complete without music, and that requires a sound system that can be heard over plenty of other noise. The new Rålis from Urbanears delivers more than just the necessary volume: it sounds outstanding.
Check out our review of this high-end portable speaker.
Urbanears Rålis review: serious sound on the go
Swedish creative lifestyle brand Urbanears makes numerous types of headphones as well as indoor speakers, but Rålis is its first Bluetooth speaker designed to be used on the go.
That said, one doesn’t get really high-quality sound out of an ultra-portable speaker, which is why the Rålis is 6.2 pounds (2.8 KG). The housing is 7.7 inches wide, 5.5 in. thick, and 7.2 inches tall.
Little of that bulk is wasted, though. There’s room for a pair of 5 watt tweeters and a single 10 watt woofer. Urbanears also built in a rechargeable battery capable of going for up to 20 hours.
Don’t be nervous about using this speaker outdoors; the outer casing has a water resistance rating of IPX2, which means it can take a little rain.
A woven strap makes transporting the device relatively easy. This can be rotated down out of the way when this speaker is being used indoors; Rålis is well suited to being used indoors most of the time, then taken outside when needed.
The Urbanears Rålis can stand a bit of splashing. Don’t kick it into the pool.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac
Five buttons on the top make it simple to control the music playing without the iPhone. There are volume up and volume down buttons, as well as play/pause, forward and back buttons. The power button is on the lower left side, next to the Bluetooth pairing button.
Our test unit is Mist Grey. Urbanears also makes this product in Haute Red and Slate Blue.
On the back, underneath a protective door, is a USB-A port that can be used to charge the iPhone supplying music to the Rålis. There’s also a 3.5 mm audio jack, so this speaker can get wired audio. This recessed area is also the location of the power plug..
Urbanears Rålis performance
In our semi-scientific test using the iOS NIOSH Sound Level Meter app in a quiet room, the BRV-105 was able to put out as much a 118.5 dB at close range. That’s loud enough to risk hearing damage.
In a non-scientific test, we used the Urbanears Rålis at a pool party. It put out anough sound that everyone could hear the music, just not enough to deafen people three houses away.
Audio quality is really outstanding for a portable speaker, including solid bass performance. Some of the people at the pool party had once run a radio station and remarked that the Rålis had the best sound they’d ever heard out of a mobile Bluetooth speaker.
Two different iPhones or iPads (or any computer) can pair with Urbanears’ offering at the same time, making it easier to share DJ duties. They can’t send music simultaneously, of course — the most recent source always replaces the earlier one.
Urbanears Rålis final thoughts
The Rålis isn’t a professional setup; it’s a single wireless speaker. But this is a very good wireless speaker.
Urbanears made it as portable as could be without significantly compromising audio quality. The internal battery lets this speaker run all night long and well into the next day.
This is a top-tier product and is priced to match: $199.99. Compare the Urbanears Rålis to other high-end offerings like the Bose SoundLink Revolve at $199.95, not cheap Bluetooth speakers found on the web. Those discount products won’t come close to the audio quality of the Rålis.
Buy from: Amazon — $199.99
For a cheaper and even more portable option, check out our Braven BRV-105 review.