Lenmar is largely a battery maker with a wide variety of battery related products like charger cords, chargers themselves, adapters, and other products. However, they also make accessories not necessarily related to charging devices, namely, the Rise Bluetooth speaker. Available in black or white, and with a compact design, the Rise definitely has a great look, but how does the rest of the speaker fare?
- Bluetooth v3.0
- 700mAh lithium-polymer rechargeable battery (Aprox. 8 hours of use)
- 3.5mm auxiliary input
- Mini-USB port for charging
- Comes with mini-USB cord and 3.5mm auxiliary input cable
- Drivers: 2 x 40mm
- Sensitivity: >60dB
- Measures: 3.19 x 2.95 x 2.95 in. (H x W x D); Weighs 10.4 oz.
- 1 year warranty
- $80 MSRP ($40 street)
What We Liked:
- Decent Quality Audio: With regards to Bluetooth connectivity, the Rise kept a steady connection À we didn't experience any clipping or dropouts. In terms of audio quality, bass is virtually non-existent, but everything else came in clear and relatively crisp, at least for a $40 (street) speaker. At $80 MSRP, we'd judge it more harshly, but as a cheap alternative to built-in speakers, the Rise raises the audio a few notches. It may not be the best offering on the market, but it will certainly offer more volume and better audio than most smartphones or tablets.
- Incredibly Easy Setup: Turning the device on is as easy as pushing down on the top of the unit À the Rise comes to life accompanied by a beeping noise to let you know it's working. When turned on, the Rise is automatically discoverable on Bluetooth, so connecting to it is just a matter of seconds. Together with the 3.5mm auxiliary input, getting the Rise to start playing music is never a hassle.
- Compact and Sleek Design: The Rise is very small for what it is, and very light as well. With a black or white paintjob, and the very clever rising motion of the speaker when turning it on, the speaker is definitely a conversation starter. It's also pretty slim in design À the Rise won't take up much space on a dorm room desk, kitchen counter, or anywhere else.
- Great Control: A set of buttons are revealed after turning the Rise on. From left to right, they consist of Volume Down, Previous Track, Play/Pause, Next Track, and Volume Up. They give you a nice level of control over some other speakers, and since you may want to use this as music away from your streaming device, the volume controls are handy to have here. Below those buttons you'll find the mini USB port, auxiliary input, and microphone.
- Double Duty: Not only is the Rise a portable speaker for your collection of tunes, it also doubles as a speaker phone for your mobile handset. When there's an incoming call, just press the Play button to answer it and begin speaking at the Rise, which has a built-in microphone. If you'd rather the call go to your smartphone, you can hold the Play button for 2 seconds and it will switch over.
What We Didn't Like:
- Short Cables: While your battery mileage may vary depending on how loud you blare your music, charging the Rise is a bit of a pain. The packaged Mini-USB cable measures about 12 inches from end-to-end. That's not much, forcing you to either transport it to a PC or other device when it runs out of juice, or plant it in a potentially odd location. That's a bummer for a device billed as being portable. The same complaint applies to the 3.5mm cable, which is slightly shorter.
- Pushy Notifications: If your phone has any sort of voice control feature built-in, the Rise will drive you batty. What we noticed is that if this speaker connected to a device via Bluetooth and that device has voice control or voice notification features, it will default to them, with no way to turn it off. So, when you receive a text, music will stop playing while the Rise announces (via your smartphone) that you just got a text message and who it came from.
While there are some annoyances about the Rise's usage, which bring its practicality into question in certain situations (if you rely on your phone's voice control features or can't accommodate short cords), it's otherwise a generally good speaker with a great design À we love the push-top mechanism for turning it on and off.
In terms of audio, it's not going to compete with your home theater, but for $40 street, it puts out a decent amount of volume and is certainly a serviceable replacement for your mobile device's built-in speakers. We also like that it doubles as a speaker phone, which makes this a great candidate for a home office, dorm room, or even in the kitchen.
Our Score: 4 out of 5
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Disclaimer: The Black Friday deal information given above is without warranties on accuracy and availability. Black Friday deals tend to sell out very quickly and as retailer only keep low inventories for doorbuster deals.
Lenmar Rise Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review