Product Review: Sol Republic PUNK Wireless Speaker
Sol Republic has created a wireless speaker called PUNK which they graciously sent to the Metal Life offices for us to test and review. Of course, they sent us a black one. We put the little speaker through its paces subjecting it to various forms of metal music from 80’s ballads to Transylvanian extreme black metal. We even tested the PUNK with some goth rock, German industrial and then finally, various classical pieces.
The PUNK always delivered a clear and vibrant sound for its size and cost factor ($69.99 US). Despite being a single speaker, the sound delivered has range and is comparative to a dual speaker setup offered by some competitors.
The PUNK is lightweight and has easy to use controls (Power, Up Volume, Down Volume, Bluetooth) on the device. PUNK supports Bluetooth and line in for inputs which makes it convenient for mobile devices and older devices that do not support Bluetooth. PUNK features a line out as well which allows the PUNK to act as a router for your Bluetooth devices to stream to a stereo system that does not natively support Bluetooth.
Bluetooth range is listed in the documentation as 60 feet and we experienced that range as well. Remember that if you have your phone paired and decide to play something embarrassing on your phone 😉
We tested the PUNK line out to an old stereo and the sound was spot on. This test used a cell phone streaming an MP3 via Bluetooth the the PUNK and then the line out to the stereo.
Battery life is about 8 hours and can be charged with the provided USB cable.
Sol Republic claims that the PUNK is water, dust and shock resistant. Dust does not seem to be a problem and besides, you should keep your electronics clean anyway. We tested dropping it from 2 feet and it survived. We like the PUNK too much to find out the limits of “water resistant”. We would love to test that limit, but we would need a second unit since once we find the limit, the PUNK will cease to be. 😉
Of course no product review is worth its merit without some dislikes. We had to be picky and actually look for things that we did not like, but we did find a couple. First of all, the PUNK’s molded shape prevents standing the speaker up for directional sound if you need that (although the PUNK can be mounted on a stand or tripod using the 1/4″ threaded mount on the base). Secondly. when the battery reaches half, a voice message will play informing you. If you left the speaker on and went to sleep nearby, that battery life announcement might startle you 😉
Inside the box, you will get the following:
1. PUNK wireless speaker
2. USB charger (1 foot long)
3. Line in/out cable (1 foot long)
4, Quick start guide and safety/legal booklet
Overall, we were impressed with the PUNK and would strongly recommend it for its price range. Dynamic range and metal worthy volume make this a solid product. We give the PUNK a 4/5 rating.
So all of you who need a holiday gift, buy one of these for them and one for you