The G-Project G-GRIP Bluetooth speaker is another entry into the ultraportable wireless speaker market. This category has become extremely popular with the Jawbone Jambox, and many have followed in its footsteps. The G-GRIP follows quite closely in many ways, including size, shape, and purpose. However, it has a few surprising tricks up its sleeve I really wasn’t expecting. This is definitely an interesting product you should pay close attention to.
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Battery life: 8 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0 and 3.5mm audio in
External device charging: No
Charging port: micro USB
What’s in the box: G-GRIP speaker, micro USB cable, wall adapter, yellow flat 3.5mm cable, wrist strap
The G-GRIP obviously takes a lot of cues from the Jambox. With the same general shape and size, same aim at portability, same micro USB charging and even a similar flat 3.5mm cable included (though the G-GRIP includes a yellow one). And that’s not a bad thing, it’s a similar product and is aimed at the same audience. While the Jambox is absolutely gorgeous and designed like a luxury product, the G-GRIP can’t say the same. It is designed in a rugged fashion. With a mostly plastic construction with rubber sides, it isn’t as gorgeous as a Jambox, but it still looks good. I personally like the styling a lot, despite it not being particularly elegant.
The front has the speaker grills along with three LEDs. One is power, one is battery (indicates low battery and charging) and the last is Bluetooth. And of course, you get the cool G-Project logo.
The rear is all a radiator designed to enhance bass. It’s all one grille, and the entire thing is shorter than the front. The speaker tapers back, it’s a good looking design. Much better than if it was made of perfect 90 degree angles.
To the left, you have a big indent with a metal pole for attaching a wrist strap (which has a clip in it). There are also the 3.5mm jack and the micro USB port under a not-so-reassuring rubber cover. The rubber cover feels flimsy, but I’ve had no problems with it during the month I’ve been using this speaker.
The right side has four buttons; volume up, volume down, play, and power (with a small part sectioned off as a separate button for pairing). The buttons are well designed, with a good click to them. The play button also pauses, and has the feature where you can double/triple click it for track forward/back. The track forward function worked great, but I had trouble with the triple click. I’m not sure if it was my phone or the speaker, but it very well could be my phone. Also, the pair button is a great addition and makes pairing dead simple. I love the inclusion of pair buttons.
This device was made for taking a beating. The packaging boasts some impressive numbers; It is crushproof up to 1,339 pounds and can survive drops of up to 8.2 feet. They’ve posted photos of this speaker in the sand with the sand inside the speaker grille, so it’s definitely made to last. When I first took it out of its packaging, it felt very light, and I mistook that for a sign of fragility. As soon as I had thought that, the speaker fell off my windowsill, hit the corner of my bedside table, and hit the ground. Without even a scratch from either impact, I learned not to doubt it.
The entire speaker, aside from the rubber caps at each side, is made out of “glass-reinforced polymer GRP,” which I assume is fancy plastic. That makes it both lightweight and strong. After some use, I realized that this is a very sturdy speaker and I am sure it will last a long time even in the hands of those who tend not to be careful.
The removable strap on the side is attached to a thick metal pole, which looks reassuring. The strap itself is an average strap with a loop at the end. The loop has a clip so you can attach it wherever you want. It’s great for portability.
I tend to expect a lot from speakers, and won’t like a speaker whatsoever if it doesn’t sound good. And with such a small speaker, and such a low cost, I was afraid I’d be disappointed. Surprisingly, I wasn’t. When taking into account price and size, you really get your moneys worth.
Unlike the Jambox, this thing gets quite loud. It’s enough to fill a room. But you probably won’t want to play it loud, because it distorts pretty strong at high volumes. For a noisy party or outside at a beach or picnic, distortion is completely fine, and that’s what this speaker is made for. If you place it in a quiet room and play music, you will want to hit the volume down button twice. At that point, there is little to no distortion (depends on the music). And I have to say, at that volume level, it’s still plenty loud and clear and sounds good.
Bass response is good, it makes deep sounds and the music does not sound flat. Mids are clear and loud. Highs sound good, but that’s where the distortion tends to happen at loud volumes. when turned down a bit (again, you don’t have to turn it down much to get clean sound), high are clear. The sound isn’t amazing by any stretch of the imagination, but you can’t expect amazing sound from it. It’s small, cheap, and sounds great considering those limitations. And it definitely sounds better than the Jambox, while being almost three times cheaper.
It’s small and very portable, and sounds great considering its size. It’s also rugged and shouldn’t break with a bit of abuse. All of this for only $70, and you get a great deal for a great little speaker. It has plenty of uses and can be easily carried around. It gets my recommendation, that’s for sure.