Have you ever played a game on your smartphone or tablet and found the quality or volume of your device’s speakers to be lacking? I’ve been there. Some games such as Star Command have wonderful soundtracks that enhance the overall experience. There are also music-based games that recommend you put in headphones to have the best experience. If you really want to boost the audio experience, but don’t want to deal with headphones, a Bluetooth speaker may be the way to go. There are many out there, but we’re going to talk about the Divoom Onbeat-X1 Bluetooth Gaming Speaker. It’s $39.99 and is pretty darn good.
The Onbeat-X1 isn’t a typical Bluetooth speaker. It has three suction cups on its backside that stick to the rear of your smartphone or tablet. Divoom says the bass from the speaker will create a “more realistic gaming experience” since you’ll be able to feel the vibrations of the speaker. I think touting the vibration bass is more of a gimmick than anything else. Feeling the speaker’s vibrations didn’t enhance anything for me. Slight vibrations are something all speakers naturally do at a certain volume. I didn’t find myself sticking the Onbeat-X1 to the back of my devices for gaming purposes very often. The extra bulk can be somewhat uncomfortable. Fortunately, this is only an optional way to use the speaker. It’s best to use the speaker as a stand. It’s wide enough to prop up a smartphone in landscape orientation. It’s great for playing games that only require one finger.
The Suction Cups
The suction cups do a very good job of sticking to smooth surfaces. I could not sit this thing down without it getting stuck to something. I thought I could negate the suction by setting it down on a piece of cardboard, but even that didn’t work. It won’t be easy to accidentally knock the Onbeat-X1 off something once it’s attached. The suction cups do have limitations though. I found them to be less effective on textured surfaces. Take the Nexus 7 for example. The back of that tablet is somewhat rubbery and grippy. The suction cups will hold for a brief period of time before falling off. At the same time, the suction cups work remarkably well with devices that have an aluminum or stainless steel backing.
Connectivity and Audio Quality
Despite the name, there are two ways to attach the Onbeat-X1 to your devices. You can connect it via Bluetooth or with the included audio cable. The audio cable will fit into a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. It also includes a battery that can be charged with the also included micro USB cable.
Now let’s get to the most important aspect of this Onbeat X1- the audio quality. I found the overall quality to be very good. The clarity of the sound actually made playing games more enjoyable. You can hear to notes that wouldn’t normally be noticeable in many on-device speakers. Once you play a game with this speaker handling audio, you will want to use it all the time. The only gripe I have is the way the speaker handles bass at maximum volume. I noticed slight distortion in loud, bass-heavy compositions. Fortunately not many games focus on bass. Explosions are probably the most intense use of bass in mobile games.
Gaming isn’t the only way to use this speaker. You can use this to amplify your music and videos as well. Much like mobile devices these days, the Onbeat-X1 serves multiple purposes.
I searched for the typical price for Bluetooth speakers of this size and found the $39.99 price tag to be acceptable. That said, I think the audio quality of the Onbeat-X1 is worth the price. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket, has good battery life and can hold firm on non-textured flat surfaces. It gets a thumbs up from me.