Philips BT3500B review

For the money, the Philips is a great, affordable way to go wireless Tested at £70

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Our Verdict

For the money, the Philips is a great, affordable way to go wireless, with excellent sound quality.

For

  • Excellent sense of rhythm
  • Open, expressive sound
  • Good detail

Against

  • Battery life is limited
  • Not the most refined top end

We wouldn’t normally accuse a product of lying down on the job, but we’re making an exception with this wireless speaker. The Philips BT3500B can stand either on its edge, or you can flip out its kickstand and lay it down in a shallow recline.

This way it fires up into the air and encourages a bigger spread of sound, while also removing the fear that it could topple over. The only slight downside when it is in a near-horizontal position is that music loses a little precision and focus, but if you’re more intent on filling a room with sound, then it’ll do the job just fine.

Design

Other aspects of the speaker’s appearances are pretty unspectacular. The only real accent of note is the silver dial tucked in the upper right-hand corner of the unit: you rotate this dial clockwise or anti-clockwise to change volume.

On the top edge of the Philips is a slider switch, which flicks between Bluetooth mode and the 3.5mm auxiliary input. There’s a button next door, which either starts the pairing process or ends any phone-call taken through the built-in mic. Another step along is an NFC logo, for an alternative way to pair a smartphone.

The built-in battery is charged using a micro-USB cable, which comes supplied in the box. Battery life is only five hours, which is disappointing considering some rivals can offer double this.

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Performance

Stream a few bars of The Clash’s I Fought The Law and the Philips rocks along enthusiastically. Drums and handclaps have pep and vigour, electric guitars have just the right amount of edge.

There isn’t quite the clarity or outright detail in the mids and highs that you would get with some rivals (such as the Roberts Travel Pad), but the Philips offers a slightly fuller, more rounded sound. Play Kanye West’s Black Skinhead and the bassline is tight and well behaved.

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Verdict

We’d like more from the built-in battery, but the Philips BT3500B Bluetooth speaker hits the spot with the time it has got, thanks to its all-round sonic ability.

MORE: Best portable speakers 2015

See all our wireless speaker reviews

Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.philips.co.uk
Brand NamePhilips
Product TypeSpeaker System
ManufacturerPhilips Electronics
Manufacturer Part NumberBT3500B/00
Product NamePhilips BT3500B
Product ModelBT3500B

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • Wireless Portable Speaker
  • USB Cable for PC Charging
  • World Wide Warranty Leaflet
  • Quick Install Guide
Compatibility
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Bluetooth-enabled Device
Apple Products:
  • iPad 1
  • iPad 2
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad with Retina Display
  • iPhone 3
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPod Touch 3rd Generation or later

Network and Communication

Near Field CommunicationYes
BluetoothYes

Technical Information

FeaturesMicrophone, Wireless Audio Stream, USB Charging Port
PortableYes

Battery Information

Battery RechargeableYes

Audio

RMS Output Power10 W
Wireless SpeakersYes

Physical Characteristics

Width20.1 cm
Depth3.5 cm
Weight Approximate500 g
Height10.1 cm
ColourBlack
Dimensions10.1 cm (H): 20.1 cm (W): 3.5 cm (D)

Power Description

Power SourceBattery

Interfaces-Ports

USBYes

Warranty

Limited Warranty12 Month