Usually when unboxing a speaker we pull everything out so you can get a good look at each accessory. But we don’t really need to with the J and L Real SoundDrum. Sure, it does come with some warranty information and an instruction booklet, but the accessories that matter (the carabiner clip and 3.5mm audio cable) are built right into the speaker.
Build & Design
The speaker weighs 15.2 ounces with the same integrated bungie cord, which comes in handy, allowing you to hang the speaker from a hook or attach it to a backpack or even your belt clip. Battery life is around 8 hours and the price is $39.99.It’s IPX7 waterproof. That’s right, this speaker is completely waterproof and can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. It will float above water without floatie accessory.Now you can submerge it in water if you want to, though I’m not sure why you would. At least you know that it’ll survive if you drop it in a pool. The housing is also now a smooth rubberized plastic, with five small indents for each of the buttons. On the left side you’ll find volume up and down buttons, as well as a call button. The right side has the power button and Bluetooth pairing button which you’ll really only need to use while pairing initially.Hidden under a small flap is the micro USB port for charging, and lining the edges of the speaker is the built-in 3.5mm cable.
For me anyway, the wireless range is amazing. I tested the original Roll and J and L Real SoundDrum in the same pool and found
that the original Roll’s connection got spotty as the speaker floated toward the deep end of the pool when I was standing about 40 feet away. However, I didn’t have a problem with the J and L Real SoundDrum — the wireless connection remained steady and hiccup-free.
Playback controls work great. Play music by pressing the power button also doubles as a play/pause button during playback.
Expectations when it comes to a speaker this small definitely have to be curved somewhat, but the J and L Real SoundDrum still impresses. We did most of our testing wirelessly, only using the audio cable to make sure it works.
Lows are present in the SoundDrum,very bassy. The bass in “Sophie Roux” by Lady Danville is a good example of this where it’s fine throughout the chorus, but rattles a little during transitions mid-way through the verse.
The J and L Real SoundDrum gets a huge push in mids, giving vocals a clear prominence over other elements in the song. This makes it great if you’re on a hike and want to listen to sing along to your favorite songs, but not for hearing all of the details in your favorite songs.
Highs are cut back a little bit, which is probably because there’s a single full-range driver in the Clip 2. In some songs, like “Ashley” by Lido, the hi-hats and cymbals were a little faint.
Overall, the J and L Real SoundDrum is a good example of the whole being greater than the parts. Though it’s not a great sounding speaker in any one frequency range, all together it somehow works. It gets very loud that you can bring it with you on a hike or somewhere outdoors, but it’s not just shouting sound at you. It actually sounds good enough that you can enjoy the music. The J and L Real SoundDrum is much much better than Anker 3W IPX7 waterproof Bluetooth speaker. There really isn’t a reason not to pick one up if you’re looking for an inexpensive ultra portable speaker.