First time we came across the relatively new British audio manufacturer i-box was when they launched their Twist bluetooth speaker with its easy to recognize twisted design. They are now following up their first success with a new bluetooth portable speaker, this time adding NFC to the mix as well, in the i-box Trax.
In many ways the Trax follows a design more similar to other small portable bluetooth speakers that I have come across in the recent year, but still identifiable as an i-box speaker, and just to make sure it says so right there at the front grill of the speaker. It has got a rugged look that makes me think that it could be a great option for the outdoors. What it does have is a design that is easy on the eye, with the overall black color accented by lines of orange, and the brushed metal finish that runs through the top center of the speaker, where you will also find the touch sensitive controls (plus a physical power on button). Speaking of controls, it includes volume adjustment, play/pause, skip songs, hands-free call controlling, and the bluetooth pairing button.
Weighing in at a low 317g, the i-box Trax is what I would describe as potentially very portable. The built in battery is said to provide up to 10-hours of playing time between charges, and with the inclusion of NFC technology, compatible devices can connect with the speaker with a single touch. Not that normal bluetooth pairing is that complicated either. Should you require wired connection you can use the 3.5mm aux-in port, and there is a USB port for charging the speaker as well.
Inside the casing you will find a 2.1 channel speaker configuration consisting of dual 1.5-inch full range drivers and a passive bass radiator, producing a 6W power output. Operating time between charges is roughly 10 hours.
With the Trax they have built one rugged bluetooth speaker. It feels like it can take a knock or two without any damage, which also means that it feels well built. At the same time it’s very lightweight, which is important for it to be truly portable, from a ‘throw in the backpack’ purpose.
The top touch controls are responsive and easy to use, and pairing worked fine from both standard bluetooth connection to NFC pairing using a Nexus 5. There was sometimes a bit of lag in bluetooth reponse, but i’ve found that with a lot of other bluetooth speakers as well, so more a general bluetooth issue rather than an issue with the Trax specifically.
As for the all important sound, the i-box Trax can hold its own in its price class. It does not have the biggest and best sound I have heard, but overall its a good alternative to consider if you are on the look out for light portable bluetooth speaker. This is not a main home wireless speaker solution, but rather a second portable speaker for the kitchen or bedroom, or perhaps for the door room if you are student and not allowed to blast the music too loud indoors. With its rugged design I can also see it working well for trips to the beach or the park.
- Lightweight and rugged design
- Good pairing options, including NFC. Good responsive controls
- A quirky design that somehow works (at least for me) and decent operating time between charges
- Overall the sound is a bit light
The i-box Trax is available from amongst other i-box website at £69.99.