Beats Pill+ Review

A pill for more modern music tastes, but overall, it’s still easy to swallow.

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Beats released the replacement to the Pill 2.0, claiming to offer better dynamic range and definition to the sound characteristics.  There’s improved battery life and a few more features that I’ll go over as well. Pricing wise, this is on the very high, upper end for mid-size Bluetooth speakers.  Even more-so than the Soundlink Mini 2 from Bose and that is considered as being premium.  I personally paid $229 retail for this and if you want to check today’s updated pricing, I placed my affiliate link above that leads to what Amazon is offering today.

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The Pill+ does get a bit bigger than the older model and considering Beats didn’t disclose the weight on their website,  I was kind of surprised how beefy it feels when I picked it up for the first time.  Compared to the older model and other mid-size Bluetooth speakers out there, this is somewhat on the heavier side and you will notice it in your bag, however, it’s still very much portable and easy to manage.

The front and rear still features the very durable grill, practically indestructible, but new, surrounding the width of the speaker is a grippy silicone like texture.  Perfect for having this stay on your table and making this easy to grab.  Going over the top here, on and off with a 5-light remaining battery indicator, in the middle is the Beats Logo that’s actually a button, which allows you to control your music.  Pause, Play, skip tracks and answer phone calls, and to the right are your volume up and down buttons.  Rotating to the rear and covered by a flap, the Pill + offers a Charge Out Port enabling you to charge any device with a USB cable, handy if you need to give your phone a little juice.

Next is a 3.5mm port to physically connect your device instead of going wireless, and last, familiar to Apple users, a lightning port is used to charge the speaker.  I personally would have preferred a Micro-USB connection instead, since I have phone chargers, and Micro-USB cables laying around all over the house, as I’m sure you do as well, so if you’re going anywhere, remember to bring the supplied Lightning cable.  And speaking of batteries, Beats claims up to 12 hours of use, from my standard test I do on most my Bluetooth speakers, leaving this at 50% volume to have a median number to compare, I played this the entire day and the Pill+ died in 13 hrs and 9 minutes, a very much improved test over last years model. Recharging wise, from a dead battery until full, this did take 3 hours to do.

Another feature that makes a comeback is the ability to pair another Pill+ so two speakers play simultaneously, offering more room-filling music.  A bigger perk I think, if you do have two of these, you can have separate audio separation, one for the left and one for the right audio channel.  At the time of this video, you can only pair to Pill Pluses via the app for both Apple and Android platforms.  And just real quick regarding the app, it’s really basic with options to just pair those speakers as I just mentioned, renaming your speaker to your desired name, and independent volume control – there’s no built-in equalizer or built-in sound boosting features.

Last before I go into my sound test, I know there’s no such thing as a Bluetooth speaker that has every feature on the market, but one I notice that Beats removed the NFC.  Near Field Communication allows for NFC-enabled phones and devices to just tap on the side of the speaker and pair your device immediately.  Very convenient and underrated – that’s no longer here.  And before I forget, the Bluetooth range has been excellent.  Testing this with the newest phones on the market, this went all the way to the other side of my house downstairs, going through several walls and of course, the first floor ceiling.  The connection never cut-off or disconnected altogether.

So, let’s get into the part you have been waiting for, the sound test.  Keep in mind, I test a huge amount of Bluetooth speakers, so branding, whether Beats or Apple, or if this was Bose or JBL, doesn’t matter.  I just want to point out what I hear and how it stacks up to others.  Because it’s a mid-size speaker, and not a full size like the recalled Pill XL, you won’t have deep sub-bass levels, but if you’re a bass lover, still consider this.  Bass is there and more bassy than most mid-size speakers on the market.

The mid-range of audio where vocals and most instruments reside, for the average consumer, it will sound decent with voices and instruments being pronounced enough. The speaker itself is still very loud filling up small rooms for sure and mid-size rooms to a good degree.  The sound signature is not bright and I’m sure with being very much bassy, it’s not intended to.  For those listening to Hip-hop, this will sound perfectly fine.  Those who listen to more Pop music with lighter notes, you may notice some slight vocal droning on some songs, where the vocals may sound slightly suppressed.  Regarding the highs, this is where I noticed a bit of distortion sadly.  On very high vocals, cymbal crashes, snare drums, it gets jumbled and not clear uptop.  This is very much noticeable when volume is near or at maximum volume, it just doesn’t retain its clarity as much as I would have liked.

Keep in mind, the speaker as a whole I believe does well, it’s not garbage my any means, and the Pill+ does sound much better than the older model.  It’s just some songs played very well, while some songs and genres on the other hand didn’t play as nice.  I would say, if you’re a bass lover, for sure, this is for worth a consideration.  If you’re not deep into bass, I believe the other sound characteristics are a bit lacking.  As for audio separation and soundstage, this performed like many other mid-size Bluetooth speakers out there.  Because the speakers inside the unit are small and so close together, it’s hard for the channels to separate left and right – again, that’s pretty typical.  So, in the comments section below, let me know what you think of the Pill Plus?  I personally think it’s still a very capable and good speaker, but more-so in the right genre, but then again, if you’re money conscious, that price tag hurts a bit too.  So I hope this review helped you in some way.  Don’t forget to add me onto your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, and again, I’m Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room, here to help you make a purchase decision.  You guys take care, I’ll see you on the next one.