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Beats Pill at Target

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Does anyone know if the Beats Pill sold at brick-and-mortar Target store for $180 -- currently on sale for $170 -- is the old Pill or the new Pill?  (The new Pill can be paired with another Pill to play the same song, therefore louder, or paired in such a way left channel goes to one Pill, right channel to the other, for better stereo separation.)  I can't find the feature listed online for any of the Pills Target sells, whether via online or store or both.  But it's the kind of quirky feature that often doesn't make big-box store item descriptions.

 

Any comments "don't buy anything Beats, it's awful" are appreciated for warning me but I know what I'm getting into.  For one, I'm not going to buy anything without listening to it first.  It's mainly for durable cordless small form factor rechargeable battery-powered convenience, as my sons now often want music played from my phone where right now the only available option is headphones.  This doesn't work very well for beach vacations or at the park.  I want to encourage their growing interest in music, but they're 7 and 9 and certainly not audiophiles.  For three, the most negative bits of reviews I've read are price -- can't argue with that but sometimes people spend on what they want -- and that the Pill lacks the signature bass for which Beats products are known.  That's what I hate about Beats.  The bass.  So who know?  I might like the Pill's sound just fine.

 

There are little corded but rechargeable battery powered bladder-type mono speakers on Amazon for about $20 apiece and you can daisy chain them for louder, so I can buy a few of those, athough they remain mono.  I admit these things are kind of cool, yet still I figure no matter how mediocre the Pill, it's got to sound better than those.

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanfordm View Post

Any comments "don't buy anything Beats, it's awful" are appreciated for warning me but I know what I'm getting into.  For one, I'm not going to buy anything without listening to it first.  It's mainly for durable cordless small form factor rechargeable battery-powered convenience, as my sons now often want music played from my phone where right now the only available option is headphones.  

It's not so much that their stuff is awful, just generally overpriced when considering competitors when it comes to all the Beats electronics; with Beats, you pay for the name, for the marketing campaign. I don't know which Beats model Target has, but be sure to listen to portable speakers by Bose, Logitech/Ultimate Ears, Jawbone, and JBL in the $100-$200 range. Good bet that most if not all of their offerings will be better price/performance values. JBL Charge and Bose Mini Soundlink would be my suggestions.
post #3 of 5

I listened to the Pill in a Radio Shack.  Honestly, it sounded like the cheap throwaway beige computer speakers that I had 20 years ago.  Absolutely horrible.  I asked the sales droid if it was broken but apparently that's how it's supposed to sound.  When I realized that this thing costs the same as a pair of Audioengine A2, I had to just shake my head in disbelief and leave the store...  

 

I know you probably want something now, but it might be worth waiting to check out the SoundBlaster Roar: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/ces-2014-showstopper-creative-labs-sound-blaster-roar

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yeah I definitely wanted at least something today.

 

Okay funny before I even read these posts I starting thinking Bose Soundlink mini.  For $200, same The Pill.  Which, by the way, sounds...  Well, to agree in parts with both cel4145 and Depechetraff, not exactly awful, but a lot like a pair of $30 desktop computer speakers.  That's fine, maybe for $30, but not for $200. (At retail, the original Pill is $170, the new Pill, Pill 2.0, and that's all they actually have in stock anymore, is $199).

 

Anyway, the Bose mini sounds really good.  But I had heard of the Roar announcement and though it's kind of large for my immediate needs, the size is fine for our annual every-other-year summer beach vacation coming up this summer.  The non-beach annual summer vacation is the mountains and the Roar size is fine for that, too.  The main problem is it's not available now, not just even to listen to a demo unit, and I'd like to at least give it a listen.  I was able to listen to the Bem and look up some reliability reviews and yeah it distorts at higher volumes but it's perfect for tossing in my bag for the park, otherwise sounds fine, charges fast, lasts a good while on batteries.  It's not spectacular sound but it was only $60 -- could have gotten it for $10 less via Amazon but only $10 less and I'd have had to wait till Monday and that's with Prime overnight, so only $5 less.

 

The point being, for $60 I've got something decent for now and I can still justify paying another $200 for the Roar if it turns out great, or the Bose mini if the Roar winds up leaving me cold and I still want something better than the Bem.  One to toss in my bag and go, sounds decent, and I don't curse a blue streak if I break it or my kids break it in rougher conditions.  For $60, just get another one.  For a good bit under $300 total, a model with better sound, better features, although larger and at a price I wouldn't be so willing to pay twice.  Or, who knows, the Bem turns out good enough and I just saved $140.

 

We'll see how the Bem does in real-world use.  It's charging now.  I'll try to post back after I give some work out.

 

The Pill, it's pretty and it's got some kind of cool features -- honestly, features I'd probably never have used -- but the sound on it really is a pill.  No doubt.  I thought the first demo model I listened to was probably shopworn and abused, too, but they had four hooked up, two looked sparkling new, and they all sounded the same.

post #5 of 5

Even the Razer Ferox, though much derided (especially by those who have branded 2.1 speakers built into their laptops and already get a "true" miniature sub) is a better bargain at $50 if you really need portability. I got to try one out at an outdoor cafe and it can get loud enough to force us to raise out voices over them if used as ambiance speakers (like for when we drink in our mountain cabins). If I'm listening critically, the real problem is that the omnidirectional diffuser sends the soundwaves out around them, so compared to more conventional 2.0 computer speakers that you set down so they point up (or the stands are angled), the sound stage is only an inch or two higher than the keyboard.

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