Aukey SK-M17 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and PA System Review

Aukey SK-M17 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and PA System Review

Buy it at Amazon: Aukey SK-M17 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and PA System [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Clear and clean sound, lots of projection but not much bass; a decent PA system for parties/karaoke.

The speaker comes with a 31" USB charging cable, 47" male-to-male audio cable, magnetic coil microphone with ¼" plug, and an instruction manual. It is pretty sizable measuring 12" across with a 8.5" in diameter. It weighs about 6 lbs. However, it does have a built in 5200 mAh battery which can last over 8 hours of playback at max volume so it is "portable" in the sense that is doesn't need to be plugged in. The materials used are mid-grade. The plastic is fairly lightweight and cheap looking but the main body is wrapped in a soft-touch silicone which gives it a nice texture; however, it also tends to attract dust and lint. It's marketed as on "outdoor speaker" but only applies in the sense that you could use it in a large open space. Note that it is not weather or waterproof at all. The speaker actually isn't all that rugged either so you don't want to drop it or get it wet. On top of the speaker are two fold down handles for carrying it. On the right hand side are the controls and ports for the unit and below those are the main drivers.

The power input is a barrel style plug so the USB charge cable isn't as common as say a microUSB cable. This means if you lose the cable, you might have trouble finding a replacement. There are playback controls like skip tracks, play/pause, and mode key. This unit has two ¼" microphone input ports because the unit actually functions as a PA system which comes in handy for parties and other events. You can also plug in other input sources like an electric keyboard or instrument. If you're streaming from a mobile device, you can use Bluetooth or the Aux-in port. This speaker also has an FM receiver built-in, though you can't select individual channels; you'll be stuck doing the auto-scan search for active broadcasts in your area, using the Aux-in cable as the antenna. For audio control, that is an EQ bass dial and analog volume control for the input sources and a separate volume and echo control for the mics. The mics can't be controlled independently though and the echo control is kind of gimmicky. Honestly, I would have rather seen a second volume control knob for the other mic instead of echo control.

The speaker uses two 3 watt drivers and has a 15 watt subwoofer on the opposite side for bass enhancement. The sound the speaker produces is clear and crisp; the balance focuses on mid and high ranges with little in the way of deep bass response. If the sound is a little boxy, try turning up the bass EQ to fill out the sound and make it fuller and more rounded. This works in most cases, however, even at max bass, you won't get super low bass response for rumbling and deep lows, which is a bit disappointing for a speaker this size and spec. It sounds sort of like a smaller speaker;s components were built into a larger housing. While the sound isn't bad, per se, you could get similar sound quality in a much smaller speaker size. That said, the volume of this speaker can get loud and it projects well for larger spaces without distorting. Because the stereo drivers are situated right next to each other, you won't hear a lot of separation between the channels.

The cord on the microphone is 10' long so you've got some room to move around when using it. The mic can be used in Bluetooth mode or Aux mode and mixes the music source with the mic inputs so you can singalong and karaoke with a track or just have some background music while speaking. The mic doesn't come with a foam wind guard which doesn't make it great for outdoors on windy days. When in radio mode, the mic overrides the radio signal so you won't be able to talk or sing over a radio broadcast. Note that the main volume and bass EQ dials won't affect the mic performance.

Overall, the speaker works decently well with average to good quality audio. The PA system functionality and its loud projection are the big winners for me here because if it didn't have these features, I would probably go with a smaller speaker, even at the expense of less power and volume.

Buy it at Amazon: Aukey SK-M17 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and PA System [Affiliate Link]

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