It’s time again for another Bluetooth speaker review here at Techaeris. Our Monster Firecracker review takes a look at a sleek, light, weatherproof Bluetooth speaker that has the added bonus of packing a high-intensity flashlight.
The Monster Firecracker has the following features and specifications:
- “Baby Blaster” form factor
- Built in super-bright 7-hour flashlight
- High-intensity daylight, 5000K
- 500 Lumens
- Pure Monster Sound™ wirelessly with NFC
- Stereo (from 2 Full-Range Drivers) with passive bass radiator
- High intelligibility mic for calls
- 25+ Hours of continuous play
- Splash resistant (IPX-5)
- Heavy-duty cabinet with color-matched strap and carabiner clip
- Sealed Port for aux in (3.5mm) and power
- Dimensions: 17.8 x 6.6 x 6.6 cm (7 x 2.6 x 2.6 in)
- Weight: 460 g
- Black, Gold, Red, Green Camo
- 1-year warranty
What’s in the box
- Monster Firecracker Bluetooth Speaker
- USB cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Guide
The Monster Firecracker follows the triangular design of its large sibling, the Monster Blaster. This speaker is considerably smaller with a length of 7 inches and a height of just over 2.5 inches. It’s super light as well with a weight of only 490 grams (roughly 1lb). The speaker has a black metal grille that wraps almost entirely around all three sides.
At the back of the speaker, where the bottom and back side joins, is a plastic piece that runs the length of the speaker. The Monster wordmark is imprinted in the plastic, and the NFC sensor is also indicated here. One end of this piece bulges out slightly and has an opening for attaching the included carabiner or lanyard.
The back of the speaker has your 3.5mm audio line in and Micro-USB charging ports protected from the elements under a rubber cap. The bottom of the speaker has two rubber feet. The front features the Monster logo and it’s behind this logo that you’ll find an LED indicator light. If you look through the grille, you can also see the two full-range drivers.
At each edge of the grille, you’ll find a plastic ring and an end cap. Both end caps have a gold ring around them with the words “Monster Firecracker” and “Pure Monster Sound” around the edges. The gold ring does add a bit of extra class to the speaker. The right end cap is where you’ll find your multi-function, volume up, volume down, and Photolite on/off buttons. The multi-function button on the Monster Firecracker turns the speaker on and off, initiates pairing, answers/ends/rejects a phone call, and plays or pauses the current track.
Finally, the left end cap is where you’ll find the high-intensity 5000K daylight, 500 Lumens Photolite.
The Monster Firecracker is a pretty nicely, compact, sturdy, well constructed, and functionally designed Bluetooth speaker. Our review sample came in black, but it will also be available in red, gold, or camo color schemes.
Ease of Use
As with most portable Bluetooth speakers, the Monster Firecracker is pretty easy to use. When you first open it, press and hold the multi-function button for about 4 seconds to turn it on and initiate pairing mode with your smartphone or other Bluetooth device. You can also pair your device by tapping it on the NFC sensor on the back of the speaker. Once you’ve paired your device to the speaker, holding the power button for about 2 seconds to turn the speaker on or off.
The volume controls are obviously used to adjust the volume up or down and will beep at maximum or minimum volume. One function that is missing here that is present on a lot of other Bluetooth speakers is the ability to skip tracks using the volume up/down buttons. As previously mentioned, the multi-function button also plays or pauses the current track, a short press answers or ends an incoming call, a longer press rejects the call and also mutes the microphone while on a call. You can also end the current call with a short press of the multi-function button to answer a new call, or double-press it to answer a new call and put the current call on hold.
Finally, pressing the light button turns the Photolite on or off. The Photolite uses a 5000K 500 lumen light for natural color for using it as an external light for picture taking. While I didn’t take any pictures using it (to be honest it’s pretty blinding when shining it at someone), the beam is fairly compact and directed as opposed to spread out. The color of the light does brighten up the area it’s shone on with very little colour distortion. Of course, it also works great as a flashlight and according to Monster lasts around 7 hours when used as a flashlight.
As far as sound goes, the Monster Firecracker is pretty decent sounding for such a small Bluetooth speaker. While it could use some more bass, tones are crisp and clear except for when you turn it up to maximum volume. When turned up all the way, there’s definitely some distortion — especially in lower bass tones — that comes into play during music listening. I found that the loudest I could get it and still be clear was around 80% volume, which should still be plenty loud for most small areas.
Another feature that is a welcome one on Bluetooth speakers is volume controls that are independent of your smartphone. Unfortunately, the Monster Firecracker lacks independent volume controls. It’s not the end of the world, but it is definitely a nice feature to have.
Bluetooth speakers generally aren’t the greatest with speakerphone functionality and the Monster Firecracker is no exception. While the other party audio came through nice and clear, you have to be pretty close to the speaker in order for them to hear you properly.
Monster claims a 25+ hour battery life while listening to music and a 7+ hour battery life while using the light. During our tests, we reached just under 25 hours before the speaker finally died while listening to it between 50 and 75% volume. There’s no way to tell how much battery life is left due to the single LED indicator on the speaker. When the battery does get low, the LED light turns red and the speaker makes a battery low beeping sound. Our flashlight test lasted about 5 continuous hours before the battery died.
Once drained, the battery took about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to recharge.
The Monster Firecracker can be purchased for $129.99CAD in black at Best Buy Canada. It’s also available at The Source and is on sale for $89.99CAD until January 4th. This definitely falls into the mid- to high-range price for speakers this size and the $89.99CAD sale price is a great value for this speaker as opposed to the regular price. The decent sound with long lasting battery, weatherproofing, and bonus Photolite/flashlight make this a decent little Bluetooth speaker.
Currently, the Firecracker is available only in Canada but will be coming to the U.S. in 2017 in black, gold, red, and camo versions.
If you’re looking for a small, weatherproof, portable Bluetooth speaker with a long lasting battery, you should definitely look at the Monster Firecracker. In addition, the included Photolite/flashlight makes this a great speaker for camping and other outdoor activities.
*We were sent a sample of the Monster Firecracker for the purposes of this review.
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