The Nixeus ARC 4.0 Wireless Speaker comes packaged in firm foam inside a nice box with a magnetic closure. The device is much smaller than I anticipated and looks rather delicate, which could be a downfall if you’re wanting something rugged or weatherproof. I immediately plugged it in to give it a good overnight charge. I was excited that it came with an outlet adapter and not just a USB cord.
The Nixeus ARC 4.0 has quickly become my new favorite portable bluetooth speaker. Some good things really do come in small packages. I have a similar wireless speaker with many of the same features so it gave me something to compare it to. Some of the key features are it’s compact size, clear sound, USB power bank, and built-in speakerphone.
The device comes with a fabric carrying bag for storage, charging cord and outlet adapter, and 3.5mm cord. The bag won’t offer much protection and there’s not enough room in it to store the charger and extra cord easily, but the box it came it in is nice enough to reuse if you want something a little sturdier to keep it protected while storing it. The speaker itself is small, only 7 inches long, but I consider this a plus. The less space my gadgets take up the better. It looks rather delicate in comparison to some of the other wireless speakers out there. It isn’t water resistant or rugged in any way. And because it’s round and the speaker grill wraps around the front and top, I can see it easily collecting dust or dirt over time if it’s left out.
The ARC 4.0 is incredibly easy to use. No need to hold the power button for any length of time to turn it on, just one press and it’s ready to go. If the blue light is flashing, it’s on and ready. Nothing’s more annoying than having to hold a button to turn a speaker on, then wondering if you actually turned it off instead because you left it on overnight. If you hold the power button it will show you how much battery is left with 4 small lights next to the USB output. I love a speaker that can tell me how much battery I have, especially when they take up to 12 hours to charge. Another thing that set it apart from others I’ve used is the way the ‘next/volume up’ and ‘back/volume down’ buttons work. With other speakers, you long press for volume, short press for song change. The ARC 4.0 has the long press for song change, short press for volume change. My type-A personality comes out here, but it never made sense to me to have to long press for the volume because you end up either cranking the volume too much or long pressing over and over to get it right. You can also use this speaker for answering phone calls if you enjoy sharing your conversation with anyone else in the room.
Besides the ease of use, the ARC 4.0 packs some pretty clear sound. In comparison to my other speaker, the ARC has a clean and rich sound that’s easier on the ears. Sometimes you don’t realize how awful a speaker sounds until you have something better to compare it to! Even at full volume, the sound was clear with minimal cracking. At full volume, I was expecting it to be a little louder, but I don’t see ever having to turn it up that loud anyway.
One of my very favorite things about this speaker so far is the battery life. Quality sound and ease of use are great, but none of that matters if your speaker ends up dead when you want to listen to music. It has a 5200mAh battery and the ability to charge other devices through the 2.1A USB port. Because it’s obvious if the speaker is on or off, you’re not as likely to leave it on accidentally, wearing the battery down. I charged the speaker once, used it for a few hours on and off while working during the week, took it camping for a weekend of hours of music listening, used it to top off my phone’s battery, used it again throughout the week and following weekend, and I still have 1 ‘dot’ worth of charge on it. I’ve been patiently waiting for the battery to run out so I can give it a fresh charge. Most speakers we’ve used don’t even make it through a weekend camping trip and we end up stuck without a way to charge it up. My similar speaker has the same size battery, but we end up charging it every couple of days because we go to use it and it’s dead. Did I mention how much I love that you can see how much battery is left and whether it’s turned on or off?
It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this bluetooth speaker. I pretty much won me over with the sound quality, but the ease of use, battery life, and compact size sealed the deal. If you’re looking for a waterproof or rugged speaker this isn’t it, but all the other features paired with the sound quality make it worth it to me. My only real complaint is that I wish it came with a better fabric bag to store it in, but that’s getting picky.