We all love our tools but what about our tunes, man? Sometimes it’s the music that helps get you through a tough day at work. Or what if you missed the latest episode of PTR Live? You could get up to speed on all the latest tool news while you work. It’s likely that your phone doesn’t have the sonic chops to adequately crank what you’re listening to across your work area. So Klein Tools has introduced their take on a new job site sound solution: the new Klein Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.
It’s a compact, Bluetooth-enabled box of sound. Whether you want to jam out, chill out, or catch up on your (secret) favorite needlepoint podcast, a speaker like has the potential to be a great solution.
Make Your Connection
The Klein Wireless Bluetooth Speaker connects to your phone with the included auxiliary cable or via Bluetooth wireless connection. With no obstructions between your phone and the speaker, you can pump the 5 watts of sound from a range of nearly 33 feet – pretty standard for Bluetooth. With my connection, it doesn’t start cutting out until close to 40 feet.
I enabled Bluetooth on my phone and the Klein Wireless Bluetooth Speaker hooked right up. It was the same throughout the review; I never experienced the frustration of my phone failing to connect to the speaker. That’s a little different from the Kyocera DuraForce Pro that tends to drop Bluetooth connections at random. If you have an issue here, it’s typically on the phone’s side of the connection.
There’s a speakerphone function so you can take hands-free calls as well. I answered a few calls with it but the callers had a hard time hearing me. Personally, I don’t generally broadcast my phone conversations across the job site, so the performance here is a non-issue for me. For those of you who look for this type of feature, be aware that you pretty much have to stand right in front of the speaker.
The battery lasts up to 10 hours on a charge, and you use the included micro-USB cord to charge it. On average, the battery lasts me 2 days plus a little. I’m not in a position that I have it on the entire workday, so 10 hours is more than enough.
Ben Tested, Ben Approved
This 10-oz speaker has enough drop protection that it can withstand falls from 6-1/2 feet. I’ve dropped it 3 times – by accident – and it’s no worse for the wear! I don’t consider myself particularly easy on my tools (Clint and Kenny are rolling their eyes right now), so this tough Klein product is right up my alley. Besides, those drops and scuffs are just part of the job, right?
With the cover placed securely over the jacks, the speaker carries an IP45 rating against water and dust ingress. That’s enough to handle most days on the job site, but you’ll want to leave it in the truck if you’re working outside on rainy days.
There’s a trifecta of mounting options for the Klein Tools Wireless Jobsite Speaker. I hazard a guess that the 1/4-20 threaded tripod mount won’t see a ton of use, but it’s not bad to have this as an option.
A twist-lock flange hooks up to the Klein Tools Lighted Tool Bag (55431) in case you have that.
Finally, a strong magnet on the speaker’s back allows you to stick the speaker to breaker boxes, trucks, or anything magnetic. I suspect this will be the most popular way to mount this speaker aside from just letting it stand on its own.
The magnet works very well. I stuck it to the side of the van and a lift, and it kept a firm hold. In fact, I even drove off with it on the back of the van once and it held fast! I don’t recommend becoming a rolling Klein speaker, but it’s nice to know it didn’t fall off and resisted all the road dust.
The only thing that’s really missing is a radio. It’s arguable if that’s really necessary considering you can listen to most radio stations via internet or app these days. Still, if you’re trying to conserve battery life or data on your phone, a radio is nice to have.
The speaker sounds surprisingly good for its size. It can handle both the high and low ranges without sounding tinny or muffled. Bear in mind, it’s only a 5-Watt speaker, so you shouldn’t crank it to 11 and expect it to blow any doors off their hinges. But for all intents and purposes, this is a capable little speaker.
The sound is somewhat uni-directional rather than room filing, which can be helpful on the job site. Keep in mind that it’s more of a personal speaker, so you can listen to your stuff without a lot of sound spilling over to others in earshot.
A couple of times, I tried to skip a song, and it paused instead. This might be an operator error, or even an issue with my particular phone. I never did quite get to the bottom of it. In any case, it’s not a huge deal.
The Bottom Line
The Klein Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is a tough little speaker that’s great for personal use and will run for the entire workday. It’s a little weak as a speakerphone and there’s no radio, but this sub-$40 speaker is a welcome addition to my tool bag.
Klein Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Features
- Connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or a wired auxiliary input
- 32.8-foot connectivity range (in open space)
- 10-hour battery life
- Drop protected up to 6.6 feet
- Powerful rear magnet holds the speaker to metal surfaces (panels, ducts, etc.)
- Twist-lock flange mounts to Klein’s Lighted Tool Bag
- 1/4-20 threaded mount on bottom allows attachment to any standard tripod
- Rated IP45 water/dust resistant
- Able to answer calls hands-free with the built-in speakerphone
- Includes 1/8-inch stereo auxiliary cable and micro USB-to-standard USB charging cable
Klein Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Specifications
- Item Number: AEPJS1
- Length: 3-7/8 inches
- Height: 3-1/2 inches
- Width: 2-1/8 inches
- Battery Life: 10 Hour
- Color: Orange, Black, Gray
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Range: 32.8 feet
- Drop Protection: Up to 6.6 feet
- Wattage: 5 watts
- IP Rating: IP45
- Included: Aux Cable, USB Charging Cable
- Weight: 10 ounces
- Price: $39.59