The TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker has been on the market for some time now, and it’s been elbowed by several other Bluetooth speakers in the past few months. Judging by its size, it’s not something you’re likely to slip into your backpack and carry around with you everywhere, but the added benefit from the slightly bigger size is you get a bit more volume than you bargained for.
Build Quality & Design
Sporting a very straightforward boxy design, the A33 has two 1.5” drivers and a 2.5” subwoofer on the front, along with two 3” passive radiators at the back. At the top you’ve got some nicely recessed buttons that let you control the volume and also operate the speaker as a loudspeaker for your phone. Sadly there are no track navigation controls, so you’re going to have to skip through music on your device itself. At the side of the A33 are a few ports that is covered by a removable rubber door. Here you’ll find an on/off switch, aux port, power port for recharging, and a USB port to charge your iPod or smartphone. The USB port delivers very little power, so some newer smartphones may quickly drain the A33’s battery. The A33 is weatherproof, not waterproof – this means that it will stand up against light splashes and dust, but don’t think you can jump in a pool with this thing. There’s also a mini-kickstand at the bottom of the speaker which props it up at a slight angle to elevate the sound.
Connectivity & Audio Quality
Connecting the A33 is as simple as turning it on, holding down the Bluetooth button, and pairing it with your device. As mentioned before, there’s a 3.5mm port for connecting non-Bluetooth devices.
When it comes down to audio quality, you have to make some sacrifices when you test out these portable speakers, and the same applies for the A33. Overall it was able to deliver plenty of volume, and pop tracks sounded quite good. But softer notes in lounge and classical music didn’t come through as clearly, which was a bit of a shame.
The TDK Life on Record A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker sounds pretty good for its size, but it’s not as portable as other Bluetooth speakers on the market, which leads us to treat this strictly as a mid-sized speaker rather than something you’d carry around. With a battery life of just under six hours it’s also not the most long-lasting, but unless you’re looking to hold a min-rave at the park, you can get by just fine.
+ Loud enough to fill a small room
+ Easy connectivity
- Large design makes it less portable