Overall rating: 7.5/10 (Grade A Speaker)
Today I’ll be reviewing the Elysium Zeon III. Its a small, handy portable speaker which is perfect for office desk usage, and is pretty good for bass and edm lovers.
Category: Portable Speaker
-Handy unique shape which makes it easy to bring around
-very Good volume and bass for it’s size
-Sturdy Aluminium housing
-Treble boost function is useful for certain songs at loud volumes
-Bluetooth range is very short, with signal being easily disrupted/lost. This has affected speaker’s scoring alot, since bluetooth playback is the main function of the speaker.
-Quite Lacking in mids, especially at lower listening volumes
-Speaker doesn’t need a treble boost function, what it really needs is a bass and mids boost function.
-RRP price at $160+ makes it a little unattractive as there are several other good portable speakers in this price range
Design and Build Quality (9.2/10): The Elysium ZeonIII is roughly the size of 1.5 standard can drinks. It has a unique triangular shape that makes the speaker easy to carry around with your hand. This makes it a good speaker to bring outdoors, like the gardens or beaches (careful though, it’s not waterproof). Alternatively, it’ll also look good (and perform really well) when placed on a small office desk.
Within it’s unique triangular shape, It houses 2 x 1.5″ full range drivers in an aluminium housing. The full range drivers are rated at 5w rms each, so the Speaker can output up to 10 watts of volume total. This speaker also has 2 aluminium Passive radiators, which are exposed on both sides. While they are exposed, the passive radiators are strong enough to withstand heavy usage (but not abuse, of course). You can see and feel the bass coming out of the passive radiators when playing bassy music at normal volume levels.
The overall build quality is also very satisfying. The aluminium body has been able to withstand daily use with little scratches, and does not flex at loud volumes. it’s also weighty enough (yet not overly heavy) to inspire confidence that quality drivers and parts were used in the Speaker. Only the top part of the speaker and gaskets of the passive radiator is made of plastic.
At the bottom of the speaker, 3 black strips of anti slip rubber are stuck on the speaker, to ensure that the speaker does not rattle and move around your desk at loud volumes.
Overall, the design and build quality pf the Speaker is pretty outstanding.
Battery life and charging (8.5/10): the Speaker charges via micro-usb and takes roughly 2 hours to charge on a 5V 2A Charger. You can charge the Speaker and play music at the same time as well. On a full charge, you can get roughly 5 to 6 hours of music play at normal listening volumes. Not bad for a speaker of this size.
The only con is that this speaker does not come with it’s own power adaptor to charge the Speaker quickly, although it is possible to charge the Speaker, albeit very slowly, via your computer’s USB port.
Connectivity (6.5/10): The speaker is Bluetooth enabled, and also accepts line in (via 3.5mm earphone jack), in case your device does not have Bluetooth. However, my set did not seem to come with a 3.5mm line in cable, so you’ll need to source one yourself (not very good, Elysium).
The Bluetooth function is very handy, but there’s a big problem with it. This speaker’s bluetooth range is abysmally weak, with music starting to stutter when your phone is just 2 metres away from the speaker. Go further than 8 metres, and your Bluetooth connection could be totally cut off. This makes it difficult to use the function without placing your phone beside the Speaker. As a result, the Bluetooth function is not as useful as I wanted it to be. I own many Bluetooth speakers, and honestly, this speaker seems to have one of the worst bluetooth ranges I’ve encountered so far. It’s even weaker than my Xiaomi Rectangular Bluetooth speaker, which costs much less as well.
Another point to note is that this speaker can only play music by Bluetooth OR line in. You can’t play from both sources at the same time. Quite a number of expensive speakers, such as the creative roar, allow you to do this
Functionality and features (8/10):
Functionality wise, it is pretty easy to use.
Just turn on it’s physical switch and bluetooth pairing is immediately available. You can pause, play and skip songs with the previous, play/pause and forward buttons, located conveniently near the top of the speaker. You can also adjust the speaker volume by long pressing the previous and forward buttons. However, I must mention that, you can’t adjust the Bluetooth device volume via the speaker.
I like that there is a treble boost function, which does help to improve perceived sound quality of most songs, at lower and higher volumes. At normal listening volumes, the treble boost function can be a little too harsh for my liking though. You can’t adjust the treble boost levels to your liking.
Music Quality: Bass and treble focused, a little lacking in mids
Usually, most speakers of this size are very lacking in audible bass (50hz to 120hz range) . Obviously , i don’t expect subbass from small speakers (below 50 hz) as their speaker size is a big constraint – such small drivers would definitely be unable to move enough air to shake the room.
This speaker however, manages to impress me with the amount of bass it can output. When playing ‘closer’ by the Chainsmokers, the bass synth drum can be heard very prominently. The bass notes overall are pretty audible and balanced at medium volume. At lower volumes though, you’ll want to use an equalizer to boost the low frequencies further. At higher volumes, the speaker will lose abit of bass as the 2 small drivers start to struggle trying to reproduce the whole sound spectrum at loud volumes. However, overall the amount of bass output by this speaker is very good, considering that it only has 2 x 1.5 inch drivers driving the whole sound spectrum.
Mids (6.3/10): this is where the Speaker lacks the most. The mids of this speaker is very closed and feels very recessed. This makes vocals sound rather processed and unnatural, especially male vocals.
Both vocalists in the ‘closer’ song by the chainsmokers and hasley, feel much too laid back in the mix, with more emphasis on the bass and treble end of the music. In the song ‘starving’ by hailee steinfield, the mids really seemed to be starving abit too, with her voice starting to sound a bit processed (pun intended! :D)
In fact, It almost feels as if this speaker has a V-shaped equaliser setting being applied to all the music being played.
If you listen to the roses guitar fingerstyle cover by peter gergely, the speaker is able to reproduce the bassy ‘E’ and ‘A’ string notes with enough punch, and high ‘B’ and ‘E’ string notes sound pretty clear. But somehow the guitar sound overall seems to lack ‘life’, thus making the recording sound a little unnatural.
However, Applying a software equaliser boost of about 1 to 4db at the 250hz to 1000hz range helps a lot in bringing life to vocals and instruments.
Bass lovers and most edm music fans may not be too bothered too much by this, but this speaker may not be too good for classical or instrumental music lovers, since instruments such as the acoustic guitars and pianos, would only sound lively with a good amount of mids being projected by the speaker. Even my Xiaomi Bluetooth speaker, with similar driver size, seem to output a little more mids than this speaker, so this is a department that elysium should look to improve on in future.
Highs (8.1/10): Overall i find that the highs reproduced by the Speaker is pretty good, although it can be a little harsh at normal listening volumes. This is because the higher treble frequency (10k+ hz) has some added emphasis. The vocals in closer, while lacking in mids, sounded really clear, and together with a software eq mids boost, the vocals sounded pretty good to listen to, and the hi hats cymbals also came off pretty good, although it can be a little harsh sounding. And this is without the treble boost mode activated!
When you activate the treble boost mode, the sound may be perceived as clearer to some, but to me, it makes the music a little too sharp to my ears, as vocals sound a little more processed as well!
Overall sound quality (7.6/10): overall, the sound of this speaker would suit bass lovers, edm and pop music lovers well. The speaker also produces more than enough bass to satisfy people who need a small speaker on their office desk for near field listening. A little mids boost is all it actually needs to sound pretty good for a small speaker.
Volume wise, the speaker can be cranked pretty loud without distortion. It is able to fill a small room with music. It’ll do well for small outings outdoors as well, but just be careful not to soak it with water!
Conclusion: Overall we must not forget that the Elysium ZeonIII is just a small speaker with 2 tiny 1.5″ drivers. Considering that, it provides pretty exceptional bass for its size. This makes it perfect for usage in small desks, or for an occasional trip outdoors when you just want to blast some music. It can go pretty loud as well! The Only con is that the recommended retail price is really expensive, and there are lots of good options in the market (such as the creative roar speaker series) that perform really well, and they aren’t too far off from this speaker’s price. Also, the recessed mids might not make this speaker a good option for instrumental/acoustic song lovers.