Review: iClever BTS08 Bluetooth Speaker

Last time I reviewed the iClever folding keyboard, part of a box of products sent to me by the company.  Their products get generally favorable marks on Amazon reviews.


Bluetooth speakers are popular, in spite of the fact that, like cassette tapes of 50 years ago, the Bluetooth standard was not intended to be a high quality sound medium.  However improvements in the technology make BT More than acceptable for all but the most critical applications, especially in portable speakers.  


Many big name audio companies have put their names on these battery powered mighty midgets, which reproduce audio with varying degrees of quality.  I own several, including a Bose Soundlink Mini (around $179.00 at Costco), and an iHome IBN6EX (about $60 on Amazon).  


By their very nature, compact speaker systems face challenges when it comes to being able to reproduce meaningful amounts of good thumpy bass.  Low frequencies have very long wavelengths which means that a speaker has to move substantial air to give you that sense of the beat.  


The Bose has a special charging cradle and power supply, which means that you have two additional pieces to keep track of, while the iHome has a unique charger to keep its battery full.  


On the other hand, the iClever doesn’t even have a charger in the box, any 5V 1A charger will bring the battery up via the standard micro-USB port, so you can use your cellphone charger and a cable you probably have a dozen of with the iClever.

Instead of the usual “Push and hold forever” on/off button, the speaker has a slide switch on the back panel, next to the USB charging port and a standard 3.5mm aux input jack.  On top are four touch controls rather than mechanical buttons with each button handing a dual function.  Tapping the first button skips to the next track, holding it turns the volume down, and so on.   The buttons are sensitive, but difficult to find by feel, a raised bump would help.  



As a long time radio person, at the end of the day it’s about the quality of the audio, and the iClever BTS08 stacks up well to the higher priced Bose speaker.  Notes are clear and crisp with drivers rated at 10 watts RMS, 20 Watts peak and a passive forward-firing oval shaped bass diaphragm that works reasonably well.


While not quite “party loud” the speaker did a very solid job playing music off my Kindle Fire as I worked on this review.  Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” played with a crisp bass line that was remarkably free of muddiness.  High notes were clear without being screechy.   Running the volume to maximum using the touch-sensitive controls on the top surface resulted in only slight distortion.  

The build quality of the speaker is impressive given the price point, with a wrap around red metal mesh grill fitting well to the plastic body.  The speaker has a good solid heft and hits the sweet spot between portability and sound reproduction quality.


Battery life was not fully tested to shutdown, but I left the speaker on for several hours playing music in the background in the studio, and there seemed to be plenty of juice for a full day out and about.  The speaker is not outdoor rated like the iHome unit but it should survive most outdoor situations as long as you don’t expose it to excess moisture or leave it in direct sunlight for extended times.


Overall the iClever BTS08 gives good value for the price point.


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on Review: iClever BTS08 Bluetooth Speaker

BoomerTechRadio March 24, 2017 Episode 1711

We review the iClever folding bluetooth keyboard/touchpad combo and a first look at their bluetooth speaker.  Another look at the IK Multimedia iKlip smartphone camera grip/microphone converter.  Using smartphones and action cameras in professional videography.  Videomaker Magazine. The Logitech K480 multi function keyboard. Brenda has her head in the clouds.  Is the threatened erasure of millions of iPhones a huge bluff?  Using your phone as an ATM card. Video Violence on Facebook. ABC News Twitter account hijacked.  Why that should be a much bigger concern than Russians.  Pokemon Go Lives, body scans for clothing that actually fits those of us who don’t happen to be shaped like a supermodel, using a smartphone as a deadly weapon in seizure attack, back up your stuff.


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on BoomerTechRadio March 24, 2017 Episode 1711

Review:  iClever folding bluetooth keyboard with touchpad IC-BK08


Last week I got a email from a representative for iClever, wanting to send a few samples for evaluation and review.  Yesterday I got a box with a folding keyboard, a  bluetooth speaker and a bluetooth audio transmitter-receiver.  

First out of the box for review is the keyboard, available on Amazon for $59.95 as of this writing.

The board has full size keys but is a bit cramped for adult hands, however it is much better than an onscreen keyboard.  The overall size of the device is 11 in x 3.5 in, but the right quarter of the width is occupied by the touch pad, making it easy to accidently send the cursor off to a corner of your document while you type.  It’s also very easy to tap the Bluetooth1/Function Key Lock Key just above the touchpad.  Several frequently used punctuation marks are accessed by the FN key at the lower left.  

The keyboard can pair with three different devices and is powered on as soon as you unfold it.  Two small plastic kickstands rotate out from the ends to give you a stable surface to type on.  Once you train your fingers to avoid tapping the touchpad and the Function Lock key you can type at a fairly good clip. Bluetooth connection to my Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″ table was fast and easy.  I found the resolution of the touchpad to be good enough to get the cursor near where I wanted it, but a bit fussy when I was attempting to edit a document in OfficePro on the Kindle.  I am doing this review using the keyboard and can see how it would expand the utility of a phablet or phone.  

The iClever is compatible with Android, including Kindle, iOS and Windows, so it would be handy for one of those computer in a stick devices since the touch pad is integrated. One caveat is that the touch pad has no functionality in iOS.

Overall for the price, I consider the BK08 to be a good pick to add functionality to your mobile device.  They keyboard and the Kindle can easily fit into a coat pocket or purse and keep you in touch when you are traveling light.  

Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on Review:  iClever folding bluetooth keyboard with touchpad IC-BK08

We’re up on iTunes!

As promised for several weeks, we are now publishing the weekly BoomerTechRadio program on iTunes.  With that in mind, this episode from March 11 is being reposted as we (hopefully) welcome new listeners with our expanded reach.  BoomertechRadio first aired in January 0f 2010.  Since then we’ve done nearly 300 weekly episodes and look forward to many more.  Please comment with suggestions and ideas for topics as we continue to stand out from the crowd with Tech News You Can REALLY Use!


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on We’re up on iTunes!

March 18, 2017 BoomerTechRadio

Show notes:  Internet access for non-urban dwellers.  Bob says something nice about AT&T for once.  Internet Of Things security concerns.  Review:  Nexia ip wireless cameras.  McDonalds App, iPad Mini Pro? Samsung Galaxy S8 latest rumors, Samsung folding phone ala “Westworld”, Just because we CAN connect our appliances…SHOULD WE?  How Susan Wojcicki pronounces her name.  Sex Discrimination among the elite in Silicon Valley.  Tech News you can REALLY use!

Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on March 18, 2017 BoomerTechRadio

BoomerTechRadio: In Like A Lion, March 4, 2017

New skimmers that fit right on credit card machines…why we’re using cash more. Virginia legalizes delivery robots.  SURPRISE!  The Hype of Virtual Reality is going the way of 3DTV.  Art recognition app makes you appear to be more cultured.  National Day of Unplugging.  Alexia Phone Calls; Hydroponic Farms of the future.  3D Printed Pizza. Free Nasa goodies.  Chevrolet LTE Unlimited data.  Apple is starting to fail in the classroom.  3D Printed Housing!


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on BoomerTechRadio: In Like A Lion, March 4, 2017

BoomerTechRadio 25 February 2017

Posting this one a week late, because I flat out forgot to do it, no excuse.  I also don’t have my show notes on this one.  It’s a good episode, of course, they ALL are.  *grins*  Enjoy!

The date on the file and in the metadata is one day off, this was recorded on the 24th and broadcast on the 25th.


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on BoomerTechRadio 25 February 2017

February 18, 2017 Broadcast Episode 1707

Where’s Brenda explained.  Virtual Reality Lost Worlds; Virtually Reality making medical less scary;  Moto-Z Walkie Talkie; Amazon Echo sets your Outlook Calendar; E-Harmony goes after the Millenials; YouTube 30 Ads say bye bye; Exploding Teslas; Doom and Gloom from Bill Gates; Supercomputer powered by graphics accelerator chips.

Hour Two:  New liquid screen protector; San Fransisco Robotic Baristas, What to do when Windows Updates….don’t; Stupid Echo Tricks; The iPad really isn’t a computer (gasp);  Goodies, Gadgets, Gizmos!


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on February 18, 2017 Broadcast Episode 1707

Old School

Someone was chiding me because the BoomerTech site looks so 90’s.  “You really need to update your look so more people will find it interesting.”   Well, there’s a simple reason for the simple look.  I hate sites that won’t load up on mobile devices and take forever to load up on anything at all because of all the CRAP that you have to download.  The site is a place to get episodes and a simple WordPress blog template works just fine, thank you very much.  Besides, I don’t have a staff, I maintain this thing all by myself.  Yes there are prettier places, but I honestly believe that our little show stands up well against the competition out there.  Let me know what you think.


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on Old School

BoomerTech Radio, February 11, 2017

Robotic Reflector lights up your home;  E-Commerce trends to watch;  Don’t feel like you have to give up Windows 7 just yet; Get the CrapWare off your new PC; Virtual TV Viewing with friends;  VR/AR Upgrades the thrill ride experience; VR Dating; Samsung Battery Factory explodes; Facebook wants to be your fake weather source, too; Cutting edge televisions cut deep into your wallet; Man sues Uber for ending his marriage.  More Tech News You Can Use, Every Weekend!


Posted in The Latest Buzz | Comments Off on BoomerTech Radio, February 11, 2017