Back in the day when analogue was king, Japanese brand names dominated the professional and high-end consumer markets. Among the big names—Nakamichi, Onkyo, Teac, JVC, Akai, etc.—was Denon which has been engaged in the manufacture of audio equipment (beginning with gramophones) since 1910. Denon’s over a century’s worth of experience in audio comes to life in the compact Denon Envaya Pocket (DSB-50BT).
Understated. Other than being slightly smaller than the run-of-the-mill Bluetooth speaker offerings, there’s nothing that will catch your fancy with the Denon Envaya Pocket. A six-and-a-half-inch asymmetrical tube houses the insides of this IP67 rated wireless speaker. Black mesh cloth covers its circumference while a rugged rubber membrane secures both ends. The wrap-around mesh cloth provides ample protection against dust and water infiltration, while remaining acoustically transparent. Basic user controls are clustered at the right end cap. At the back, secured behind a rubber plug are the microUSB charge point and 3.5mm auxiliary audio jack.
Capable. This speaker, despite its diminutive measurements, produces volume levels enough to fill moderately-sized rooms without overloading its amplifiers. The Envaya Pocket produces a deep, full bass response which—unlike other speakers—doesn’t drown out the rest of the spectrum. Highs remain crisp while mid-frequencies clearly cut through, providing for a well-balanced and uncolored sound with a surprisingly wide soundstage. Despite being less than seven inches wide, the speaker produces enough stereo separation to make it viable as a TV soundbar, if need be. The unit needs just a couple of hours of charging to deliver, depending on volume levels, around eight to 10 hours continuous use. A string of five white LED on the right handily displays battery level at a button’s touch.
Imperfect. Although it comes ready to interact with Siri and Google Assistant out of the box, the smart functionality of the Envaya Pocket is limited to the most basic ones; and you must press the call button to activate. Navigation through your playlist, or the current selection even, is not possible since there are no forward/reverse or next/previous controls on the speaker. Likewise, the tactile response of the controls leaves a lot to be desired. Buttons seem not to respond instantly and there’s are no visual or audible indicators when they have been pressed; save for the startup and shutdown tones.
The Denon Envaya Pocket may not truly be pocket-friendly, but it can be carried quite comfortably and will take little precious space away from essentials in your weekend go bag. I’m very impressed with its sound quality and the amount of volume it delivers; something noteworthy at any size. It has been said, “speak softly but carry a big stick.” This speaker does neither. It’s quite a small stick which packs a loud voice. Bodacious.
Drivers: 2 x 40mm full range driver, 1 x 40 x 83mm passive radiator
Amplifier: High efficiency digital amplifier (2 x 6.5W)
Connectivity & I/O ports: Bluetooth 4.1, A2DP/AVRCP/HFP/HSP, aptX low latency/AAC/ SBC, up to 30m operation distance, 8 x multi-pairs, 2 x simultaneous playback; 3.5mm audio jack; USB port
Battery: 10-hr battery life, 2.5-hr charge time
Protection: IP67 water-/dust-proof
Voice: Speaker-phone operation, voice activation
Dimensions & weight: 163 x 56 x 58mm; 0.390kg
The Denon Envaya Pocket is available at all A. Refinery branches (U.P. Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Ayala Abreeza, and Ayala Centrio).