The Chill Pill Mobile Speakers

April 2, 2009

I received from, of of the coolest accessories I’ve ever had my hands on. The Chill Pill Mobile Speakers. Now, I’m not a fan of mobile speakers. 9 times out of ten, they stink. They sound it thin, or too quiet, and just plain bad, almost like my buddy, The Geetus playing guitar through a transistor radio. It’s enough to make you physically ill. It doesn’t help that he also has no skills, but that’s a different story all together.

The Geetus

The Geetus

I always thought the speakers on the MacBook Pro was OK for laptop speakers. Certainly good enough to listen to podcasts, movies, or music on the go. I do own a couple other portable speaker “solutions” and at the moment, I won’t bother to touch on them, as they are clearly not work my time to slam these products.

My friends, the Chill Pill is NOT one of those products. Right out of the box, this is unique. It’s shaped exactly as it’s named. It’s like a large pill. One I certainly wouldn’t want to swallow, but for speakers, it’s quite small. In it’s closed, compact position, it’s about 2″ by 4″. So small, I was very skeptical of how these would sound. I honestly thought these would end up in the “box of shit” where the rest of my ugly, and useless gadgets go to die. Nope. Not these. These ROCK.

Before I even get to the sound, I’ll touch on the look. The pill shape is perfect for travel, and keeping everything compact. The pill separates in two pieces in the center, which is held together with a magnet. Two pieces sit on the desk, and each has a retractable wire that pulls out. One one side, is a mini USB. This cord connects the 2 speakers together, powering the second speaker, and doubles as the means to recharge the unit. Didn’t I mention this was rechargeable? Yeah. Pretty damn cool.

After you connect the mini USB to the second speaker, the next retractable cord out of the second speaker, is a 1/8″ stereo headphone style plug. This is made thin to also fit into the original iPhone opening. A very nice touch. I’ve used these speakers with a 160 GB iPod Classic, a iPhone 3G, an iPhone 2G, and my MacBook Pro. Basically, these will work with ANY device with a headphone jack.

On the unit itself, you have simple controls. An on/off switch, and a volume dial. WHen you power the unit on, a large, bright blue LED let’s you know you’re working. When the charge gets low, the LED turns to red to let you know.

To charge the unit, you use the mini USB cable, and the included mini USB to Standard USB adapter plug. The Chill Pill will charge with either a free USB port on a computer or laptop, and it also work with the iPod of iPhone USB charger. The manual claims it can take 3 hours to charge, and you should get 6 hours of use on a full charge. The LED lights up red while charging, and turns to blue again to let you know it’s full charged.

Testing the battery, with normal use, and about 1/2 to 3/4 volume, I did get around 6 hours. At full volume, less, but you will most likely NEVER use these at full volume, do to the sound…

And for the sound… WOW. I’m amazed at how bad ass these things sound. Being a fan of the speakers on my MacBook, these EASLY blow those away. OK, now let’s keep things in perspective here, these are MOBILE SPEAKERS, no a home system, so I’m not comparing these to monitor speakers or anything. For MOBILE SPEAKERS, these could very well be the best damn speakers that have graced my ears. Most of the time, mobile speakers are tiny, and high end, with no bass to speak of. The Chill Pill solved that problem. The top of each speaker un-screws, and pops up about a half inch, creating a bellow, which provides bass! The sound difference from the closed to open position is GREATLY noticeable! The sound is rich, and full. It’s pretty stunning really.

The volume you can get out of this is amazing as well. At full volume, the speakers actually jump around, as the weight of the speakers is too light for the power they actually produce.

As expected, the speakers at full volume distorts a bit, but that’s with just about ANY consumer speaker set. Chances are, if you want more volume, you own something other then mobile speakers as well. These things impressed me. Small enough to toss in a bag, or even a coat pocket. I not only recommend this, I demand you go buy this. You will not be disappointed. And if you are, complain to Lupo. He’ll put you in your place.

Sound: 4.5 out of 5

Compact: 5 out of 5

Price: At only $40, 5 out of 5

Metal head approval: 5 out of 5. All your bass heavy death metal needs will be met!

Speck Update

April 2, 2009

So, I had an issue with my Speck See through Satin MacBook Pro hard shell case. One of the tabs that lock in the bottom half, was thinner then the other side, and cracked off.

I contacted Speck, and with a proof of receipt, they sent me out a replacement case, no questions asked, and within a weeks time.

Speck has amazing customer support, and fantastic products. I HIGHLY recommend Speck. An absolute pleasure to deal with, and I will be buying from them again in the future.