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Skullcandy Shrapnel review - plenty of volume in a small package

Richard Easton
28 Mar 2016
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Skullcandy Shrapnel front
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
22
inc VAT

The Skullcandy Shrapnel is a fun and loud portable Bluetooth speaker

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When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, some people just want sheer volume in a portable design. In that regard, the Skullcandy Shrapnel is well up there. Shaped like a miniature guitar amp and measuring 97x66x115mm with a weight of 381g, it’s small enough to throw into a bag for the next time you want to bring along some music. The design is fun and memorable among the trove of samey Bluetooth speakers.

There’s a useful fabric loop attached to the corner you can use to affix the speaker to a bag or elsewhere. It’s not quite as convenient as the bungee cord loop on the UE Roll, but the speaker itself is considerably smaller. You have a choice of either a camo finish, a multicoloured fluorescent finish or a more mundane all black - as was the case with my review sample.


Skullcandy Shrapnel side

The hard plastic shell is drop-resistant and splash-proof. I used it out in the rain without any problems but don’t expect it to survive a dunk in the pool, unlike certain other properly waterproof speakers. Admittedly many of those cost considerably more. As a shower speaker, it will do just fine and there aren't any metal components to rust, as was the case with the Divoom Airbeat-10.

The rear of the speaker has a 3.5mm auxiliary port if you want to use the speaker with a non-Bluetooth device and there’s a Micro USB charging point. Both ports are hidden away behind a protective rubber cover. On top, there are volume controls and a multifunction button for track control and pairing.


Skullcandy Shrapnel top

There’s a microphone built into the top of the speaker, too, so you can use it for hands-free calling. The microphone isn’t the most sensitive, however, so you’ll need to be quite close to the speaker. In a pinch, it does a good enough job.

As for sound quality, you can’t expect much at this price. As a speaker that delivers more volume than you’ll get out of your smartphone’s built-in speaker, it delivers this without any problems. For a speaker of its size, it’s particularly loud and that’s before you activate its ‘Beast’ mode, which turns the volume up to 11 by holding the two volume buttons simultaneously.

If you’re looking for bass, you’ll be underwhelmed. There’s really not much presence to the lower frequencies. Instead, the speaker is tuned to delivering the mids and treble particularly loudly, so if you’re listening outdoors the speaker will easily be perceptible. The speaker can either be propped upright or laid flat on its back, which opens up the sound and disperses it further. The battery inside is good for about 10 hours of listening, which is impressive for the size.


Skullcandy Shrapnel ports

Right now on Amazon, the prices vary dependent on colour. The vibrant ‘Locals Only’ option is as little as £22, which makes it a veritable bargain. Even at £30 for its all-black finish, the Shrapnel is still good value for its build quality and sheer volume; two things most people want in an inexpensive portable Bluetooth speaker.

If you want something that sounds considerably better, the UE Roll is worth considering if you’re willing to spend more. For more Bluetooth speakers, have a read of our Best Bluetooth speakers guide.

Hardware
Speakers1
RMS power outputNot disclosed
Audio inputs3.5mm stereo
Audio outputsNone
Dock connectorNone
WirelessBluetooth (SBC)
NFCNo
App supportNone
Battery capacityNot disclosed
Dimensions97x66x115mm
Weight381g
Buying information
Price including VAT£22
WarrantyOne year RTB
Supplierwww.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.skullcandy.co.uk
Part codeShrapnel

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