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TYLT’s Block Party isn’t the speaker-battery combo you want

by Justin Herrick | October 8, 2017October 8, 2017 1:00 pm PST

So many companies make so many accessories. Go on Amazon and start looking at cables, chargers, cases, and more. You’re going to see a ton of brands in every category. It’s almost impossible to go through them all and recognize the differences. TYLT, though, stands out with unique designs and sometimes eye-popping colors.

The Block Party is both a wireless speaker and a portable charger. It plays music or podcasts from your phone but also charges multiple devices at once. You can even break the two features apart due to the modular design. Aside from being versatile in use, TYLT implemented its trademark look and feel. If you’re familiar with the brand’s products, the Block Party will be far from surprising. It’s exactly what you’d expect a block-shaped TYLT speaker-charger combo to be.

TYLT’s products are starting to boast their own design language, which lets everyone know who makes them. The Flipstick came first followed by the Flipcard. With the Block Party, you’re getting a similar appearance. The same materials are used between the three accessories with the Block Party actually resembling a much fatter Flipstick. Its base, like the Flipstick’s, is a soft gray-colored rubber. The trim, meanwhile, is copper. You also get a black rubber handle. The Block Party feels nice, but the details ruin any chance of the item being considered premium.

Maybe it’s just the unit that TYLT sent us, but the rubber cutouts on the Block Party are very sloppy. Lines are noticeably uneven and the flaps covering ports aren’t flush with the body. The rear flap on the power supply port, meanwhile, sticks out considerably. Then the textured speaker part of the Block Party attracts lint and other debris like a magnet. The unit supplied by TYLT also had a white substance I had to scratch off but couldn’t completely get rid of.

No product, especially at $129, should be so messy. Hopefully the company sorts out any production hiccups before the Block Party starts shipping.

Getting the Block Party paired with another device for audio is seamless as it uses Bluetooth. There’s an auxiliary port, too, if you prefer a wired connection. Both methods fire the same quality of sound from the speaker. You can control everything with your phone, but the Block Party does have physical buttons on the speaker for power, play/pause, and volume.

TYLT hasn’t shared anything technical about the speaker, so I can’t share too much with you. The sound quality is pretty good, but it doesn’t come across as rich and full. Google Home and the Amazon Echo, which cost the same as the Block Party, sound a lot better. Those, however, are not portable devices like TYLT’s latest accessory. You’ll get just 4 hours of music playback on a single charge, but that raises to 72 hours when docked on the base.

Charging-wise the Block Party is a beast. It has a massive 20,000mAh battery inside that can charge most phones around six times. When the Block Party itself needs juice, it’ll take about 8 hours to reach a full charge. And the LED indicators on the front of the base will keep you aware of the internal battery’s level.

The Block Party isn’t being positioned as a portable charger for one device. There are four USB ports that can output 2A simultaneously, ensuring all of your devices get the power they need as quickly as possible. That explains the “Party” in its name. If you have a bunch of people over, you can all charge without being huddled next to wall outlets.

TYLT will release the Block Party on October 16 for $129, but it’s up for pre-order now with a discount at $99. Just keep in mind that you can do far better than this by spending the same amount of money on something else.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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