It’s always fun to review the latest and greatest tech but its more common for the average consumer to just want something in a more budget-friendly price range. And today, I am reviewing Tronsmart Element T6 Mini vs T6 Plus Bluetooth Speaker.
|T6 MINI||T6 PLUS|
|Model||Element T6 Mini||Element T6 Plus|
|Colors||Black / Red|
|Material||ABS + aluminum|
|Bluetooth Compatibility||A2DP / AVRCP / HFP||A2DP, ACRCP, HFP|
|Output (watt)||15W||2 x 20W Max|
|Main Features||Hands-free phone call, aux-in, TF/Micro SD card, USB flash drive, power bank|
|Transmission Distance||Up to 30m/100ft (open area)||Up to 20m/66ft (open area)|
|Power Supply||DC 5V/3A, via USB-C port|
|Battery Capacity||2500 mAh||Built-in lithium battery, 3300mAh x 2|
|Play Time||Up to 24 hours (50% volume level)||Up to 15 hours (medium volume)|
|Talk Time||Up to 20 hours (50% volume level)||Up to 20 hours (on a 70% volume)|
|Standby||24 months||About 24 months (Note: after standby for a long time, please charge the speaker before use again to maintain the normal performance.)|
|Charging Time||About 3 hours||3 – 5 hours|
|Frequency Range||20Hz – 16000Hz|
|Dimension||92 x 92 x 120 mm / 3.62 x 3.62 x 4.72 inches||3.23 x 7.99in / 82 x 203mm (diameter x height)|
|Net Weight||560 ± 5 g / 19.8 ± 0.2 oz||670 ± 5 g / 23.63 ± 0.2 oz|
|Package Contents||1 x Element T6 Mini wireless speaker, 1 x USB charging cable, 1 x 3.5mm audio cable, 1 x Detachable strap, 1 x Warranty card, 1 x User manual||1 x Element T6 Plus Bluetooth speaker, 1 x 3.5mm audio cable, 1 x USB-C charging cable, 1 x Warranty card, 1 x User manual|
The T6 speakers are sporting a cylindrical design with a durable fabric covered exterior. Aside from the obvious size difference, the designs are very similar but the fabric is a bit softer on the T6 mini.
They have a decent weight to them but the T6 mini is still compact enough to remain fairly portable.
They are reinforced by a tough rubberized plastic at the top and bottom, which will provide some protection against a few accidental drops. They feel pretty robust and durable as a result but this also stops them from being 360 degree audio speakers.
Now in fairness, T6 Plus isn’t marketed as one but the T6 mini is. With this thick paneling, it’s clearly not a true 360 degree speaker.
Both speakers have exposed passive radiators at the bottom and is pretty cool that you can see these in action with bass-heavy songs. There are rubber feet at the bottom to offer support and prevent them from moving too much with excessive bass but at very loud volumes they don’t stop this completely.
The T6 mini also comes with a removable strap so that you can tie up and hang the speaker and both speakers come with USB-C and aux cables included.
The build quality is really good. They both use premium materials and feel as though they are build to last. To complete the T6 speakers tough and rugged build, they also have a water resistance rating of IPX6 which protects them against powerful Jets of water. Sadly you can’t fully submerge the speakers underwater but it’s still good to have some added protection.
CONTROLS & FEATURES
The T6 Plus features controls along the side where you can skip tracks, pair with another T6 Plus speaker, and also change the equalizer mode. The LED indicator shows you which EQ mode you’re using and also serves as a battery and stereo pairing indicator.
You can also change the playback source with the mode button and of course power on the device. The buttons are very clicky and satisfying to press but some LED backlighting to make these easier to see would have been a nice touch.
You also get a USB-A out for charging up something like your smartphone, aux port for a wired connection, and finally a TF/micro SD card slot.
You can play music directly from the cart but there’s no file management system. So the tracks will just play in the order they are copied onto the card.
The T6 mini also features the aux, USB-C port, and micro SD card slot but understandably doesn’t have the option to serve as a power bank, since the battery is much smaller. The controls are located on the top surface but it’s missing the EQ and remote controls of the T6 plus.
With the power button doubling up for the stereo pairing feature, it’s a simple easy to use setup and the buttons are equally clicky and tactile.
Instead of volume buttons, the top surface of the T6 Plus actually has a volume wheel which is intuitive to use and the infinite scrolling is really satisfying. The button is also clickable which serves as your play/pause control. And the surrounding LED shows the bluetooth pairing status. My only problem with this volume wheel is that you have no idea what the volume level is.
CONNECTIVITY / TWS
The speakers are packing the latest Bluetooth 5 technology and showed impressive range from my phone during testing. There’s no support for lower latency codec though and I did notice an audio delay when watching videos, which affected both iOS and Android devices.
One issue I found is that at lower volumes, the speaker’s audio cuts in and out during quieter parts of the song or video, which sometimes meant that the audio constantly dropped. It’s almost like a noise gate as if the speaker goes into idle mode where it can’t detect the audio source and then suddenly tries to resume playing and catch up with it when it gets louder.
These speakers especially the larger T6 plus are clearly designed to be played at high volumes and actually sound better when they do.
The audio dropping issue wasn’t as bad on the T6 mini but a huge problem on the T6 Plus. So you need to listen at low to medium volume. If the audio delay wasn’t enough of a problem then these audio tips definitely make using the speakers for watching videos. So I’d only recommend these for listening to music.
I also put an emphasis on music rather than audio because unfortunately there’s a noticeable hiss in the background during playback. A low volumes this can spoil your listening experience but even at louder volumes I think this will be a problem of audiobooks and podcasts.
Again, the audio here’s didn’t affect the T6 mini as much as T6 plus, so if you’re going to use either for listening at low volumes, the T6 mini is a much better choice.
Both of these speakers offer a true wireless stereo feature, meaning you can pair two of the same speakers together for stereo playback. This not only gives you stereo separation but it also increases the total volume output from the speakers and they do sound pretty good as a stereo pair.
Once you’ve pair the speakers, they can remember the stereo pairing for the next time you turn them on but you can also control your music using either speaker, which is really handy.
You can only pair two of the same type of speaker together and I would recommend picking up a pair of speakers for the best listening experience.
BATTERY & CHARGING
The T6 mini has a smaller battery size means that it can’t serve as a power bank like it’s bigger brother. But interestingly, the T6 mini has a much better battery life than the larger T6 plus. This is of course down to how much more powerful and loud are speakers but it’s still quite interesting given the large difference in battery sizes.
The T6 mini pretty much matched 24-hour playback rating from my testing which is really good for a speaker of this size but the performance of the T6 plus really surprised me and it was much poorer than expected.
For a Bluetooth speaker this powerful and loud, the actual battery life isn’t that terrible but when it was this far short and not even half of the expected battery life then that’s pretty poor from Tronsmart.
I tested multiple speakers and each one multiple times and still found the battery life came up short, so I can’t excuse this one as a fluke, of course you can extend the battery life by using the speakers at lower volumes but just be aware that your playback time may be significantly less than you’d expect.
My other downside is the low power warning, which gives a loud double beep every 30 seconds once the speaker is on low battery. I personally hate when companies do this because even if your music lasts another 30 minutes or perhaps an hour, this will be interrupted every 30 seconds by an annoying beep.
Both speakers have a battery saving auto-off feature if they remain idle. This is a sensible 10 minutes in the T6 mini but an hour for the T6 Plus, which I think is far too long. Still it’s good to have an auto power off feature which will stop you accidentally leaving the speakers on and wasting the battery life.
The two speakers are most clearly separated by their audio quality. Where the size of their drivers becomes quite important.
The T6 plus is 40 watt speakers delivered very loud and bassy sound which sounded very similar to the Tronsmart force. It has 3 equalizer modes.
3D mode is the best, it expands the soundstage, offers greater separation, and there’s a slight increase in volume too. It genuinely creates a sense of depth and 3D is a pretty accurate way to describe the effect on the sound.
There seems to be a slight kick to the bass from the standard mode but there’s a substantial boost in the treble. I found the highs sometimes became quite piercing especially at higher volumes. The emphasis on treble does allow for clearer mids and create a detail in the highs but I often found myself switching to the vocal mode for more relaxed listening.
Vocal mode is essentially the standard setting and when switching over to it you immediately lose the soundstage, emphasize treble, and even some of the clarity offered in 3d mode. This does remove the harshness of the highs though so maybe the more suitable mode at very high volumes. Vocals actually stood out a lot more in 3D mode, so calling this mode vocal doesn’t really make sense but I guess it sounds more exciting than standard.
The T6 mini, of course, can’t compete anywhere near the level of the T6 plus speakers volume or bass. For a speaker of this size, it does still pack a punch and doesn’t distort at max volume but I wouldn’t consider the extra bass label is tagged with to be particularly accurate.
It sounds closest to the vocal mode equaliser of the T6 plus just on a smaller scale and of course the T6 mini doesn’t have the Tri-bass effects to change the audio. When you consider its size and price, the audio is actually very good but it doesn’t compete with the clarity of sound caused motion Q or the thumping bass abused wonder boom.
CONCLUSION & PRICE
The last thing we need to talk about is the price. The T6 Plus retails for $59 and the T6 mini which is $24.
When you look at the competition especially at these prices, I can understand why these speakers are currently so popular on Amazon.
I’d say the T6 plus for under $60 would be a pretty reasonable deal but the T6 mini is excellent value for money.
Obviously the speakers are designed for different purposes. The larger T6 plus is a party speaker providing louder sound with more punchy bass whereas the T6 mini main attraction is its portability.
Overall, the T6 Plus battery performance really lets it down which for me makes it more difficult to recommend outright but as long as you’re aware of its flaws in this drawback beforehand it’s still not a bad deal. The T6 mini however, is definitely one of the best small speakers you’ll find at this price, so you’ll get more than your value for money.