Hands on with the ZENS Bluetooth Speaker and Qi Wireless Charger

We've seen some pretty unique wireless chargers that stand out above your typical charging pad, but after spending some time with the ZENS Bluetooth Speaker and Qi Wireless Charger, it's become clear that this accessory is amazing to have around the house or workspace.

If combining music with portable wireless charging is up your alley, read on for the whole review.

One thing we certainly can't argue with about this ZENS product is its size. Measuring only 5 inches in length and around 3 inches wide, for a wireless charger — it's quite reasonable. With the speaker grill wrapped around the edges, you're looking at a 2-inch lift off of any surface. Keeping its compact design in mind, devices sized like the Nexus 5 will sit perfectly on top while others may hang over the sides. Still, though, as long as you're packing Qi-capability, you're good to go.

Pairing with the unit is cake — especially for those with NFC. By flipping it upside down, you can tap your device on the bottom to get the job done. Or, you can do it the old-fashioned way by holding the play/pause button for 3 seconds to put the speaker into pairing mode. There's not much for buttons on this speaker, which we'd say is a good thing. Less of a learning curve, right?

On one end you've got a power switch, 3.5mm auxiliary input (just in case), and a micro-USB input for charging the internal 4500mAh Li-ion battery. On the front is the built-in microphone, (+) button for skipping tracks and increasing volume, (-) button for previous tracks and lowering volume, and a play/pause button. Below that is a tiny LED that stays blue when successfully paired and red while charging the battery.

After a complete charge, we tested the endurance of the 4500mAh internal battery and experienced roughly 7 hours of music playback before experiencing disconnections in the stream. That's while the Nexus 5 sat on the charging pad, too. Pretty impressive to say the least, considering a few phone calls in the process, which were managed over the Bluetooth speaker. Once battery life has depleted, expect a wait time of about 6 hours to get it to full capacity again.

Just how loud are the speakers inside? According to ZENS' specifications, it's got two 5W speakers with stereo isolation of ≥ 45dB. When cranked, this little speaker packs a serious punch. You can really feel the bass through the table it sits on, too. The mixture of highs and lows seems to blend perfectly until you really start pushing volume levels, resulting in that muddy sound that nobody in their right mind cares to hear. But, for what this Bluetooth speaker is meant for — it's got plenty of power to fill up a room with your jammy jams.

Our take

Between the sound quality of the ZENS Bluetooth Speaker and the wireless charging capability of the pad on top, this is a solid accessory to own for anyone with a Qi-compatible device.

We wish its $99 price point was a little more reasonable, but at least the quality and functionality of the product is there to back it up, along with a 1 year warranty from ZENS. And, while it's not pocket friendly by any means, this product isn't exactly meant for that purpose. Throw it in your backpack or carry-on, though, and enjoy your favorite playlists while wirelessly charging your phone wherever you end up.

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Brent Zaniewski