The Philips S7807 only connects via Bluetooth, and it plays back your music just as it’s streamed from the source (there’s no way to tweak its EQ). But that’s not a problem, because it sounds fantastic just the way it is.
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Philips is one of the great legacy brands in the audiovisual world, pioneering radio manufacturing in Europe before WWII and television after the war. They invented the cassette tape in 1963 and later teamed with Sony to develop the compact disc. Philips owned the Mercury and PolyGram record labels until near the end of the 20th century and even produced a few well-regarded movies.
After deciding to concentrate on its healthcare business, Philips spun off its Philips Hue smart lighting business (an operation now doing business as Signify), sold its small appliance business to an investment firm, and inked a brand licensing deal with the Chinese manufacturer TPV (operating in the U.S. as TP Vision). The Philips audio brand finally returned to the U.S. in early 2022.
The Philips S7807 portable Bluetooth speaker is a solid rectangle that feels more substantial than most speakers its size. The build quality and excellent audio performance deliver a premium experience.
This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best Bluetooth speakers.
How is the Philips S7807 Bluetooth speaker built?
The Philips S7807 is a chunky rectangle measuring 4.1 x 11 x 4.1-inch ( HxWxD) and weighing a hefty 4.18 lbs. That’s very heavy for its size, weighty enough to be used as the conk-over-the-head murder weapon in the next Knives Out movie.
It’s also big enough that a lot of people will have a tough time picking it up with one hand. The speaker does have a pair of posts that allow you to attach a carrying strap. There’s an IP67 weatherization rating, meaning the speaker is entirely protected from particulate matter and that it can be immersed up to about three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. In other words, it should survive extensive outdoor use.
What’s inside the Philips S780 speaker?
The speaker includes two 31mm mid-high and two 71mm mid/bass woofers, driven by a 20-watt-per-channel (RMS) amplifier. A pair of passive radiators delivers deep bass.
There’s a 5000mAh Lithium-ion battery that promises 24 hours of playback time. A full charge takes 4.5 hours. You can use the USB-C port to charge your mobile device from the speaker’s internal battery, but iPhone/iPad users will need to provide their own cable for that purpose.
How does the Philips S7807 work?
The speaker uses Bluetooth 5.2 and supports the SBC and AAC codecs. There’s a microphone built into the unit, so you can use it to take phone calls when paired with a smartphone over Bluetooth.
A rubberized strip of raised controls across the top of the speaker is easy to identify by touch. Four dots light up to show battery level; plus and minus buttons control volume; and the play/pause also answers and hangs up phone calls respectively. There’s a Bluetooth pairing button, and a button for pairing the S7807 with a second S7807 for stereo performances. Finally, there’s a power button.
I took the speaker out of the box, paired it with my phone straight away, and figured out all its functions before I even looked at the manual.
What’s included with the Philips S7807?
There’s a snazzy red-and-black weave shoulder strap, which should fix the carry problem for anyone whose hands aren’t big enough to get a good grip on the unit. There is also a pair of USB cables for charging: one is USB-C to USB-C; the other is USB-C to USB-A.
Is the Philips S7807 missing any features?
There’s no Philips app for Android or iOS, so users can’t fiddle with the EQ or sound profile. Based on my listening tests, there’s really no need for any such adjustments, TP Vision probably figures that most of their customers aren’t interested in that level of control.
You don’t get an Aux input, nor is there a USB port that would allow you to plug in a stick drive full of music files. The S7807 is 100 percent a Bluetooth-only speaker.
There are no LEDs on the S7808, so the speaker won’t give you a light show that pulses in time with the music. If you really need a light show, there are plenty of speakers that offer one, but remember that those lights are draining the battery every time you fire them up.
Listening to music on the Philips S7807 Bluetooth speaker
I tested the speaker with Pitchfork’s new The 250 Best Songs of the 1990s playlist, available on Spotify and Apple Music. While I could raise some serious complaints about a few of their choices, the playlist covers a wide selection of R&B, hip hop, alternative rock, electronic, and pop songs from the era. That made it a perfect choice to test the limits of this excellent speaker.
The Philips S7807’s low end is consistently impressive across all genres. TP Vision has designed a radiator that delivers the bass without any artificial processing. This speaker’s low end compares favorably to what you’d get with much larger outdoor speakers, but in a much smaller package. The Philips S7807’s volume topped out at approximately 97dB with zero distortion. That’s loud enough for any outdoor party.
I used the Apple Music playlist to get the higher-quality AAC stream, and the Philips S7807 consistently revealed details in tracks like Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor,” Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody,” and TLC’s “No Scrubs” that I didn’t remember from hearing them on the radio back when they were hits.
Songs that have been consistent parts of my listening habits over the decades (Pulp’s “Common People,” Underworld’s “Born Slippy,” My Bloody Valentine’s “Only Shallow, DJ Shadow’s “Midnight in a Perfect World,” The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony”) come across with something approaching CD quality, far better than what we heard in the early days of Bluetooth, when everyone was just impressed that we could play back low-res files without wires. Songs I know well sounded great for casual listening.
While the box suggests “Pair for Stereo,” the speaker’s two mid-high drivers actually deliver a stereo effect in the single speaker unit. Of course, they’re not far apart enough to deliver obvious stereo imaging, but testing with some old Enoch Light Bossa Nova tracks recorded during the early 1960s extreme stereo era confirm the separation.
Is the Philips S7807 Bluetooth speaker a good value?
The Philips S7807 Bluetooth speaker delivers incredibly big sound for its size, and you’ll get consistent clarity and detail even at top volume. If you did buy a pair to get a full stereo effect, I’d bet the results would be more impressive than what you’d get from one of those giant $500 portable speakers.
Build quality is excellent, and the unit both looks and feels like a high-end audio unit. If there’s a downside, it’s that you’re limited to Bluetooth playback because there’s no Aux input. Some Android users will be disappointed that there’s no support for aptX codec. If you’re looking for a versatile speaker that sounds great at low-to-medium volume for home use and can also crank up really high for outside events, the Philips S7807 is an outstanding choice.
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