The Urbanears Ralis is a brand new moveable Bluetooth speaker from the Sweden-based firm that has constructed a fame for strong audio paired with understated, cool designs. At $199.99, it is a handsome, trendy mannequin that delivers way more bass depth and energy than you might need anticipated from a speaker this measurement. It is also straightforward to make use of, because of loads of bodily controls, and it sounds nearly as good—or higher—than some dearer audio system we have examined. It is one in every of our latest favorites, however it joins a value vary with some stiff competitors. Whether or not it is the speaker for you’ll come down to precisely what you are in search of.
Out there in blue, grey, or purple, the Ralis measures 7.6 by 7.2 by 5.Four inches (HWD) and encompasses a matte contour and a trendy minimal design. The built-in canvas deal with is sturdy, and detachable should you use a screwdriver, however it’s fairly helpful because the speaker weighs a cumbersome 6.1 kilos.
The entrance panel is all speaker grille, and far of the again panel is, too. Behind the grille, the Ralis employs twin 5-watt tweeters that fireplace out of the back and front panels, together with a 10-watt woofer that fires out the entrance grille. The drivers mix for a frequency response of 50hz to 20kHz.
If you need a breeze and there is not any fan close by, simply blast a observe with highly effective bass and switch the speaker round with the ported space going through you—the Ralis actually strikes some air. This again panel additionally homes a lined panel that protects the connections for the included energy cable, a USB port (for powering cellular gadgets with the speaker’s battery), and a 3.5mm aux enter. There is no included cable for the aux enter, and no speakerphone performance, which is barely shocking given the scale and value.
Alongside the highest panel, there are devoted controls for observe ahead/backward, play/pause, and quantity up/down. The left facet homes the ability button, in addition to a Bluetooth pairing button. It is changing into more and more uncommon for audio system to incorporate devoted observe navigation buttons—we’re at all times followers of this versus having a single button or two that does all the pieces however requires a number of faucets.
Urbanears estimates battery life to be roughly 20 hours, however your outcomes will fluctuate together with your quantity ranges.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content material, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the Ralis delivers highly effective bass depth that does not distort at high quantity ranges. At extra average ranges, the lows nonetheless pack a palpable punch, and are properly matched by the highs.
Invoice Callahan’s “Drover,” a observe with far much less deep bass within the combine, provides us a greater sense of the Ralis’ common sound signature. The drums on this observe get some added roundness and depth with out sounding overly exaggerated. Callahan’s baritone vocals are delivered with added low-mid richness and a few treble edge, as effectively. The acoustic guitar strums get a crisp high-mid presence, and usually talking, the combo sounds sculpted, however balanced. What’s spectacular is how a lot the Ralis does with its modest body and energy—it could get comparatively loud, and its bass depth feels legit, even when there is not any true sub-bass depth right here.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church within the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives sufficient high-mid presence for its assault to retain its punchy presence, although it might probably use a bit extra—as a substitute, the upper frequency vinyl crackle and hiss take a step ahead within the combine. In different phrases, there’s some sculpting within the larger frequencies, and never all ranges are boosted or sculpted to the identical diploma. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with gusto—you will not be wanting across the room for the hidden subwoofer, however the lows are fuller and deeper right here than they’re on loads of moveable wi-fi audio system this measurement.
For orchestral tracks, just like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel In accordance with the Different Mary, the decrease register instrumentation will get some added bass presence that won’t attraction to purists, however definitely provides orchestral and jazz recordings somewhat additional oomph. The highs are typically balanced with these added lows in order that issues by no means sound muddy. In summation, this can be a extremely sculpted, bass-rich, vivid sound signature.
It’s important to admire the Urbanears Ralis for its simplicity—there’s actually nothing additional occurring right here, however there’s additionally not a lot missing, apart from a speakerphone operate and an aux cable. The bass depth is stronger than it’s on loads of audio system which are dearer—the Marshall Kilburn II, for instance, prices extra however delivers a thinner bass sound, even with its built-in EQ knobs. The Ralis holds its personal after which some, and between these two audio system, I would fortunately seize this one first. However within the $200 to $300 value vary, there are many winners—take into account the Denon Envaya DSB-250BT or the JBL Xtreme 2, each of that are extra outdoor-friendly. For much less, we just like the JBL Cost 4. However at $200, there’s little to not like concerning the highly effective output and understated cool the Ralis delivers.